Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the meaning of life

or at least the meaning of your own life.
i met a very nice guy called mike rogers who runs an ad agency called ml rogers. 
i guess i was there to be interviewed. and i pathetically didn't even really bring a portfolio because i am so used to being hired by word of mouth. which i said, which must have sounded incredibly arrogant. 
i also stupidly said, i always win pitches. all but 3. in my lifetime of advertising. 
which again, i didn't mean as arrogant, i just was stating a fact. but it must have come across as pretty full of myself.
but what blew me away was, when i asked him, why did you start an agency?
and he looked totally confused and said, what do you mean, why? to have a  job, of course.
so i said, well, you had a job.
and he said, yes but it's nice to be boss.
and i said, well what's the point of the agency?
and he said, to make good advertising.

i was starting to sound bitchy so i thought i'd better stop belaboring it. and i packed up to go. but then i said, what is your agency's strength?

and he said, really smart strategy. we're not just funny to be funny. we really think about the brand and what it means and we go really deep. and then we make great ads.

which made me think the point was an agency run by strategic planners. an interesting idea because they are always the smartest, best-read people in an agency. but...

i am not sure that that would get me out of bed in the morning. 

and i am not sure that in this day and age, anyone has the luxury of starting a venture without a purpose. 

i mean, good for mike, that was his time. and he seems to be doing well.

but today, if you didn't have a totally brilliant reason to exist - why would you start an agency? or anything else? there are tons of advertising agencies. and tons of restaurants. and shops. and clothing designers.  there are more shoe stores and shoe brands than we can possibly imagine.

basically, the world - esp the first world - is overrun by crap. advertising being one of the things. so why make more?

this may sound self-righteous and it's not meant to. it is a totally personal opinion. but why do anything if it doesn't add a layer of meaning to your life? or strengthen your beliefs somehow.

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