So we recently blogged about a pledge we took at TBWA\Chiat\Day. To read that post (and examine, according to the scathing comments, my terrible grammar, which I hope is more a result of my laziness, busy-ness & unwillingness to proofread before posting than my actual intelligence), go here.
The story about the “pledge” got picked up by agencyspy. And then copyranter (who apparently hates most things, including advertising, fake blondes, real blondes, people who don’t hate things) covered it. And then adland mentioned it as well (who coincidentally called our post nincompoop, although whether that referred to the subject of the blog post or us personally I’m not quite clear).
And then the flurry of vitriolic comment emails began to flood li’s inbox.
Here’s an overview:
And more here:
A Pledge, & the Nincompoop Forest comments
And says “Vinnie” (no link available) on the copyranter post (a derogatory word “edited” by me, not Vinnie):
“Wow. I hope the Grammar [C*nt] is reading this.
This individual needs to be sacked immediately.”
That’s the second time it’s ever been recommended that I be fired for writing something. The first was an ad that was considered sexist. The second time (this time) has been for my grammatical errors on the blog. Meh, I wouldn’t fire me for that (li agrees!). Besides, as commenters have suggested, we may be “fired” in six months anyway!
So why so negative? Is it because it came from Chiat Day? And because people love to hate on Chiat? Because we’ve got big clients with big budgets and big work. And just like every agency, we’ve got problems, and because we’re big, they seem bigger?
Is it because creative people are inherently critical? Is it because this industry is full of jaded, glass-half-empty, secretly-want-to-be-screenwriters people who pretend to be above everything and not care about anything because to hack it here you have to be cool? Ok, that was a bit harsh. But sometimes the pendulum of advertising mindsets swings from the artificially cheerleader-y to the bitterly cynical. And where it probably should be is resting somewhere right in the middle.
At the end of the day, lots of people in this industry talk about “good work.” And inspire us to do good work. When I worked at RPA we had similar gimmicks associated with goals, work & creativity. Li as well, at Saatchi. The desktops at KPS+B say “do things that matter.” There are endless examples that I can’t think of currently (examples anyone?). The only thing Chiat did differently than the rest of the industry waxing poetic about “good work” is that they just asked us to aim for “iconic” and to commit to it. It’s simply a tactic to inspire. I mean, my mom used to ask me to do “better than my best” and when I got a 95% she wasn’t satisfied until I’d gotten 100%. Chiat’s just doing the same thing right now that my mom did for me throughout school. Ask me to aim for the best I can do. And for everyone who loves to hate on Chiat for never doing good work, why isn’t anyone commending Chiat for wanting to do better? Or is it just the way Chiat went about doing it…?
Whatever the casing, whatever the reaction and whatever the climate, the sentiment is a common one, a real one and sometimes, an inspiring one. And apparently, one for discussion.
So for now, we’ll welcome a few more readers (our blog views totally spiked, thanks guys!), take the criticism seriously & lightly at the same time, and keep doing what we’ve pledged to do: work hard & work good. And hopefully something iconic, great or just plain good comes out of it.
And we appreciate the positive comments when they come. Thanks Ryan!
Ok, back to work! Comments, as always, welcome and encouraged!