Creative lesson
One thing I really hate is being called out – especially in front of a group of people. Everyone feels awkward about it. I feel like a big, old screw-up. You’re likely going to face a stern talking to in the future too, because we’re all likely to face a stern talking to in the future. There is, however, a difference between big and small mistakes. Small mistakes may waste a day. Big mistakes can hurt your job, your client and your team. As a creative, learn these lessons well and you can avoid being called out for what could be one of the hardest conversations of your career. 

No passion? Quit now.

Advertising can be a tough gig. Long hours. Endless revisions. Defending your work without offending the client. It doesn’t matter what position you hold at an agency, if you’re not passionate, chances are you won’t be around very long. If you CAN find passion in what you do however, then it’ll be easy to see you’re in the right place. 

Don’t be sexy for the sake of being sexy.

I like swearing, sex and shock value as much as the next guy, but you have to ask yourself one question. Is it appropriate? I bet most of the time the answer is (unfortunately) no. Just like you don’t want to alienate your audience, you also shouldn’t offend them. 

Knowledge is power.

It also separates the good from the great. If you don’t know just about everything there is to know about the product you’re trying to advertise, you will never come up with the perfect line. Or the perfect idea. Even design can suffer. I can personally attest to this. A while back, we were working on launching a new product for a client. I must have spent a whole day trying to come up a great tagline. Mind you, I had done some research on the product. But it wasn’t until a coworker mentioned a fact that I hadn’t caught, that I was finally able to come up with everyone’s favorite line of the pitch. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is inspiration. The lesson? Know things or do research. 

Sell first. Be creative second.

Every art director wants to design the most gorgeous thing the world has ever seen. Every writer wants to tell the greatest story ever told. Unfortunately, the client wants to make money and doesn’t care about your silly aspirations. Ok, that’s harsh. While you’re not exactly paid to be creative, the point is to apply some of those creative juices to the right strategy in order to get results. Sometimes it can be boring. Sometimes it can be really cool. 

Write how people speak.

This one’s mainly for the writers, if you hadn’t already guessed. There’s a trend with copywriters that makes them believe they have to have this gargantuan, astronomical big vocabulary. You couldn’t be more wrong. You should just write to the everyday consumer. Your average Joe is going to use the word “big” 100 times before he ever thinks of “gargantuan.” Save for a handful of high brow brands, little known words and complex jargon only alienate your audience. Engaging them is better, take our word for it.