I’ve been trying to write a new website for myself – and struggling. It’s not just that writing about your own business is harder than writing about someone else’s. It’s that writing about “being creative” is plain awkward.
I should know. I’ve been doing it long enough.
Over the years (20+) a lot of different ad agencies and design companies (15+?) have asked me to come up with ideas and words to help them promote themselves. I’ve created mailers, press ads (remember them?), web pages, emails and posters to generate awareness and win new clients. They’ve ranged from the sensible and professional to the downright wacky.
I remember one poster in particular. It was for a design company in Cardiff and they bought a single site directly opposite the Welsh Assembly building. It showed a Welsh rugby player, arms outstretched as if being crucified, under the words SEX and CHOCOLATE. It was immediately banned, condemned by prominent members of the Welsh clergy and pilloried in the local press. Their objective was to get noticed, and it certainly achieved that! (NB, it was their idea, not mine – honest!)
Mais oui, oui, oui!
The challenge every time is the same – how do you suggest that you are imaginative, talented and creative without coming across as horribly pretentious, conceited and full of ****? To make matters worse you have to do it in a way that is so strikingly original that your imagination, talent and creativity speak loudly for themselves. No pressure then!
It’s the ultimate challenge – and plenty of agencies blow it. If you doubt me go agencywank.tumblr.com. You’ll discover a string of heroic attempts to achieve fame and glory with a single “knock-em-dead” headline.
(NB, thanks to Mark Mapstone for drawing this site to my attention). I’m glad to see that none of the agencies I have helped have made it into this Hall of Shame!
Picture credit: Christina Saint Marche