Guest Article: L Suresh: Admen say the darndest things

By L Suresh , Mumbai | In Advertising | December 10, 2010
A quick look at how afaqs! has seriously impacted people movement in the industry.

There was a time when people in advertising quit jobs for all the "regular" reasons -- the pay sucks; the boss sucks; work sucks... And then, afaqs! came along. Suddenly, people movements became much publicised. And even those, whose longest farewell speech was "Thank you", realised the pressing need to make profound statements.

Here's a "top seven" list of the darndest things that ad folks say -- and what they mean.

7. I'm evaluating options.
It's been a week since you spread the word that you're putting in your papers. Your mobile's fully charged; the mailbox has been emptied in anticipation; but... there's no news, except for that mail which announces your farewell party.

You are now wondering which is better -- to quietly take your papers back; or fervently hope that your ex in Hyderabad would have a temporary loss of memory and give you a job in her start-up. In other words, you are evaluating options.

6. I'm exploring options
When you have a semblance of options, you evaluate. When you have none, you explore. (Besides, the last time someone used the word "explore", he was on a ship, totally seasick and desperately looking for land.)

Call up each of those 700-odd people you bumped into in a drunken stupor at the Goa Ad Fest. Check out the mail IDs of all those who applied to your agency in the past. You rejected them, because they didn't have any kick-ass work to show. They'll now kick ass when you show up for work.

5. It's time to spread my wings -- I will start my own venture
News of how you went missing when that all-important campaign had to be done and how the servicing guy, with the Mac operator, hurriedly put together a few ads with leftover lines and images from an earlier campaign; and worse, how the client loved it; as a result of which, how the servicing guy moved over to creative and you were told -- through a Twitter message -- to move on, has reached every agency in town before you could.

You had a hawk eye on the corner cabin, but who thought that a little tweet would set the cat amongst the pigeons?

4. I'm taking a break and will probably travel
You are rendered homeless, car-less and totally immobile, because the apartment, the car and the BlackBerry have been taken back by the agency. Travelling, in this case, mostly involves going from one old friend's place to another, hoping that someone will take you in until you find another job. Soon you will be friendless too -- and that's when you'll be praying for that break.

3. It's time I work out of my comfort zone
Why check into rehab (it's expensive!) when you can just move down South and spend six months in an agency that doesn't allow drinking in the office. You will not only get paid for it; but the agency would also be so kicked at having a guy from Mumbai that you can throw attitude, not show up for work and be truly anonymous.

2. offer optimum visibility to the agency and design solutions for brands that are limited by an extraneous set of factors in niche markets and have minimal or no investments towards brand building
Mom, I got another job and guess what...? I'm on afaqs!

1. ...mandate is to turn the agency around
This typically happens when people try to do a 360-degree to the agency, instead of the brand. Many creative directors and branch heads have excelled at this. Unfortunately, most of them tried it on the same agency, as they did a revolving door act in the same year. The agency was turned around so many times that its employees tottered out with their heads spinning. The agency won a gold in the self-promotion category for its poster, which said, "We also turn ideas on their head."

Moral of the story: Everyone's vague until they turn celebrities. That's when they become profound.

(The author is a creative consultant.)