Melvin Jacob
Guest Article

A love letter to a suit

A tale of love between two drastically different creatures... shh! Lest the agency reads this.

Dear Suit,

We stumbled upon each other in the corridors of that big agency where we worked on the same account.

One side of that corridor was filled with sharply dressed servicing people, persuading their clients to buy better work.

On the other side, there were shabbily dressed creative mavericks, persuading their minds to come up with better ideas.

You were a different animal. Driven, yet calm. Ambitious, yet generous. Your exuberance for life, and how it manifested through advertising, caught my eye. Your passion enlivened every room, to make sure that a tiny print ad went out well, and the same treatment be given to a big film campaign as well.

I was a creative animal through and through. Driven, yet indisciplined, streetwise, college-of-life graduate. Waiting for the deadline to be pushed, or for that evening pint at the local speakeasy, but ambitious enough to make sure some interesting work happened.

Times changed. Paper turned to pixels. Print turned to social.

The medium became agnostic. On the street changed to behind the screen. TV screens shrunk to mobile screens. Insight and idea became royalty.

We understood this instantly. Most importantly, we understood each other. Your logic loved my slice of chaos. I loved your logic guiding my chaos.

Love grew.

But this love had an enemy - the management.

Now, they wouldn’t want ruled books and sketch pads mixing. They wouldn’t want a monkey and a snake becoming friends. This would be anarchy. This would be against the grain. Left and right loving in the same brain. Divided was how they kept control.

But, why not?

Why couldn’t creative profess love for servicing?

Secret friends are the ones who change the land.

This the smartest monkey and smartest snake do understand.

So, here I go. I’m going to address the lioness in the room.

You dear suit, are the sharpest mind in every meeting. All I have to do is wait for you to talk, then look for that big idea in what you said.

You think better than most, because you read and observe. Whenever I’m stuck, you always have an idea handy.

You are the best connector of people that I’ve seen. Exuberant, energetic, and exciting to be around.

You write infinitely better than most writers I’ve seen. This scares some writers. This inspires some to write more.

The idea that an idea can come from only one place has many agencies still working in cold segregated boxes, disconnected from each other.

This restricts brand love. This restricts the free flow of coming up with ideas during corridor walks. This stops the childlike rush for creativity that we are all born with. This ensues a play for power, not a play for the better idea, or the pitch winning plan.

So, to you, dearest suit, this I say.

I love your spirit. I love your energy. I love your clarity. I love you.

As the dogmas disappear and the boxes blur, the union of suit and creative will still have time to create the best idea in the world.

And yes, it’s never too late. So, let’s do this.



The Creative Guy

(This is a love letter to Theresa Ronnie, erstwhile head of FCB Bangalore. Ronnie is the author’s favourite suit, creative thinker and woman in the world. Melvin Jacob, the author of this letter, is the creative head of Famous Bangalore.)

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

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