A few years back, a dear friend at Kohnke Hanneken passed this inspirational letter by Russell Davies along to me. At the time I don’t know what my colleague was trying to tell me, but years later this letter confirms the many reasons why I love advertising and what I do.
“Advertising is still the best training you’ll ever get for most of the things you might dream of doing.
It’s like a gateway drug for interesting jobs; a never-ending, always-changing training scheme. You’re constantly moving from one client, one problem, one opportunity, to another. No project ever lasts that long, you rarely do exactly the same thing twice and you bump into all sorts of other experts, industries and professions. Which means ad people have the best collections of odd and arcane jargon you’ll ever come across, picked up from various clients.
But all this flitting from one thing to another isn’t just pointless dilettantism, you’re building up a tremendous body experience; expertise in some broader creative endeavor. You learn how to work with talented artists and monstrous egos. You’re obliged to consider what everyone in the country might want and what a few CEO’s and cabinet ministers might want. You get good at explaining the complicated and the intangible to the unwilling and ill-informed. You come to understand the peculiar and different demands of images and words, briefs and ideas, traffic and production. You find out when to brainstorm, whether to workshop and how to take things to the next level.
And, eventually, at some point, most advertising people take these ineffable, unteachable skills and go and do something else. They pursue some private passion or quieter life. This is a good thing. This is to be celebrated, not lamented, and this is a reason to get a job in advertising. Good luck with it.
-by Russell Davies”