As a city dweller, I walk by lots of homeless people every day.Their signs are usually pretty standard, and rarely compelling enough for me to take action.But yesterday, I walked by this girl.A little kindness goes a long way.Her sign was simple and it made me smile. So I told her, "I like your sign" and gave her five dollars.This is a good lesson in advertising. Keep your message simple and unique. People will take notice. And maybe they'll throw some dough your way.Tell me, would her sign have worked on you, too?
I recently finished two great books. Bossypants by Tina Fey and Girl Walks into a Bar... by Rachel Dratch (You know. Debbie Downer? womp womp).Both authors touched upon the top rule of improvisation, which I think is great. SAY YES.As Tina Fey explains it:
“SAY YES. When you’re improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created. So if we’re improvising and I say, ‘Freeze, I have a gun,’ and you say ‘That’s not a gun. It’s your finger. You’re pointing your finger at me,’ our improvised scene has ground to a halt. But if I say, ‘Freeze, I have a gun!’ and you say, ‘The gun I gave you for Christmas! You bastard!’ then we have started a scene because we have AGREED that my finger is in fact a Christmas gun.Now, obviously in real life you’re not always going to agree with everything everyone says. But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.”
This rule resonated with me because it applies to the world of advertising as well. Concepting big ideas is a lot like improvising. It is about being open to your partner's ideas and running with them to see where they take you. And not shooting them down too quickly, because sometimes ideas that seem ridiculous at first can turn into something fantastic.Later, I realized that this actually applies to real life too. I think we can all afford to say “yes” more often. To say "yes" to the next road trip, the next night out, the next race, the next job offer, the next party, the next date... Fact is, more exciting and fantastic things are going to happen to you if you say yes. Or as Rachel Dratch put it, “No leads to dead ends, and yes leads to possibilities."I leave you with one last quote from Tina Fey that I thought was too great to not make into a poster:So tell me, when someone asks you to go out tonight, what are you going to say?
I just experienced my first Red Tettemer summer retreat. It is a tradition that has been going on for 17 years. And it’s indescribable.No, really. I can't describe it.So I won't.Instead, I will just say, that I work with the most talented, funny, crazy people out there. So crazy, I felt they needed to be showcased on a Tumblr page.If you’re in advertising, you’ve seen This Advertising Life. Well now, we present you with This Red Tettemer Life. Click that link and go check it out! It will give you a taste of what things are like at RT+P. Enjoy! And return often for updates.The Red Tettemer flag waving proudly over Cape May, New Jersey at Retreat XVII. Instagram photo by Ben McCool.
If you haven’t watched this week’s episode of Mad Men yet, you might not want to read any further.But if you have, you know that Peggy put in her notice at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.Go Peggy! It was certainly her time.Don, who used to teach Peggy so much, has been slacking. And the opportunities for Peggy at SCDP have been lacking.Taking matters into her own hands and leaving the comfort of SCDP, where her career began many years ago, shows bravery. Starting a new job is never easy.Having worked at 4 different agencies in that last 7 years, I know all too well that starting a new job is nerve-racking. In fact, I have walked home teary-eyed many times during the first few weeks of each new job. The new personalities you have to learn to relate to and the new clients you have to get a handle on can be incredibly overwhelming.But there comes a time when you have learned all you can from the people you work with. That is when it is time to surround yourself with new brilliant people to learn from.Looking back, I can pinpoint specific things I learned at every agency, and specific lessons I learned from every person. I am confident that I am more knowledgeable now than I would be had I stayed at the same agency for the past 7 years.And at my current agency, I truly believe that I am still learning something new every day, and am constantly being challenged by my bosses and coworkers. That is how I know I am in the right place at this time.In summary, I believe it is time to move on when you feel like your career is at a standstill. When you aren’t challenged anymore. Or maybe it is when you aren’t even looking, but you receive a job offer that seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up. In which case, I suggest taking the chance. As Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”Tell me, do you think Peggy made the right decision?
This post references the May 13th episode of Mad Men. Yup, last week’s episode. I’m guessing that’s a major no-no in the world of blogging.But considering I’m still new to this, I’m hoping you will forgive me just this once. And in the future, I’ll start watching TV shows when they’re actually on.That said, this episode of Mad Men was called “Dark Shadows”. It focused largely on the unhappiness of the characters.But then, it ended with a surprisingly upbeat song. It was called, “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away” by Maurice Chevalier. The song captured my attention when I heard the line, “If you want happiness, just help yourself to some”. I couldn’t agree more with this message.We are all in control of our own happiness. I think we often forget this. So if you’re feeling down, think about what might make you happy. It could be something as small as going out for a beer. Or as big as finding a new job. Whatever it is, go help yourself to it!Or at least start by listening to the song below. It might inspire you.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfNV9YLZrTYSo tell me, did this song invigorate you, too?
If you’re in the creative field, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of all-nighters. Creativity takes time. And in that time, one can experience a slew of emotions.Below, check out the Ten Stages of an All-Nighter as I see them:My apologies for some crude language, but my goal was to depict all-nighters as accurately as possible. Thank you Mark Garman and Amanda Abrams for your constructive critique of this infographic and for making countless all-nighters more enjoyable.So tell me, what stages did I miss? I know you have some good ones.