Adman is a comical insight into the world of Advertising through the antics of the Senior Account manager and Creative Director as they try and become the number one ad agency. This comic strip appeared in a monthly publication, subscribed, mainly by people in the advertising and marketing industry. This was my first commissioned cartoon strip. I was a bit worried that I would run out of ideas, but since I have worked in a number of advertising agencies, I had a wealth of inside knowledge to use as material. These are just a few of the strips that were published.
Everything is Urgent
When I was an art director working in Advertising. It seemed that every job I got was urgent. Because their client was the most important to the agency, I was often regularly visited by account executives checking on progress. They just wanted to make sure it was their job I was working on and not some other AE's. Often, myself and other creatives worked into the small hours of the morning while the AE's were out at night clubs, restaurants or home in bed.
When I first started out in design and advertising everything was done by hand, using markers, rotring pen and scalpel. But the computer changed all that and now I can do things that I could never have done with just a drawing board and pen. I can shoot things, pretend to be a fighter pilot, or rule the world.
While the introduction of computers into the art department made production of finished art much quicker, it also made changes easier. If you are ever considering doing design work for someone... NEVER, EVER, tell them that it is simple to make a change!
At one time in New Zealand, alcoholic beverages, by law couldn't be advertised on television. The Government change that law much to the delight of the advertising industry. I remember someone commenting that ad agencies would treat this new freedom responsibly and with sensitivity... I thought that was funny.
I have worked with quite a few artists in the advertising industry, and they were all extremely talented at their craft. I think at heart many would have preferred to be in some inner city warehouse loft creating art for exhibitions, rather than a TV commercial, selling some product that no-one really needs or wants. But that is the Artists Dilemma, a dilemma, that is quickly learnt, when the young idealistic artist graduates from art school, and realises that true art rarely earns any money - and they need to eat.
There's always this conflict between doing what the client wants - selling a product, while at the same time trying to create true works of Art!. Unfortunately for those with an inner artist wanting to break the shackles of commercialisation, these two end goals are at opposite ends of the field.
This isn't funny... It was my job to create farewell cards for staff that were leaving, and it seemed like that was all I ever did. Staff usually left to get better pay, or got headhunted by a more prestigious agency. But occasionally someone was actually fired... they still got card.
More often than not there is usually an element of "us verses them" between the creative and accounts departments. A good analogy of an ad agency is that it's like a car. The creative department is the engine and the accounts department are the brakes. So even when they work well together, there will always be a little friction.