I spend the first half of my day online, ‘researching’ youth brands and products that look like they could use a little advertising help. I watch commercials, I judge their creativity, I research their effectiveness, I find out when the campaign began, and I get contact information for the person in charge. That contact goes into a tickler file to pass on to my company’s Business Development Manager.
I’ve never been so aware of ads. I notice them everywhere now. I think about target audiences, demographics, gender roles, and where I and the people around me fit in to these categories.
I’ve determined that I do not like working in advertising.
I’m sitting at my office desk right now, typing this entry into a word document on my iMac G5. On the wall in front of me is a banner displaying the work we did for Camel. The directive was to ‘reposition Camel as a relevant brand for twenty-something consumers.’ The result of my firm’s work was ‘a brand mark that conveyed quality, masculinity and authenticity.’ Not, of course, cancer and death.
As a member of the target-audience for this campaign, I think the creative work is really cool. It’s artsy, colorful, and urban. None of the people in the ads are holding cigarettes. Instead, wispy, graffiti-esque entrails - resembling the patterns of cigarette smoke - swirl around them, creating a sense of aura and internal rhythm. The accompanying slogan is, "Camel. Life Experience."
What a life it is.