Recession hit. The pink slips rained. 70,000 people in advertising were laid off quite abruptly. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade - or - you become a documentary filmmaker and make a film called Lemonade. At least that's what Erik Proulx did, by way of first creating a blog which soon grew to a job-hunt site for adpeeps called please feed the animals, then he documented the stories from the recently laid off creatives and suits from hot shops such as Arnold, TBWA/Chiat/Day, Richard group to see what they are doing in their life after advertising.
And it looks like it's become a film filled with interesting lives, hope for the future and major life changes for the group of former adpeeps. Life after advertising includes art, yoga and changing genders. Personally I can't wait to see it, lets make a date at a theatre near me when it runs shall we?
Lemonade movie trailer
In the Adage article about it people are commenting with the usual snark & bile we're so famous for in the adworld, saying that the layoffs are weeding out the bad chaff. Anyone who has seen a rain of pink-slips in action know that the best and the worst are the ones who leave - the safe are the only safe ones, and sometimes even they aren't safe.
But it's proven in the films trailer that a lay-off doesn't have to be the end of the world. It can be a swift kick in the butt to re-asses what is really important in your life. Advertising is like an addiction, it can run and ruin your life said Jeremy Clarke - in this business it's not unusual to work so hard and such long hours that life actually passes us by. But then, that's also often because we're all crazy fools who love advertising, are addicted to it even. Kudos to those who take the plunge outside of advertising. The Next John Hughes, Andy Warhol and even David Ogilvy is born today in a rain of pink slips. And we're all the richer for it.
See also Looking Beyond the Pink Slips at FastCompay - and you can always follow eproulx on twitter.