Pigeon Holed - which type of creative are you?


Creatives in advertising agencies fall into 7 categories. We know who you are. Do you?

  • 1) The Resigned Creative.
  • You have worked in the same agency for 8 years. You remember the good old days, when clients actually bought your work. You occasionally get to produce a campaign of in-store shelf wobblers for dishwasher detergent. You have work in your book for a beer campaign from 4 and a half years ago that won you a pewter tankard award from Brewer's Monthly magazine. You sweat cynicism. You wear permanent 'shit happens' sucked-in lips. Your eyes are glazed over due to excessive confidence-crises.

  • 2) The Slacker Creative.
  • You slouch into work at 11 and leave at 5. You have been working on a quarter-page press ad for 3 weeks. You absolve all responsibility onto your art director/copywriter. You have perfected the art of looking busy by tapping vigorously at your keyboard while staring intensely at the computer screen. You go to meetings only so you can drink coffee that someone else has made. You are invisible and you like it that way.

  • 3) The Charmed Creative.
  • You take 2 months off to find yourself in Goa, without telling the agency. You return with drug frazzled head, and confront the creative director who you manage to persuade to double your salary and give you a 3-day week. You produce 1 campaign a year, usually consisting of 3 TV commercials. You insist on the best director who will gloss over the fact that your campaign is devoid of any ideas whatsoever. You will win many awards with this campaign, doubling your salary once again. You are great friends with your creative director, not because of your talent but because you supply him with cheap drugs. You are about to go on another holiday to clear your head because it's been a really tough year.

  • 4) The Fat-Mouth Creative.
  • Everything you do is ground-breaking. Everything you do is loud. You have plans. Big plans. You have changed your name to Gazelle Angry, to make yourself more prominent in the trade press. Your salary is as fat as your mouth. You laugh at your own jokes. You are a walking cliché and still believe ponytails are hip. You slam doors, bang your fists on desks, and throw chairs out of windows, but only of there is a photographer standing by. You are either directing or writing your first feature film, and are in talks with a large LA production company who want to buy the rights, but hey, you don't like to talk about it. You haven't had a good idea since you were 6 years old. You attend every awards show going. You are on the jury of every awards show going. You pronounce loudly that you care not for awards, even though you have converted your second bedroom into a trophy room. You have only one friend you trust; his name is Charlie. You have no talent, which, deep down you realise, hence the need to shout and shut out the voices in your head telling you so.

  • 5) The Creative by association,
  • You are the partner of a well-known creative director who is friends with your creative director. You schmooze with a capital 'S'. You spend your whole day looking at photographer's books, showreels, student folios, promising them the earth and then nicking their ideas and calling them your own. You have a very long tongue and you know exactly where to stick it. You spend your weekends visiting galleries and alternative art spaces to get inspired. If there is a bandwagon to jump on, you are the first in line. You have the creative director wrapped around your little finger, and your thighs wrapped around his head. You create and stir gossip in equal measures. You name-drop like it was going out of style and claim to be a close personal friend of Cameron Diaz, or whoever's cool at that moment. In the off-chance that something's not going right, you throw a tantrum, pile the blame on someone else, be it the photographer or Mac-operator or cleaning lady, getting that person fired immediately without tainting your own image. Your image is the most important thing - the advertisements you do are just a by-product of that.

  • 6) The New-Age creative.
  • You work in an agency with 6 other people. The agency is housed in a converted Nuclear bunker, but actually you don't like to call it an agency, it's more of a creative cell (but really even creative cell isn't creative enough, you personally like to call it a creative amoeba). Your favourite client to work on makes processed crisps with lashings of monosodiumglutomate but you don't care because the manager's slightly wacky and he'll buy your ideas. You don't just do ads, you also make films, pop-promos, theatre props, bake cakes and give puppet shows to the local nursery. You avoid doing traditional advertising at all costs, and your favourite medium is one that has never been used such as tattooing a message to a mother's nipple so you can catch 'em young. Money is not important, Honesty is important. You use the word 'ironic' far too often. You find working at a desk too constricting, and prefer to work while levitating above the cosmos. All your ideas come to you through dreams. You turn ideas on their heads so often, it makes you dizzy, causing frequent blackouts.

  • 7) The real-life creative.
  • You were born in Oxford but wish you were born in Manchester, although the closest you've been to Manchester is buying an Oasis album. Even though you aspire to be working class, you just can't give up wearing your Paul Smith suits. Everything you do is in grainy black & white, and set in a council housing estate. You never ever use actors, only real people, preferably someone who works as a plumber or in a laundrette. You do this not to capture real life in the 90's but because it makes you feel superior. Your office bookshelf is crammed full of Richard Billingham style photography and you still find 'Withnail & I' funny. You smoke Regal King Size, and pretend you like to watch the Darts Championships, or that you have been a life-long Arsenal FC supporter when in actual fact you'd rather watch the golf. You take the bus to work, even though you have an Audi parked outside your minimalist apartment. The nearest you've been to the 'real life' is when you turned up to the agency without wearing your aftershave.

  • 8)
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    Note: there is also a Pigeon Holed in Spanish

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