Mad Man, I: The greatest work you’ll never see.

madman

For close to a month I’ve been in campaign mode at work. It’s the best part of the job, in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the audition process, as well as the overall production, filming, and editing. It’s nice to see something develop from a tiny spark into a fire.

But it’s that spark that gives me the most fulfillment as a writer in this business.

It’s all about the concept. That big idea that everything is built upon. That underlying voice, tone and strategy. The message. It is the beginning.

The beginning of everything.

It has to be. Without a concept, all we have are pretty pictures that miss the real challenge of convincing someone to stop, pay attention and ultimately, consume.

The challenge doubles, then triples the more times you have to sell the same thing.

Moleskines are filled, and walls are covered in staples and tape, as if our brains have exploded outward.

This moment is electric. The big idea. I’ve had a few now, but none have ever seen the light of day. Not how they should. Because ultimately, there is always a client, and I’m not always there to convince them to make the bold move.

This campaign, I poured myself into five different directions, all of which could be effective and successful, one of which would truly stand out: A simple story about a boy, a girl and some olive juice. A direction that saw me working late into the night, and early into the morning for weeks trying to create something effective and cohesive; something beautiful, relevant and most importantly, something real.

Something strangers would invest their attention in.

Tomorrow, when we make our pitch, it will most likely fall to the wayside with so many other ideas. But we’re a better agency for offering it. And I’m a better person for having thought of it.

The toughest part of this job is letting go of something. Our best work is crumpled up on a creative director’s floor.

I create the greatest work you’ve never seen, and I’ll do it again and again until someone runs with it. Then I’ll keep on doing it.

pen

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