Last week at work was the worst. (Which is pretty bad, considering it was my first full week.)
Bennett and I had been working on some print ads for an online debate hosted by a division of the Economist. (It’s confusing. Bear with.) We two were in charge of it. At some point, an old-timer, former CD (creative director), Simon, started voicing his opinions about what we should be doing. (Simon was visiting from Goa, working on a video for the same client.) Bennett had comped up a confusing graphic of someone putting money into a starbucks cup (I could explain it but… you shouldn’t have to explain an ad) and Simon loved it. He told us to forget our other ideas and just work on that, so we did (even though I didn’t understand it.)
I wrote ads for that direction for a few days, then Simon starts writing ads for it which made no sense. He basically ignored everything I’d done, got his work into layout and that’s what went to the client. Three nonsensical ads that he wrote.
So nobody understands the ads, including me. Charles (my boss) assumed I wrote them and asked me to explain them to him. Of course, I said I didn’t get them either and that Simon wrote them. Then Charles fusses at me, saying how lovely Simon is to work with and that “we work openly here”.
How do you define “openly” – swooping in one someone else’s assignment, throwing out what they’ve done, and rewriting it worse to send to the client, leaving the actual copywriter to explain why the ads make no sense?
Here’s the ad that made the most sense: