Once, recently, I went to a meeting. I do this sometimes, when people more senior than me decide I can be trusted in the real world. I don’t agree with their judgement, but that’s up to them.
Anyway, at this meeting lots of things were said. Some of them I wrote down in the form of notes, others I did not.
One of the ones I did write down was the following:
The brand is the experience.
Now, this might just be marketing bullshit, as most things in marketing are, but it got me thinking:
What would my brand be, if it was based on the experience of others?
The first thing that came to mind was professional integrity, but then after laughing for a little bit I moved on to the more serious answers.
I based these all on genuine feedback I’ve had from my peers, who are fortunate enough to have spent a considerable time working by my side. I wish I was my peers.
EXPERIENCE ONE: IRREVERENCE
I’m rarely known to answer a brief in the way that brief feels it should be answered. I mean, I once wrote a credit card campaign based on the idea that they’d be useless if a bear attacked. This later got merged with another idea and made even less sense than it would have done originally.
When I’m forced to do work that doesn’t allow for such creative expression, I still do a better job than anyone else would do, just with an angry look on my face. Stop killing my dreams, man.
That leads me on nicely to…
EXPERIENCE TWO: MODESTY
It’s been commented on that I, perhaps, have a mild ego. Some people would say that I have such belief in my own ability to think of conceptual ideas and write kick-ass copy, that they’ve personally felt inadequate when in my presence.
That’s fair enough.
I know I’m good, but I always want to be better. In fact, I want to be the very best there ever was. I want to be the kind of writer people study later on, and remark on the fact I was as beautiful as I was bright. Shut up, it could happen.
EXPERIENCE THREE: OFTEN GETS DISTRACTED
Ok, so here’s the thing. Once I was writing something pretty dull while someone else was working on something that looked more fun. What happened next was that I not only finished my dull work, but also wrote the other work in the same time, with better results.
I do get distracted by ideas all the time. It makes holding a serious conversation with me challenging, as you can see the point my eyes glaze over after you’ve said words like, “millennial demographic” or “the data suggests”.
Give me something cool to think about though, and the only thing that will distract me is the burning desire to own that brief like a freshly baked cookie that my sister is trying to eat before me.
EXPERIENCE FOUR: FAST
The fastest copywriter you’ll ever work with. That’s what I’d say if you asked me to describe my working ability in relation to speed. Give me a day to do a job, I’ll do it in half that time and spend the rest of it asking you for more, or writing a blog post about me as a brand.
This speed does have its downsides, though. For one, my fingers type so fast they now have weird little finger abs and intimidate other fingers in the finger gym.
Also, account managers charge me out by the hour, so at the same time as I’m wowing their clients, I’m also costing them dollar. Sorry.
EXPERIENCE FIVE: HAHAHA SO FUNNY
Some people find my off-hand commentary on life funny. Some people would say that my sarcastic delivery and razor-sharp wit make me a delight to be around. Some people would say I should talk more to them.
Others would not.
This is ok, because if I was to be funny to everyone, it wouldn’t feel special to the individuals who deserved it. It’d be like, I don’t know, the Queen giving everyone a knighthood. Or everyone catching a cold at the same time. Or death.
EXPERIENCE SIX: SOMETIMES HE TAKES IT TOO FAR AND HE SHOULD STOP
This blog post is a good example of that.
However, that can be a good thing, can’t it? I don’t give up on a brief until I’ve exhausted every possible idea, I don’t leave the studio until I’m proud with what I’ve produced, and I don’t stop telling a joke until the recipient is absolutely convinced it’s hilarious.
Persistency pays off.
EXPERIENCE SEVEN: POTENTIAL TO BE GREAT OR MAYBE ONE DAY GO INSANE
I’ve been told several things in my career to date.
Many times, I’ve been told I have the potential to be a creative inspiration, potentially one day be a creative director, maybe even go on to greatness.
More times I’ve been asked if I need to talk to anyone, like, professional.
You must take the good with the bad, and without the bad, I don’t think my good would be quite so, you know, good. I’ll use it to my benefit.
So, what does that make of my brand? Is brand Ash one you’d buy into, or one whose recent advertising campaign looks seriously misguided? Why is there a bear in it? Is that even allowed on TV at this time of day?
I don’t know, really. I think it’s still a work in progress, like an older version of the Apple logo where it’s still recognisable as what it went on to become, but not quite there yet.
I’m excited to keep moulding what makes me, me, and see where it takes me.
I’m also excited to meet my eventual counsellor. We’ll have fun.