See, I think we in the ad industry can sell everything – everything in this world – except ourselves.
Detergents. Condoms. Soaps. Shampoos. Medical services. Furniture. Cars. Bikes. Clothes. Jewellery. Art. Banking. Toilet cleaners even. We can get consumers to see value in any one of these categories.
But we can’t get our clients to see the value and worth of our ideas.
So, we slaves have to continue slogging away, underpaid and overworked. Because until clients begin to fork out more dough, the agency bosses won’t.
So I came up with an idea.
I shall turn to the government, for a bailout package a la Obama.
I will approach the Minister for Small and Medium Industries – with our profit margins, you can’t classify advertising as a large-scale industry – and make the following proposal to him.
There are hundreds and thousands of young, talented advertising professionals around; young, talented professionals who are highly underpaid and cannot, even after working 7 years, afford a house in a metro.
So, to avoid some disgruntled adman (or adwoman, to be politically correct) filing a case requesting that advertising folks be classified alongside SCs, STs and OBCs, I recommend this:
Just as the government has provided Railway Officials’ Quarters, Army Quarters, Navy Quarters, etc., they should set up Advertising Executives’ Quarters.
These will be flats in the poshest areas of town – Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Malabar Hill, etc.
To avoid public envy, the buildings will be painted to appear dilapidated, just like any other government housing.
(Of course, from inside it will look like the Seventh Wonder of the World.)
How does one allot flats? According to ad agency size, of course. The biggest agencies get the most (and biggest) flats. That would give Lowe Lintas a fair chunk of the pie, and large slices too.
Within the agency, flats would be allocated to those who have just reached the stage when they would have been able to afford them had they worked in another industry.
There are some problems to be faced with this model, though.
Firstly, some agencies might begin to cook their books to appear larger than others. Careful auditing might take care of this.
And second, some agencies may demand that awards be the sole criteria for allocation. Then there would be a counter-demand that only Effies be counted, etc. This would revive the age-old scam-ad debate. But some firm Minister-speak would solve this issue.
While this idea may be scoffed at, I believe it is absolutely vital for the survival of an industry that helps con the gullible public into buying into anything, from prostitutes to politicians.
And, after all, payouts come only once in a lifetime.