Monday, March 15, 2010

Dammit, Jim! I'm a Copywriter. Not a Marketer.

I am very lucky to have two parents who always encouraged me in whatever job I wanted to do. Likewise, my parents are lucky to have four children who all want steady jobs and not the ability to program their guitar into an XBox controller.

So in high school, I decided I wanted to become a copywriter (aka, the person who writes the words for an ad.) When I told people this, they nodded their heads and said "Okay, Cool." and then slowly backed away. Which means either a) They don't know what a copywriter is but figure it sounds like something they SHOULD know and don't want to be caught in a web of lies or b) They DO know what a copywriter is and want nothing to do with the kind of people who write things like "It's CRUMBelievable!"

Cut to now. I have been searching for steady employment for what is becoming a nail-biting number of months. Turns out, all those times my professors warned me that companies think advertising is a waste of money and will cut it first during a recession? Those were times I should have been listening and not doodling pictures of bears. Who knew?!

So now all those people who cared enough to ask what I do (but not really enough to stick around and hear my theories on why Hefty could be doing SO MUCH BETTER) are trying to give me suggestions. And that suggestion tends to revolve around the idea of "Why don't you look for something in advertising besides copywriting?"

Let's take a time out. I need to ask you something. Are you a doctor? If yes, I have a question about ear infections; let's hang out in the comments. But if you are NOT a doctor, why not? My personal reasons are such:

1. Blood
2. Science

But that doesn't mean that I don't respect doctors. I'm damn glad that there are people in the world who DO want to be doctors, although I want nothing to do with the profession myself.

Okay, time in. That is how I feel about any form of Advertising job BESIDES being a Creative. I am SO SO SO glad there are people in the world who want to be Account Planners and Brand Managers and all those other lovely things. Those people are the reason why I, as a copywriter, get to write things. But HELL NO I do not want to do your job. NO.

The way I see it, here's what Creatives do:
- Come into work in jeans
- Sit in front of a Mac
- Peruse the Creative Brief for inspiration
- Furrow their brows until something awesome comes out
- Laugh at the funny things they write and draw
- Play with crayons
- Act superior to everyone in the office (Hey, I didn't say we're all good.)

And here's what I assume anyone else in Advertising does:
- Come into work in stylish but uncomfortable shoes
- Sit in front of a PC
- Write emails that say "verbiage" and "plus it up"
- Attend meetings where the Powerpoint has no pictures
- Stare out the window while a silent tear rolls down their cheek (I would.)
- Act appalled at anyone who thinks POS means "Piece Of Shit."

And that is just not my cup of tea. I didn't go into Advertising because I wanted to be an advertiser. I went into Advertising because I want to be a copywriter. I want to write things that make people laugh or cry or think. And I want that reaction to then make them go and buy the product I was writing for. I want to help people's business, yes, but not by sucking up or taking phone calls or playing my office politics right. I want to help people's business because I'm a good writer who can get a reaction out of people with just my words. And if I can't do THAT, I'd rather....hmm...more lists are in order, I think.

Things I'd rather be than be a Businessy Advertising Lady:

- Minimum wage kindergarten teacher
- Hooters waitress
- One-armed barista
- Receptionist again at the place where the old man rubbed my shoulders
- Perform off off Broadway on my one woman show, "The Cheese And I: It's Complicated. Or, Why I'm Not on ANTM"

And just for good measure, here are the things I would NOT do:

- Work at "Schubway" for 1 more second and smell like it for the rest of the day
- Cleaning bar bathrooms at 4am.
- Anything from Fear Factor, especially eating live spiders
- Ew ew ew ew...still thinking about the spiders
- Swim with a whale (because some things are just TOO SCARY)

Hopefully that clears things up. When people suggest I become something besides a copywriter, to me that's like suggesting that a marine biologist become a fisherman. It's not that fishermen are bad per se. I just had slightly more romantic plans than casting out nets for tuna.


Jason said...

How much for a bear drawing?

Emily said...

For you? Free. As long as you're okay with biped bears with belly buttons.

Sara Gorsky said...

I am a doctor. What seems to be the problem here?

Erin Renzas said...

Hey. My first job was at Subway. I was an arTIST.