The Untold Horror of Being Different
Ad agency creative people, beware!
“Psst….look over there. Check this couple out. (SNICKER). Those two, talking to each other. You don’t suppose…. D’ya think she’s a …..? ….they really look like that? … wonder what ad agency he’s from?
The conversation takes place downtown. Or in a suburban office park. Or anywhere else in the country, for that matter. The whispers and innuendos all underscore a familiar theme. “Those crazy creative people – why do they have to be so different?”
Why indeed? Why do creative people like things that are so….so unusual? Unexpected? Unheard of?
At a backyard picnic some time ago, one of the guests, a rather straightforward type (a bank employee, probably), in a conversation with one of the incognito creatives, unknowingly went down a dangerous path when she inquired about where the other person (the creative) worked. The bank employee, upon learning of the creative’s occupation, instantly alluded to an old stereotype by saying, “You must have fun working with those….uh….creative people. We have a few at our place, in the Graphics Department.”
So? What’s the big deal? Does one see creative people tittering and pointing and carrying on about the three-piece-suit people who are ever-present in urban financial districts?
What’s the motivation behind this? The desire to be different, to set trends, to express individuality? Is it a talent that’s present from birth? Does one learn it somewhere—in school, on the street, or from eccentric relatives? Or….(gasp)… maybe it’s infectious. (Quick, call the Center for Disease Control.)
The frightening part is, so-called creative people are not alone. Other members of society are picking up on the trait. One can see beards on trust officers, technicians, and truck drivers. Crayola earrings on staid secretaries. Spiked haircuts on church pastors. Tropical flamingo print tentwear on Aunt Sophie and Uncle Fred.
Just where is this craze leading us? Let’s stop and think for a moment. If more and more people exhibit this divergent type of behavior, we’re in for big changes.
Imagine. Government bureaucracy might decide to add a Department of Dissimilarity. Industry could toss conformity out the window (picture yourself buying unhomogenized milk … or a new wave washer/dryer with hot pink stripes). Finance people, accountants, attorneys, and others might begin loosening up. And…. oh, no…. the ultimate horror…..
Clients might start getting creative!
You know what that means. If clients can do the creative work themselves, the ad agency creative people are going to be out of jobs, on a wholesale level.
If I were you, I’d start being less different. There’s a status quo to preserve.