Advertising: Logic vs Magic


I felt like sh*t last evening, going home. I was drained, I wished I were sipping a beer somewhere on a beach. Like my home, in Sri Lanka.

Instead, I was driving along the Malek Road, depressed, and feeling dejected.

This morning, I was itching to write what I felt inside.

So I did.

Having been part of the team that worked on (X) Brand Campaign, I think I have the right to express what I felt.

For me, last night was an eye opener.

As an agency, we have reached a milestone.

We are beginning to see Science overtake Art.
We see Logic overtake Magic.
And Quantity overtake Quality.

Last night, there was no Passion evident.
Last night, we have lost Inspiration.

We have become slaves to the system.
We have become the robots of the 21st century that turn out “artwork” – not great advertising.
If I had an iota of a hope of producing something award winning at (X agency), it went down the gutter last night.

I do not know about you guys, but I am a man of integrity and pride.
Yes, pride, not price.
I take pride in what I do.
We create art. We create brands.
We are not growing potatoes.
We sell advertising. Not popcorn.

This agency needs to learn to treat itself with self-respect and dignity.
We need to learn to respect our work, and more importantly, the people behind the work.

Once we learn to respect our work and take pride in our work, we will be able to walk in to a meeting with confidence and sell some great advertising.

But that, begins here.

Learning to treat individuals with dignity and respect starts in front of the mirror.
Learning to treat their work with respect, starts within the agency.

We are not a production line. We are human.
We are humans that are running out of steam.
We are humans of integrity, we are slaves to none.

Creativity cannot be mass-produced, it needs to be inspired.

Going back, the most troubling questions that linger in my mind are:
Is it Science, or Art?
Is it Magic, or Logic?
Is it Quality, or Quantity?
Are we human, or just a production line?

The answer would define the future of the agency.

And when will we begin to believe in our work?

When will we begin to see a genuine smile on a face?

Yes, we are striving towards change: change for the better.
Yes, we are all supportive of the change.

But it should not be at the cost of a single smile. ;)

* * * *

This is a note I sent this morning, after sitting through an internal meeting that demonstrated how disjointed an advertising agency could be. Like every business, we are also aggressive and bullish, but in the process we were making two major blunders: too much marketing knowledge and theories were killing the passion in creativity, and quantity over quality was driving people insane.
And we were forgetting to appreciate the foot soldiers for their commitment and sacrifices they make in their everyday life for the betterment of the agency.


  1. You have my sympathies but unfortunately that is why its called work.

    If you like what you do it is'nt work.

  2. Wow, inspiring note! :D

    P.s. Science overtaking art isn't always a bad thing... ;) lol

  3. @JP: Well, what you are saying true to some extent and to a large extent, in Sri Lanka. But, if you are in any creative field, what drives our creativity is inspiration and passion. Being creative is not work, counting numbers is.

    @Chavie: Science overtaking art is a bad thing. Science overtaking religion - may be. (As they say, science flies you to the moon, religion flies you in to buildings. LOL)

    @Dandalion: *hugs*