Several semesters ago in my Advertising & Media Strategy class, I asked new students why their interest in working in an ad agency. A hand shot up, and I only recall that his name was Tim and that he was very short…smallish actually. Tim was an avid sports fan, and he perceived that working in an advertising agency was the closest thing he could imagine to playing on a sports team. He envisioned that a small group competing head to head against other small groups on an intellectual and energized level would be a great way to make a living. You would lose some, and hopefully everybody cheers when you win some.
Tim was actually right. Working in a shop and competing with those you’ve developed a close working relationship with is like playing on a basketball or soccer team. The ball doesn’t always go in but when it does, what a rush.
Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the value of a sports team attitude, and more importantly, the failure of shops that don’t have it. How does a small shop with less talent and resources beat out a supposedly regional powerhouse? It’s competitive attitude with a team spirit knowing that if they don’t pull together they won’t get the work. Happens every day.