There is nothing wrong with the Cult of Creativity that pervades ad agencies. I don’t say this self-servingly either, the fact of the matter is that creativity is each agency’s product and it would be strange if it weren’t celebrated. The Cult of Creativity is nice because, especially for the creatives stuck working late trying, again and again, to re-write a headline about XXXX, the adulation at the end of the tunnel (and, if it’s a good shop, the adulation in the tunnel…yes, sex jokes are hacky) makes it worth it.
Egos are a big driver of hard workers.
All that said, sometimes it all goes a little too far.
Like at Official Most-Favored Agency of the Daily Biz, Y&R, where the obsequiousness toward and belief in the amazingness of their ECDs has reached messianic proportions. Seriously. Barack Obama would be jealous of such fervent and unquestioning support.
There is a very nice young woman in the employ of Y&R New York who lived in my old apartment building (I moved and therefore feel like I can start to talk more about my life in ‘the city.’). I met her one day in the stairwell of the classic New York five-floor walkup as she despairingly considered her bags of groceries and the unhappy thought of walking up the stairs with them. I helped her out. I’m that kind of guy.
She and I grab a drink every so often and one time I even joined her at a Y&R happy hour (I justified it by calling it research and considering that there was at least the off chance that I could take home a drunk ad chick)…and it was at said happy hour that I realized that she was not the only one who regarded each and every ECD (that title is like VP at a bank, just thrown around at old-line agencies like Y&R) at the agency to be brimming with brilliance and cloaked in creativity.
It got so bad that I considered taking a vial of water, labeling it “water used in XXXX’s shower” and selling it on eBay.
It would be marginally sacreligious because of the obvious parallels with actual holy water, but these Y&R people pretty much consider that shit divine so why not? I might even make some money off of it.