I used to have a quote on the wall of my office. It said something about copywriting being the hardest job in advertising because everyone thinks they can be a copywriter. Lots of people think they have great ideas for commercials. Lots of people think they can write better movies too, but few actually try. But the new media has made it easier for people to make and post their own commercials.
Last year, a car company (or was it Doritos?) sponsored a contest where a person could submit and idea and have their commercial shot and aired during the Super Bowl. More recently, an unsolicited ad for the iPhone made it to air. But what prompted me to write this was a contest I saw at my kitchen table.
Heinz has had a bunch of interesting marketing ideas in the past few years. There was the colored ketchup, the bottles with special tips for writing with ketchup, and even a contest where people could write funny saying for the labels. The other day, I was staring at the ketchup bottle on the table. The label announced a "Top This" contest, where anyone with a camera could submit a Heinz commercial and possibly win $57,000. That was the last straw.
What is it about advertising that makes it the most meddled-with career choice? I don't see anyone being an amateur checkout clerk or brain surgeon. Until now. So while I'll continue to write commercials because this is my job, I will also start pulling teeth because I think I can do a better job. I may also start selling real estate. Look out bus drivers, I feel like doing your job. And judging by the wacky weather over the past few months, I think I'll be a meteorologist. Anyone can do it, right?
Better yet, let's all do this: you do your job and I'll do mine. Believe me, my job isn't so glamorous anyway.