Here at STAPLEGUN, we’ve got a pretty slick crew. From artists and writers to developers, producers, managers and administrators, our team has a diverse skill set and set of interests. This allows us to do some cool stuff in-house, but we’re more than a well-equipped agency: We’re a collection of unique individuals functioning in a workplace that not only breeds creativity, but also requires it.
The closest thing I could compare it to is a newsroom, a place I first became familiar with while working on a journalism degree in college. It’s loud. It can get hectic. But when everything is clicking, it can be a whole hell of a lot of fun. Both newsrooms and ad agencies operate on tight deadlines, and with that comes an almost constant stress – stress with an ebb and flow that fluctuates from gentle pressure to “oh shit, sound the alarm” levels.
But that’s part of the appeal, I think. Great work happens when creative people who care about what they’re making are pushed. And forgive me for deploying the battle-buddy analogy, but there really is a bond formed between people who share that type of work environment. Either you buy in or you fall out, and that demand for collaboration and cooperation creates a closeness I’m not sure exists between co-workers in other industries.
Not to say STAPLEGUN is exactly like a newsroom. Our office is a bit flashier, a bit more disorganized, a bit rougher around the edges – all in a good way. Everyone’s asked to contribute, regardless of the stage of the project or the title on your business card, and we try to approach a job from every angle, even if it makes us uncomfortable – sometimes especially if it makes us uncomfortable.
It’s fascinating to watch an idea grow from sketches on the back of a piece of paper to a 30-second prime-time spot or a billboard you drive by on your way to work. But like working for a newspaper, that feeling of accomplishment can be short-lived. There’s always another day, another client, another project. You have to have, as they say in the sports journalism world, a “short memory.” If you make a mistake, forget about it. It sucks, but the best thing you can do is learn from it and move on. Killed a presentation or delivered some killer content to a client? Great. That’s why you’re here. Get ready for the next one. Some might find that constant demand for new creative exhausting or overwhelming, but there’s something refreshing about being able to start over nearly every day.
Of course, it’s not a business without its frustrations. If you’ve ever watched an episode of “Mad Men,” you probably have a pretty good idea of some of them – unreasonable client expectations, warring egos, long hours, stressful deadlines, the struggle to reconcile the real you with the false identity you’ve created for yourself (OK, maybe not so much that last one). But here at STAPLEGUN, advertising isn’t just a job. It’s what allows us to put what we love and what we’re good at into practice – and make a living doing it.