Blogs & Comment

The daily grind buys daily bread

Ramsey Naja is chief creative officer at JWT MEA

“One of the weird things about our industry is that we often find ourselves performing two jobs. On the one hand, there is the quest for recognition, glory, notoriety and endless plaudits, be it amongst the public at large or in the narrow confines of award shows and, on the other, there is the day-to-day.

Ah, the day-to-day – the day-job as it is called, with the inevitable invitation to stick to it, laced with a whiff of eau de Incompetence. It is the grind, the nitty-gritty, the churn and all the slightly derogatory terms with which we describe, erm, what we do. Because, sadly, it is what we do or, at least the majority of it.

It is an uncomfortable fact but we seem to spend most of our time talking up, salivating over and sharing big famous cases while performing the kind of jobs that somehow never feature in our job interviews or that we never mention to our dear old mums.

The day-to-day, for many of us is just an excuse for doing other stuff unless, of course, you’re in finance. Because, ultimately, day-to-day is the food that keeps our bodies running. It is the bread and butter of an agency, regardless of the fact that it is fuelled by an endless stream of leaflets and assorted printed materials that are more likely to upset environmentalists than change anything in terms of business performance. Indeed, it is this last point that makes day-to-day work the great misunderstood.

Day-to-day work is, in many ways, the kind of missed opportunity that makes missed opportunities ashamed of themselves. We are in an industry that celebrates notoriety but our main body of work seems to be cloaked in camouflage gear. We talk big work and walk small fry, when it is the latter that pays for most of our bills.

And this begs the question: what if the kind of talent that we deploy on less than a handful of cases in the course of a year, was fully applied to the stuff that we churn day in day out?
I tell you what: we would become either too expensive or properly remunerated, that’s what.”