The food chain.

For all your desire to “just do the work,” realize that you’re actually managing your career, too.  Advertising is a temporal business.  It relentlessly looks to new people and ideas to feed it.   And you, whether you realize it or not, are moving forward in that stream.   You will not be that new person one day.

It’s pretty common knowledge that most people, in life as well as advertising, have a horizon of about 18 months.  Defy the norm.  Look out further.  Set your sights on eventually moving into the ranks of people who can manage other creative people.  At least give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you might be able to do that.  A lot of people can make great ads.  A few can manage other people making great ads.


David Fowler created long-running advertising campaigns for Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for you"), BP ("Beyond Petroleum"), Fanta ("Wanta Fanta"), Claritin ("Claritin Clear") and many others. His forty-year creative career included twenty years at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, as well as stints at Goodby, Silverstein in San Francisco, Ammirati & Puris in New York and The Richards Group in Dallas.