Ad World 365: There Are No Rules

May 24, 2017 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai

Everything has a beginning. 

Before you laugh out loud at such a bold declaration of the obvious, think about what the process of beginning is like. 

There's an initial idea or action and then some consequential reactions. Ideally, there would be some growth in there. To achieve that, we should be observing at every step of the journey.

The problem is, we don't. Most people (and even most things) tend to be reflective, instead of aware at every step. 

Joe Hollis is doing the latter with his Ad World 365 thread. As he navigates the beginnings of his career in the advertising world, he shares something he learned that day. So every other week, follow along with us as we compile his best insights. 

Who knows? You might just learn something. 

Lesson One: there are no rules. 

Literally, none. It doesn't matter what side of marketing or advertising you work on, there's hardly ever going to be a day where things are outlined for you and you've got a bunch of point of references you can copy from. 

The good news is, you can prepare to be unprepared*. 

Just like the dress codes at most agencies, there are few constraints* other than of course budgets and the like. But even in those cases, there are always ways to get things done properly and effectively. 

In fact, that budget constraint could be just the thing that challenges us to do better, more efficiently, and more creatively. 

When faced with a task and all its obstacles, the only thing you really can do is jump right in*Get into the thick of things in the work and try stuff out. Sometimes an idea doesn't pan out. Go back to the drawing board, ask why* it didn't and start again. Asking questions along the way will do more than humble you, that's for sure. 

Most importantly, remember that your inspiration, answer or lightbulb moment can come from just about anywhere. Sometimes it can be as random as seeing someone with a multicoloured umbrella* on the street. Write down those things that make you wonder. One of them might just be the workaround you need. 

Breaking rules doesn't have to be fully synonymous with rebellion. Instead, it can be seen as the way this industry can produce truly meaningful work that doesn't fall under the lines of "that's just how things are done." Amidst all the marketing and advertising chatter, freshness is something that's sorely needed. 

So forget the rule book. You don't need it. Let go of the guardrails. 

Get out there and "do." Just make sure it's with purpose.

*Pssst. Follow days 1, 6, 15, 17 and 29 on Joe's feed to see where we got these ideas.

Joe Hollis is an Account Coordinator at Ogilvy & Mather. You can follow along with his Ad World musings day-by-day on LinkedIn

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