Sep 2017 15

As always, I’m full of excuses, and low on my own writing.

But since it’s the advertising world that has me occupied these days, here’s a piece of actual advertising from ‘Dissolve’, a stock photos/footage library. Historically, stock footage libraries for use in advertising have been cliche and depict lives that seem a little too perfect or too banal. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at a stock shot and thought ‘yup, perfectly natural’.

Love the insight of this piece. Totes.

CREDITS (as far as I can dig up so far):

Agency: And/Or
Script: Kendra Eash

Sep 2017 09

 

Sometimes a commercial comes along and I just go ‘Yes. But how the heck did they get the client to do this?’.

So creepy. But it certainly taps into a truth about the product. Ice cream does make us all feel better. Even when we’re faced with A.I. dystopia, and our own mortality. And, well, nevermind.

 

DIRECTOR: Mike Dahlquist

CLIENT: Halo Top

Aug 2017 07

Some thoughts that have been brewing on gender, equality, SlutWalk, and my own shortcomings as I reflect on a recent cycle of my own thinking and behaviour that is hopefully coming to an end. (image: Pixabay, royalty-free)

“It’s too bad you can’t wear a tank top to work, Andrew, huh? Or a onesie.”

“What?”

“Cause it’s been so hot out. Women can wear a tank top to the office but you can’t.”

I don’t know where the rage I felt came from, but I was about to let it fly.

—–

I’ve always thought of myself as a feminist. I had a very strong mother who didn’t take guff from anyone despite her 5 feet tall (in heels) status. And as a small, visible minority man in advertising I wondered if I had more in common with women in the business in how I have been treated or dismissed.

This was an absurd myopic view of the world. But how did it take a tank top discussion for me to see? I’ve started to wonder, despite the above about my background, if I have actually been part of the problem.

Last week while out with some ad friends, I was asked why I quit being a full-time advertising employee almost 10 years ago. I waded into these waters with great passion and gallantly talked about how one of the reasons was I thought I had reached my own ceiling in terms of title and status because of my height. And I decided I’d rather put my energy into the creative work than fighting the stereotypes. Looking back, these things are true but as I reflect, I was basically saying I was giving up. It was too hard.

Today, thinking about this, that sure doesn’t feel like feminism. There is nothing brave about that.

Feminists don’t give up. They can’t. It is a never-ending battle. My silence helps nothing.

Compounding this was a recent discussion about pronouns and they/them/he/she that has stuck with me. I realized how hard it is for me to switch my language and that means it’s hard for me to switch my thinking.

Am I a dinosaur? How do I unlearn the habits I have learned? This isn’t just a male / female thing. It’s an all of us / everyone respect thing and as long as I think about equality as just strictly a binary thing, well, I am indeed part of the problem.

The above is very shameful to admit.

—-

“What do you mean I can’t wear a tank top? Why not?”

“Cause it’s not professional.”

“That is just ridiculous.”

“Why?”

“You’re saying some clothing should be perceived as more ‘professional’ or appropriate than others?”

WRITER’S NOTE: [I put ‘professional’ in quotes because I may have made air quotes when I said it. Or hope I did.]

“I guess.”

“That is offensive! This is really dangerous thinking.” I was probably using my drink as a prop at this point, swinging it around stupidly to make a point. “I think anyone should be allowed to wear whatever the hell they want in the office or anywhere if they’re comfortable.”

I should say that I love this friend of mine who shall stay nameless but I was stewing about this for awhile. My friends thought I was just in one of my moods, and I guess I didn’t understand where this rage came from. But now it makes sense. I need to keep myself accountable. It is up to everyone to change perceptions by speaking out. Silence will do nothing.

To my seven readers of this blog, this week is SlutWalk Toronto. Next Saturday. We have so much to work on in this world. How we think clothing defines us in any way – whether it’s in business or social or anywhere – is just one of the things we need to rethink. Clothing is not gendered or sexual in anyway. It is our thinking that is. Despite my tirade the other night, I am not innocent of this either. It is very likely I say and do stupid things on a daily basis. I am sorry it took this surprising flip of the situation for me to think about.

I am only starting to be more mindful. It will be a long slow road. I don’t know if I can change or kill the dinosaur, but maybe there is hope.

To true feminists, and those fighting for equality on all levels, I apologize. To call myself one was an insult to the fight you are truly fighting.

 

Jun 2017 07

 

Watching stuff like this, I wish I tapped into more of the ‘half-Japanese-ness’ in me. It’s not often I watch a piece of communication from my industry and just go ‘Wow. Neat.’

It’s over four minutes long, and I present it here without subtitles cause it’s way more intriguing to not know what they’re saying. But it does feature a cute cat.

 

 

May 2017 30

Clearly, I’m looking for something to do.

I took some time off from the ad world. For most of the last six weeks, positionings like ‘Now with actual chocolate in every chocolate chip cookie’, ‘Bank like a rock star!’ or ‘The soda with extra moxie’ haven’t entered into my mind. I realize none of these are viable positioning statements, of course.

Time off is one of the big perks of being a freelancer, I know. But I feel like I never really appreciate it like I should. I always have a big list of things I intend to get done and then at the end of my time off, very little has been crossed off.

‘It’s amazing how you can fill your day with nothing’, is a frequent phrase of the freelancer. And it’s true. Walking the dog. Riding my bike. Playing (still pretty badly) the bass. Lunch with a friend. Doing the shopping and dishes (seriously). A lot of navel-gazing happens when you’re a freelancer. It’s totally selfish.

But this time, I did some hard adult work. Those of you who know me, know that ‘adulting’ is hard. I usually take the first copywriting gig that comes along just to avoid it. We sold my dad’s house. I cleaned out my own basement (to make room for all the stuff I salvaged from aforementioned house). Shredded 4 giant bags-worth of old writing. And took stock of my life as I enter ‘the back 9’. That’s a golf term. No, I am still never taking up golf.

Last week, I was having a beverage with our friends who live next door. They’re both very successful in their chosen fields and certainly aren’t people that dread getting up in the morning to go to their mindless jobs. And they asked me when I knew I wanted to pursue something around writing as a career. ‘I dunno. Maybe high school. I just didn’t know in what capacity’, I said. ‘I just knew writing was something I loved and apparently didn’t suck at.’ And they said something I didn’t expect. They said I was lucky. Lucky that I got to do something I actually liked.

Shit. They’re right.

What a ridiculously fun job as long as I’m not selling cigarettes to children, or anything close to that dastardly.

Anyhow, I’ve had enough of organizing the basement. There are spiders down there.

I’m back for hire if anyone needs my skills and experience.

 

Andrew

FujiTamale@AndrewBradley.ca

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