I'll admit, I haven't been as diligent about writing my blog as I should be. After all, blogs increase SEO and site traffic. But in my defense, it's been busy. My boss, mentor and teacher had her first baby in November, so I've been holding down the proverbial fort at AKQURACY, all while trying to maintain a certain level of fun and happiness in the workplace. Excuses aside, I should be writing more, especially since I enjoy it so much.
When the holidays were about a month away, I started brainstorming gift ideas for the important people in my life. Of course, the usual suspects made the list like gift cards and spa things, but each person's list was incredibly different, and hopefully filled with things (both tangible and not) that will excite the recipient. Which led me to thinking about why advertising professionals should make awesome gift givers. Let's take a look at the general break up of the industry:
Creatives & Strategists As a creative, I can relate to this best. The very basic reason we should rock the holidays' socks off is because we can conceptualize and execute our ideas really well. As a writer, I can write nice things for people. A designer can make super-cool pieces of art (see below). And both of us have an eye and ear for it. We're always looking for the unique thing that is new, different and attention-getting. After all, that's what we do, isn't it? Plus, I listen and remember. For instance, my boyfriend mentioned an appliance he'd like to own. While he wasn't meaning I should get it for him, I still stored it in the back of my mind for holiday shopping. I also know my parents incredibly well. Instead of forcing an unwanted, unnecessary tangible gift on them, I will be giving them donations to their favorite causes. Just like advertising, I don't want to force-feed them something in which they've already expressed disinterest.
We're also totally into the details and concept of the thing. Once we find the perfect gift, we have to package it in a way that expresses ourselves and the person who'll be receiving it. We make baskets that follow a theme, or wrapping paper that works together and tags with cute designs. We like the one-of-a-kind look and feel of our gifts and extend the nature of our craft into gift giving.
Account & Management Account is all about giving the person exactly what they need, with the persuasion that the need is a want as well. I think that right there is enough. Account people should be excellent gift givers.
Project managers have to get everything done on time and are deadline-oriented. I don't know of a more set-in-stone deadline than Christmas. A part of me really likes this aspect of giving as well. One gift I'm in the middle of assembling takes several parts, some of which had to be shipped from Seattle. It's not a last-minute thing, and I had to plan ahead of time when I needed to procure assets. Err...parts to the gift. See? Gifting is like its own project. I wouldn't be surprised if the most organized and hardcore of us create Gant charts to map out timing and schedules. So while PMs might not want to come up with the most creative ideas (I don't know their thinking since I am NOT a PM), they can get that stuff done and on its way. Will the gift have to be shipped to its recipient? Plan time in accordingly. How much will I be spending on my gifts and where can I save money so I can get something nicer or more valuable elsewhere? Make a budget tracking sheet. My PMs do this every day, so it only seems natural that they'd bring this kind of organization to the gifting table.
If we were all a team, working on gift-giving, we'd be phenomenal--in theory. But I'm sure the holidays can be just as frustrating for ad people as it is for the rest of the citizens of first-world countries. As it is, I love this time of year and while I still have some last things to purchase or make, I'm pretty much good to go--or good to gift in this case.
Happy Holidays and have a wonderful, New Year celebration. Plan your rides home accordingly, I want everyone making it safely into 2012.