Life in advertising is a love affair with it. Except, there are more emotions at play here than in an actual love affair.
This love affair often took us places.
The office terrace. The staircase. The bench right below the office building. The next-door coffee shop. The bar next to the coffee shop. The CEO’s corner office late at night when the CEO was, well, wherever.
These were the usual hideouts teams escaped to for a huddle (I don’t like the word brainstorm). Where people bitched, argued, swore at each other, discussed Korean and Bhojpuri cinema, spoke about everything under the sun but the brief; yet we somehow came back with a bright idea and a brighter smile.
How times have changed.
A huddle over Zoom is simply not the same. We are yet to master the art of feeling the pulse of the group over a video chat. We still haven’t invented a video call feature that captures an excited sparkle in someone’s eyes when she just thought of something really awesome, or something hilariously stupid. We are still not very comfortable cracking a silly joke in the middle of a serious video enabled online whatever.
If this is the new normal, the chemistry could wane over time. This is no good for passionate and spontaneous folks in the business of ideas.
Also, there are dishes to be done, and rooms to be mopped.
So will this enforced long-distance relationship lose its rush and magic?
That would be tragic. But I suspect it won’t happen.
We simply need to master the trick of huddling with the self.
Let’s start talking to ourselves more frequently. Let’s wear multiple hats – that of the Devil, the advocate, the fence sitter, the client’s wife, the wet behind the ear intern, the joker and what have you. Let’s create our own bouncing boards. And Guillotines.
If we all tell ourselves that the client’s brief is my problem and mine alone, and we all have a bunch of answers, the zoom calls will start getting much more meaningful and enriching.
We are anyway in this only for the love of it. What is love if it isn’t rich and meaningful?
Brothers and sisters, it is Atmanirbhar time.
(The author is creative head, Thinkstr.)