Monday, May 30, 2011

Presenting... Macho Man Randy Savage

"Now how in the world is she going to connect a pro-wrestler's passing to freelancing or advertising?", you wonder with a cocked brow. 

It will be tough.  But I will try.

Macho Man Randy Savage is the epitome of my childhood.  He's the glue that kept me and my brothers tight.  Watching WWF was our life.  We knew it was all fake (yes, we did!), but the choreography was majestic.  The way they created stories behind the character of each pro-wrestler was even more amazing.  It was theater.  It was a client presentation.

Hah!  Told you I'd find a way!

Of all the pro-wrestlers, Macho Man was the character that had the utmost flair of an impressive presentation.  Loud clothes, loud control issues,  even louder "Oh yeeeahh!" byline.  Selling yourself and your concept with the balls of an artist.
Speaking of artistry, Macho Man had depth, too.  A mystery.  What were the egomaniacal thoughts behind those shades?  Some call it crazy.  Some call it genius.  In advertising, we call that a teaser for even more brilliance to come.
And boy, did Macho Man have the moves!  So you know the flamboyance wasn't all for show.  The signature Top Rope Elbow Drop floors even the All-American good boy, Hulk Hogan.  But as you would have it, Hulk Hogan's 1-2-3 Arm Shake always managed to make Mr. Wrestling Favorite win, because it was in the script.  Always.  Classic big agency clout versus small agency hunger or solo freelancer starvation.  Never mind if Macho Man had more muscle.
His obsession for Miss Elizabeth (his manager and main squeeze in the WWF series) also showed ferocity in claiming authorship and defending one's material --in an advertising person's case, 'til it's produced properly.

It's all about passion and Macho Man Randy Savage had that.  Us advertising people have that.  So even as we leave the industry, we will be remembered for our flair, our skills in the field, our bylines. 
Just like Macho Man.

So there. :P

Friday, May 27, 2011

Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?

I sincerely hope so.

Because I want you to feel nervous when I speak my mind.  A great mentor once said that the best ideas are the ones that make you feel uncomfortable.  The kind that makes you grimace at the onslaught of a power wedgie.  This discomfort can only lead to an unforgettable experience.  And THAT'S how I want my ideas to be remembered.

Ok, since I don't want to post a picture of a wedgie nor draw one, here's the closest wonderfully unnerving metaphor that comes to mind.  Steven Tyler's autobiography book, Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?

Admittedly, Steven Tyler has been bothering me for quite a long time, and in a good way.  Back in his Aerosmith days, I would get all Beatle-fan teary-eyed when I hear Dream On.  That growl, that scream --Nirvana, Offspring, and Linkin Park have little to offer compared to Steven Tyler's legendary vocal range and sexiness.  Yes, I said sexiness.  You think I have sick taste now?  Wait, I'm not done.
Young'uns know Mr. Tyler as that seemingly spaced-out, Earth-to-Steven judge in this year's American Idol franchise.  Alright, I give you that.  His brain has floated in more drugs and booze than your entire lineage can hope to muster.

But did you know that this very same brain is a master writer?  No, not just a song writer.  A book author.  Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?'s intro alone demonstrated Mr. Tyler's  talent for wordsmithing, build-upping, and pregnant-pausing.

This excerpt from one of the chapters is my personal favorite.

The book, dubbed a rock and roll memoir, also details Mr. Tyler's life in pretty and disturbing pictures.  From his first exposure to music up to the time he finally got big --and every other would've-been 'unshowable' rock and roll activities in between.

But these pictures wouldn't have jumped to life without the accompaniment of the man's words.

His words are rhythmic.   He rattles off without a filter.   He's unafraid to speak his mind.

You may not be a Steven Tyler fan, but one thing's for sure.  If you want to sell that awesome idea of yours, you say it.  You scream it!  You speak it like your life depended on it.  And don't care if people cringe or if their spines tingle collectively when you do.  Because good ideas are supposed to do that.  Honestly.

So does the noise in your head bother your clients yet?  Sure, open wide and aim for that.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Freelancing, Mythically-speaking

Freelancers can be the most ...dare I say it... MISunderstood creatures in the advertising industry.  Some say freelancers are the ones who 'got away'.  Some say 'Freelancer' is just a fancy word for 'Jobless'.  Tons of notions about our unannounced existence --most bordering on the mythical.

Yes, I went there.  Care to join me in a little mythbusting?

Like dragons, we're loaded.
And that is why we left the work force.  We're as rich as shit now and we don't need a freaking payday.  We have enough funds and pride to say we work ONLY when we want to work.

Like the exposed Nessy, we're washed-up.
Please refer to the slide that says 'Jobless'.  We're running around like headless chickens because no one will take us back.

Like space invaders, we're devious.
We're prime negotiators that would put any hostage-taking situation to shame.  We have our own rules.  Our own paperwork.  We dodge loopholes, and MAKE loopholes to suit us.  Dealing with us is like dealing with the devil.

Like the centaur, we're half-loopy.
Without the guidance of a plantilla, we're the worst people to work with.  We have no organization.  No discipline.  Hiring us would be like riding a train wreck.

Like that mermaid, we're desperate.
Aka, we're cheap.  We'll grab any kind of project and we'll take on door mat status for a buck.  We're pushovers.  We beg for jobs.  We work for food.

And like a pixie, we're just too darn happy.
For some strange reason. people seem to think we spend the rest of our days partying.  Unbound by the 9 to 5, we're enviously carefree. 

Au contraire.  So, so au contraire.

What we have here is a generalization issue.  While we do have our very own time in our hands, we do share the same ups and downs most people do.  We're not forever loaded.  We're not forever in the dumps.  What freelancers are are forever on our toes.  We can't always expect a steady flow of payroll so we work harder for it.  And THEN we party harder after.   

Freelancers.  The only myth I won't debunk here is that, somehow, we are a bit happier. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Take it away, Boracay Rum!

You think greedy, super hero complex-stricken workaholics don't have fun???
Well, excu-uuu-se me!  For your information, we have that magical little thing called 'escapism'.  Oh yeah.  And I bet you don't know where that takes us.
Heck, escapism takes us far and wide.  Minutes after battling it out with a series of inhumanely rushed ad campaign requirements, we lounge on the soft, powdery sands of Boracay.  The clincher:  We don't even have to travel.  So there.

This bodacious brand of escapism can only be powered by Boracay Rum.  Tanduay's flavored fusion that --even as I sit cozily here in the city-- allows me to capture that most awesome Boracay island experience gulp after gulp.  Niiice...
THAT'S where Boracay Rum takes me.  But, where do I take IT?

After a hard day, I take Boracay Rum to any close-to-comfy nook to unwind.  And Voila!  I'm suddenly transported to a crocheted hammock swinging in the salty breeze.

I take it with me when closing a deal with a fully-loaded client.  Hey, presto!  The office morphs into the coolest splish-splash of an instant mini party by the sea.

I take it to celebrate after winning a business pitch and slaying a larger advertising competitor.  Bada-bing-bada-boom!  That's a one-way teleportation ticket to epic beach clubbing where I happen to be the star.

I take it to honor the beauty that is teamwork between art director/husband and writer/wife.  And BAM!  There's my  horizon ...complete with burning sunset, lapping waves, rustling sand, and some Beach Boys soundtrack too soft to hear.

Ah yes.  Authentic Boracay vibe in a bottle, that's Boracay Rum.  The magic is in its Capuccino and Coconut flavors.  Close your eyes, take a sip, and those tastes WILL definitely blow you away.

So where will I take Boracay Rum to next?  Anywhere that calls for a quick escape to Boracay, of course.  Us greedy, super hero complex-stricken workaholics do have fun in style after all.

Boracay Rum.  Kampai to the fly!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Writer's Log

For the past two months, I have written medical reports, letters to the government, affidavits, rockstar contracts, recipe procedures, and obituaries.
Stuff I never thought I'd write.
It was one unfamiliar territory after another AND I never said no.  Not just because I needed the dough, but because I wanted to push myself.  Just to see if this old, stubborn, advertising-bred brain of mine is still capable of absorbing new found knowledge.

Sure, it was a laugh-a-sec at first.  Then eventually, I got my mojo going and it was smooth sailing through each zany journey with my trusty Macbook, Diego.
The biggest hurdle really was shedding creativity.  You can't be too artsy when writing an obit.  Building drama to a big finish doesn't work that well on legal documents, too.  Can you imagine how difficult it was to stop myself from writing a vaginal surgery pun???

When you think about it, freelancing teaches you one crucial trait:  Versatility.
Or to put it plainly and poetically, "You shall never go to war unarmed again!"
At Raketsville, you can't be all diva and say, "Oh I don't write that kind of shit.  Pass it on to this and that department."  You don't do windows, eh?  Hello, research!  Drop that and that's a lead and a whole basket of future opportunities down the drain.  Remember, the world of rakets is a piranha pond.  No, a war zone.  You can't just keep shooting with a .45.  You have to learn how to wield a samurai, too.

So keep an open mind, sport a lot of guts, beef up your arsenal and you'll be fine.
An old Creative Director once told me... A good writer can write anything.  Let's prove her right, shall we?

These weird two months don't happen all the time, and I'm not entirely sure if I want them to.  But yeah, bring it on.  My brain has never had a good massage in years.