Image Courtesy of Alexandre Farto/Fubiz

This post was first featured on Jack Myers’ MediaBizBloggers site.

When I started in this business, my friends thought I joined the crazy club. See, I have a law degree and none of my friends at that time worked in advertising and media. They believed advertising was all about creative types roller-skating down hallways, wearing over-designed frames, month-long shoots in exotic places, long nights in the advertising type bar and endless weekends spent on coming up with silly ideas.

Let me in on a secret: It was even better. Much better.

Sure, we worked long hours. Often months without a day off. I considered myself lucky to be home by 3am. Sometimes I was unlucky and was already home at midnight. It makes me feel really old when I describe those times to people that are in their 20’s.

They never experienced those times. They never experienced advertising as an art form. They consider it a business. Timesheets, performance reviews, forced company fun and all.

I’m glad our industry transformed into a business. Some of the ideas we recommended in the past were silly. Or made no sales impact. I’m happy that we measure sales impact, ROI and all the other good stuff that communicates to people what we do has value.

But, we have gone too far. We’re too serious. We’re too focused on data and metrics. We want to out-business our business partners. And, on the way, we lost some of the pixie dust that made our business so magical. Threatening the whole industry to become a commodity.

Good advertising is based on good ideas. Good ideas are rare. They are like plants that only flourish under very specific conditions. It takes very special people to take the small seed of an idea, dream big and imagine what an impact that idea could have. And, most importantly, instill that small seed of passion into their team, their executives and clients.

Sure, good ideas come from insights. They come from understanding business. But they also come from tapping into our inner child. Our silliness. Playfulness. Creativity.

No need to dust off the roller skates, relive the past and revel in nostalgia. But maybe, just maybe we should visit the crazy club more often. And just have plain fun.