If you can’t work on the brands you love…

…do you love the brands you work on?

Not everyone’s in a position to work in an agency with big, sexy, globally-salivated-after brands. Nike and the like. The ones that you’ve loved since before you wanted to work in advertising. The ones that made you want to work in advertising.

But whether they’re glamorous or not, an awful lot of planners and creatives seem to really love the brands they work on. Even if they were indifferent to them before. Even if the rest of the world still is indifferent to them.

Why is that?

It’s probably because we only see the positive stuff. As a creative, my briefs come with “reasons to believe” that don’t mention the downsides of the company, or what the competition’s doing well. It’s all about why they’re brilliant. And planners get really hands-on with the brand. Everyone knows putting your hands on something makes you more likely to buy it. Spending all that time and effort on a product that turned out to be wank would cause some major cognitive dissonance.

Account handlers don’t seem to feel quite the same way about their brands. Maybe because they tend to only work on one, and get so close to the clients (and therefore the business) that they see the more negative bits. Maybe the client says things like “We’re doing this campaign because Competitor X have a way better product and are outselling us by miles” that never reach the creatives.

I’m definitely crazy about my brands. See that? My brands. I feel as involved as if I actually worked for the client. I evangelise to my friends about them and I use their products myself, with a reaction of horror if anyone suggests switching.

That might be overkill. But I can’t help it. When you get inside a brand, learn its tone of voice and start speaking and thinking that way, it’s hard to separate yourself from it. I see campaigns for “my” brands out in the world, including ones that had nothing to do with me or my agency, and I feel part of them. It’s a nice place to be.

But what about you? Do you always end up loving the brands you work on? Or does familiarity breed contempt?

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