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Saturday, April 02, 2005

The relevance of stress

Having spent the last couple of weeks working late (and on the weekends) I have had rather unpleasant stress levels. Short timings, insufficient briefings, incomplete teams and a bunch of deliverables. And of course I asked myself the one question: what happens if we (I) fail. But at the end of the day, I calmed myself with the one reassuring thought that every advertising person can and should remember every time things are dire:

We only do advertising.

No one will suffer if we are a day late or if the ads don't perform quite as well as they should. What is lost if an ad comes out the day after the product launch? No customer will really notice, only the experts. And if the product is supposed to be sold for more than two days, then one day shouldn't make a difference. It would only make a difference in terms of perfectionism. And for our clients, as they might face a dent in their reputation within their company. This is, for any service oriented agency, a desaster, because the client wasn't served right, and the agency will also loose reputation.
But honestly. Did anyone suffer or die of the consequences? I haven't even heard yet of anyone loosing his job because a campaign was done right. I have heard of people being sacked, because that continuously happens, yes. But not because of only one wrong campaign.

A doctor I heard of, does very "routine" jobs on rather critical parts of the human body and knows how long it takes him: heart surgery: 4h, lung transplantation: 8h. And sometimes he does several of both a day - yes, working up to 16h-20h operating.

This I call relevant stress!

If something goes wrong there, the stakes are high. It's not only about deadlines and reputation (it's not even about money). It's about life and death.

So enjoy the harmless playground of advertising while you can and be happy that you don't have a job, where things really matter...

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