So, what is working at Campaign’s Digital Agency of the Year really like?
Well, less than three months into my job, I flew out to Jeju, a province of South Korea, for an eight-day sustainability conference. I shared a bed with the social media strategist, took part in roundtable discussions with global leaders, philosophers and farmers from Colombia, attended 12am catch-up meetings and hosted 3am Google Hangouts. It was brilliant.
I’ve had to cancel nights out with friends – haven’t we all? Probably not for an NCT antenatal first-aid class on a Monday evening. Accompanied by Work Club’s strategy partner, Lisa De Bonis (neither of us pregnant), we spent the evening learning how to prepare ourselves for births we weren’t going to have and how to look after our nonexistent babies afterwards. All in the name of advertising.
Last week, I attended a whisky tasting – sorry, "alchemy" session. This immersive session became a little too immersive when we were invited to swill the whisky around our mouths, spit into a glass and then breathe heavily into the face of the person next to us. Not sure if it improved my "nosing" skills, but I’ll never look at our chief executive, Martin Brooks, in the same way again.
Now, I can’t go into too much detail about this, but I’ve spent the past four months at work discussing one subject in great detail: monkeys. I can tell you anything you need to know aboutthe lifestyles, habits and diets of the spider, the golden lion, the howler…
And, finally, my proudest moment. As research for a new client, I dressed up as a dinosaur. I donned a big green foam head and, with a clipboard in my massive furry hand, I asked happy shoppers what they like to do on rainy days. No-one knows what happened to the costume, but rumour has itour chairman, Jon Claydon, wears it around Notting Hill at weekends.
So that’s a typical week. Two of the stories may have been embellished, but they’re certainly not far from the truth. Hopefully, you can’t tell which is which. And if you can, you’ve been working in the industry too long.
As I wrap up this article, I can tell you that my expectations of advertising haven’t really changed. When I started in this industry, I was told it was all sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. And it’s all true, with a few extra monkeys thrown in. But at Work Club, it’s also about collaboration, finding the right answer together and working towards a world of better advertising. And if that means learning how to expand my cervix during labour, then I’ll do it.
We’ve been told to save the date for our summer party this year, and I’m wondering if my naked bodysuit from last year’s will make an appearance. All I can say is: if you’re thinking about joining the ranks of account management, expect the unexpected.
Nicola Lentin is an account manager at Work Club