More than one in three people in advertising (37%) has low morale, and 60% say their morale is lower now than a year ago, according to Jeff Goodby of Goodby Silverstein and Partners. Seven in ten are actively seeking new jobs.
"We forget that we need to make things people want to hear," said Goodby, speaking Tuesday at the 4As Transformation Conference in Miami. "This is why people are leaving for Google, Facebook and Apple."
Still, there is reason to hope that the industry can once again thrive, he says. "Like vandalism, good advertising is loud, fun and still there the next day."
He outlined steps for the industry that people to take in order to increase their productivity and creativity.
First, take a different route to work every day. Second, draw or write with the wrong hand. Third, write things down. "David Ogilvy once asked me how many hours I write per day," says Goodby. "I was going to impress him and say 10 [hours] and he said you should only write for two hours and the rest of the day should be spent collecting things to write about."
Also, study jokes. "If you are working on a vacuum cleaner account, look up vacuum jokes. It helps to teach you unexpected things." And always be in a constant state of readiness. "Go forward get stuff done. We are all going to get fired in the end, either by people or by time."
Always look at things through the eyes of the client and try to see their problems, he says.
It is also important to have fun. And one of the most effective tactics to "promote vandalism" and have fun is to do things in-house. "It gives you a lot of freedom and tools to do things," he says, adding that his agency makes its own music and shoots its own film. "We have an in-house group called beta that recently made a spring loader burrito feeding machine" that served as a contraption to let people eat while still working with their hands.