Strange and Stupid Things That Agency People Do

Agency people are normal … mostly.

They start their careers in marketing or advertising fresh-faced and eager. Sure, sometimes they quote Jeff Goodby at Thanksgiving, but otherwise they’re tolerable, average, all-around good people, who just want to make campaigns like the greats.

And then something strange happens. Slowly, day by day, they begin to change.

Their pant legs get shorter. Their beards grow longer. Their sock collections become more eclectic. They shun office chairs for medicine balls, where they sit judging the GMO content of your spirulina acai power bowl, and remind everyone at parties that they know how Google really works.

One day, they wake up to realize that they are no longer mere marketers. They are initiates in the cult of #agencylife.

And that’s just scratching the surface. Here’s a long list (and it’s hardly exhaustive) of the weird things that agency people do.


1. Point at work on walls

2. Start wearing sport jackets when we hit our thirties and pair them with fun socks

3. But also consider hoodies and sweatpants appropriate office attire

4. Get really upset about poor kerning 

(Image source)

5. Think in #hashtags

6. Think in Keynote presentations

7. Learn to hate PowerPoint and try to get clients to convert to Keynote

8. Grow lumberjack beards

9. See one-pixel mistakes that cannot be unseen

10. Think using a bike desk is exercise 

11. Develop a love/hate relationship with iStock that we just can’t end

12. Say things like “We become what we measure”

13. Know that we can’t truly measure most things

14. Drink excessively on Tuesdays at industry events — it’s okay, it’s “networking”

15. Fall asleep at night thinking about Snapchat campaigns

16. Put on a shitload of award ceremonies to give ourselves a shitload of awards

17. Get very upset at bad campaigns, even though we had nothing to do with them

18. 5% will try to raise chickens to have soy-free, non-GMO eggs

19. 25% of us will talk about raising chickens, but never will because we live in apartments. But mostly because we don’t know how to do that kind of stuff

20. Think of friends and family as living user personas

21. Get really excited about new MarTech products

22. Think it’s a god-given right to have puppies, beer, LaCroix and ping-pong at the office

23. And then think it’s unique to have puppies, beer, LaCroix and ping-pong at the office

24. Use words like "omnichannel," "micro moments," "digital ecosystem," and "force rank" in everyday conversation

25. Drink Soylent

26. Have passionate Oxford-comma arguments

27. Think LinkedIn memes are almost funny, but also make you throw up in your mouth a little

28. Get pissed off when the bean bags are already occupied

29. Complain at Super Bowl parties about how these ads ever got approved

30. Only drink local IPAs 

31. Develop an unhealthy affection for whiteboards

32. Use instant messaging to have a conversation with the person sitting six feet away … solely using reaction GIFs … about work

33. Refuse to eat anything unless it pairs with hummus and/or avocado

34. “I’ll make a dashboard for that”

35. Become vegan and never shut up about it 

36. Have a running commentary about ads on TV with family, despite that they really don’t care — at all

37. Become obnoxious coffee snobs

38. Share industry news and campaigns (that no one else cares about) on our personal social media accounts

39. “Cubicle? What’s that?”

40. Think statements like, “Hey, your dog just took a dump on the rug up front” are normal

41. Use buzzwords like “optimize” for EVERYTHING

42. Speak in acronyms

43. Think it’s perfectly normal to have an entire kitchen drawer filled with chewing gum and two more filled with candy (one chocolate, one non-chocolate)

44. Feel annoyed when people ask if our job is just like “Mad Men”

45. But secretly hope to be a less terrible version of Don Draper

46. Read (and write) marketing listicles

Written by Brian Easter on January 26, 2018

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