Monday, March 30, 2009

From the front lines

Things have been rather rushed around here lately. For a good idea on what I'm up to you can follow my twitter.

Inspired by the twitter style of updating, here are some bite sized opinions

iPhone launch in Malaysia
Too expensive. Look overseas. Feel ripped.

Actually pretty decent. Lots of time in the studio/post-house.

Good. Sore.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Realistic views

First, some real life stuff.

If you never work for something, it isn't going to come to you
I think a lot of us (myself included) assume that because we want something, it will eventually come to us. Either because someone will randomly give it to us, or we will somehow find the time to get it. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. I've been meaning to learn a foreign language, and for some reason I don't wake up knowing more Japanese every day.

Love is quite bollocks
I may be saying this because I don't have a clear perception of what is. If you do, please contact me so I can belittle you. Storybook romance dictates that every single moment you gaze into the eyes of your lover, you're meant to be overcome by a wave of happiness, horniness, satisfaction and what have you. But I think most of us can count on one hand how often this happens in a relationship. Maybe more than one hand (and feet) in the first month, but how quickly does this fizzle-pop into something more complacent. Not that I'm complaining, but COME ON you promised me more.

And now some advertising related stuff.

Scams and the like
Adfest is over, and no surprise the poster section has once again been dominated by Malaysia. I have never understood scams and I hope that I never do*. It is such a bane to the industry and I truly commend BBH for pulling out a full-page press condemning this act. How sad is it that our local industry has welcomed this heinous act with open-arms, comparing creative penis size & girth based on the amount of fake work that has won metal. Even worse, there are many agencies paying good money if you're capable of being a scam-meister. I may not be the most amazing ad-man in the world, but at least I'm not a lying whore. I'm also thankful that the people I've worked with/for share the same notion.

Art directors
I've really come to appreciate having a partner that is as capable with words/selling. Not just that, Amir's a great guy and we've grown to become really good friends before we're colleagues. I really think better work is created when you're having more fun and you have great rapport. I honestly don't know if I'll find a partner I get along with more.

Brings in business blablabla sure, but I could argue the exact opposite just as well. This is open for debate and has been for the last two decades. Scams and Asia are synonymous. I just wish more people would do something about it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

5 facts people don't learn about relationships

Although I still haven't learned em'

1) Hot girls will always have guys hitting on em
In your noobie years, you will assume this to be the girl's fault. "Why is she not turning them away?" you may ask. Well, it's not that easy to tell someone to just FUCK OFF. Eventually it just gets tiring to turn down everything with a penis and they put up with the annoyance. Yessir, you're annoying.

2)Hot guys will eventually cheat on you
A man that knows he can get laid is a dangerous thing. The more success he gets, the more ravenous he becomes. Even in relationships, this one gets bored eventually, and moves on to the next sweet thing as if it were nothing in the world. And trust me darling, he will do it.

3)Boys want tits and ass, girls want the ching ching
If you're ugly, I'm sorry. If you're broke, don't be mad when she steps into that guys BMW.

4) I love you (sometimes)
Good old refrigerator lights only come on when you open the door. Much like your relationship that you think feels fantastic all the time. But honestly, how many times can you remember thinking to yourself, "Oh my Lord, I love this person so0o0o0o much". Because if you don't do it constantly, I'm calling bluff.

5)It won't last
We're biologically engineered to spread our seed and populate the world with our personal DNA. If you're not planning on having kids, good luck. If you do have kids, it'll be a great few years followed by 2 decades of prepping your spawn for world domination.*

On a last note, I envy those who are oblivious. Much like religion, it seems that these people are unfairly happy.

So if you think I'm snarky fucker that can't know love, be assured that I'm jealous of your capability to believe in something non-existent.


*I kinda like kids. But despite thousands of years of evolution why do our genes tell us this is the best way to get ahead?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Should not be a life-long binding contract that allows the other party to lay claim to half your shit if things don't "work out".

Why do people need to get married anyway?Because it's romantic? Because you've always had that little fantasy of walking down the aisle hoping everyone in the room wishes they were you?

The notion of marriage to me, at this point, is ridiculous. This archaic contract that's forced upon us time and time again because of archaic organisations called religion.

I feel the only time one should sign anything resembling a contract is when there are children involved, and even then things should be absolved once the kid is capable of mature thought and doesn't require a family unit to ensure stable growth .

Should you DESIRE the decadent ceremony of matrimony for exhibition's sake and tax breaks, the license should only last 5 years. If a renewal is wanted, then so be it. If there's any doubt, then don't get a new one.

I suppose I am an advocate of free love. Or perhaps womankind has proven to me time and time again their instability due to hormonal imbalances forces heavy consideration when something long-term is brought to thought*.

However, I'm not a defiler of romance. I love unecessary acts of love that lead to steamy bedroom activity.

I just don't believe in unecessary pieces of paper. Love is love baby, and I don't need anything to prove it but me and you.

I'm just saying.

*I still love all of y'all, but really, you're batshit crazy sometimes

Thursday, March 12, 2009

5 ways to get more reading time

I miss reading. If you're a bookworm, and work a fulltime job, you just might too.
I hope this helps.

1. Read in the toilet

2. Carry your books with you
In your bag/man-bag*. Pull it out whenever you have some time. Or if the person talking to you is a complete moron. (If I do this, be certain that you are a complete moron)

3. Get a kindle!

If you're often interrupted or lose bookmarks, the kindle is perfect for you. Also it's lighter than lugging 3-4 books around. One dedicated device and you don't have to loan shit out with the fear that you'll never get them back (HINT HINT HINT YOU FUCKERS)

4. Start reading graphic novels
There's always been a misconception that comics are for kids. That's changing a bit nowadays with the mass influx of comic-cinema adapatations. However there are a few titles that any adult can enjoy. They're easier to read, and the artwork is often mesmerising.

I recommend:

-The Sandman
-Ex Machina

5. Less TV more books
It's a trade-off I'm willing to make. Or combine the two and read between commercials.

*Or laptop bag, whatever, you metro hating homophobe.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The unfamiliar weekend and being happy in general

The weekend

It's been awhile since I've had a full weekend to myself. The month of February was rather lacking in the "time off" segment.

Friday was:


-Chivas party w/colleagues

-TAG w/usuals

On Saturday night I wondered out loud to myself, "What does one do on the weekend?"

I then rediscovered the joy of watching a movie in bed without falling asleep 10 minutes into the show. It's quite nice, isn't it?

Sunday was spent taking Mr.Zac man-shopping before going to a Sunday TAG.

Being happy in these times

I've received even more news of people getting laid off. I think a lot of us fear this possibility even more now. Despite this adversity, I think many of us will eventually discover opportunities to be happier.

Recently, it has become more apparent to me how many of us work in careers that have been determined for us by fates we have not even considered. There is far too much emphasis on education and far too little on guidance.

I doubt I will ever be able to comprehend the desire to cram a child's head full of knowledge, most of which he will never be able to use. I understand the importance of general information such as history, math and your basic sciences but what effort is being made in guiding a child into the career of his choice.

This is something your child will have to dedicate his entire life to. And I really do mean his entire life. Imagine graduating at 23, spending maybe 3 years at your job. Then you realise you don't like what you do. But wait, you're 26 now. You can't afford to jump ship. Besides, your parents paid ALL THIS MONEY for your education. Do you even have the necessary skills available for the career that you really want to do? So what now? I guess you stay and work at something that you despise. Until you retire 30+ years from now.

Yes, that's how long you'll be doing it.

So how fair is it to ask someone who's been capable of mature thought for maybe 2 years, "So what would you like to dedicate your being to?"

And then.

Ask yourself, are you really happy at your job?

And if so, is it because of what you do, or is it the money?

So to those who have been let go, stop, and reconsider.

To those who haven't been, also stop, and maybe reconsider.

Maybe what you want to do won't pay as much as that white-collar-corporate-company-that-is-currently-sinking-into-the-depths-of-financial-disaster-does.

I'll tell you what though, I wake up everyday and I go to work. And I'm happy.

If this happens to you, then I'm happy for you too.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

5 tips on becoming a copywriter

It's a lot easier to preach than practice, but here are some essentials

1)Keep it brief

Write hot, cut cold

2)Don't use big words
Unless necessary. You're meant to communicate, not condescend.

Start a blog or something similar. Write articles for magazines. Writing is a muscle you can train.

4)Start a portfolio if you haven't already
This is an industry that doesn't care if you have a Harvard degree. If the other guy has a better book, he's in.

5)Keep working at it
It's a hard industry to break into.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ruud installs twitter

You'll find it over at the top left.

This is the ez-fix bloggers solution. For when people have no time or could not be arsed.

I also find it very hard to write about all the little things that make an agency the living breathing organism that it is.

Mainly because all the stories are self-contained and happen in short bursts.

So there you go. I'm on twitter.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

5 facts about Ruud and Copywriting

1) I hate writing property ads. 

There are only so many ways you can describe a fucking apartment. I will eventually write copy that reads as such:

Nice and tall.

Look at the pictures, that's all you care about anyway. BTW 3 bed 2 bath.

The expensive ones are alright to play with because the fucking architect has to justify why the helipad is phallus-shaped. These buildings cost billions of dollars and we have to find a creative way to tell people they should invest in it.  So you will eventually own something that only 0.1% of people alive today can afford should you want to resell.

2) I secretly like working late

Raised Catholic, I had to endure the rigours that everyone with religious parents must go through. Missing out on a fuckload of Sunday morning cartoons. Sigh. 

Even though I've cast away most belief that comes with organised religion, one thing remains.


Hence why I often feel like I don't work hard enough. But working past midnight every other day makes up for this. It's almost cathartic going home after a long day. Even if it's only so I can bitch and whine about it to a certain few.

3) I don't believe in scams

I think work suffers so much from scamming. I've been fortunate enough to work at two different agencies under bosses that would rather focus on real work. Unfortunately, the sad truth is people that bring in metal get that big fat paycheck and BMW. I just keep reminding myself why I got into the industry in the first place: I love the work. 

We probably won't win as much but it's a better life than thinking about fake posters and outdoor.

4) Several of my friends whom I've known for years before entering the workforce also work in advertisng

Birds of a feather flock together? We're spread across several agencies now but it's not something that any of us thought we'd do. I guess when you discover the deep dark pleasures of the ad world, it's hard to turn away. Some of them have even jumped ship from other industries. 

The most romantic of stories: My rasta cowboy buddy Nik Nadzru. 

Investment banker turned copywriter before anyone even know about an economic meltdown. Is that fucking rad or what? If you didn't know by now, the creative industry has been the next big thing for the last 5 years or so. 

We just didn't tell you. 

So you wouldn't join the industry.

If we did, I'd get paid less.

Yes, go be an engineer or something.

I heard lawyers get good money.


5) It is my fucking goal right now to work "TO THE MAX" into some sort of campaign

I realise this catchphrase of the late 80's and early 90's has all but disappeared. But that's the beauty of it. All you mafakkers that try your best ain't good enough, because you ain't doing it TO THE MAX.

Time to pitch for the Pepsi Max account.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Copywriters using macs

When I told people I was getting a macbook there were only two responses:

1)You fucker.
2)Why would you do that? You're a writer, not an art director.

My response:


2)I don't know why there is this stigma that macs are better for design and photo editing, so if you're a writer you apparently can't use them. This is even more evident in advertising because of the art based person being partnered with the writer. As far as I know, your regular computers are just as capable as a mac when it comes to image editing/design. I think a contributing factor to this stupid belief is the way designers/artists are trained in university.

They throw em' on macs.

 What a way to get an institution going. 

I actually think the new macbook is great for copywriters. It does everything I need to do, and it's good at doing so. Everything from the multitouch gestures to the intelligent light sensor is great. 

In fact if I was an art director, I'd probably be using a PC simply because it has more processing power and its easier to upgrade. 

So there. Don't be a hater. I use both a mac AND a PC. 

Macs for work, PCs for computer games etc.