I was at the doctor’s office recently when the woman next to me asked what I did for a living. When I told her I worked at an advertising agency, her face lit up. “Does your company have a ping-pong table?” she asked expectantly. I couldn’t help but crack up.
For most people, advertising is all about million-dollar Super Bowl ads, Don Draper sipping whiskey, and of course, a laid-back office culture. Sure, some agencies have ping-pong tables (even if they are exceptionally loud in open office spaces), but great advertising and brand strategy are about so much more.
Ditching the 9-to-5
Spend a week at an agency, and you’ll realize pretty quickly that the hours are anything but typical. Whether you’re working as a designer, copywriter or in account service, our hours revolve around the work we do. A usual week can involve working through lunch to meet a deadline or staying late to finish a new business pitch. Even though the hours might be long, we relish in the journey of crafting exceptional creative. The end goal for us is not just to make sure a client is happy or to win new business, but to push the creative boundaries of our work, which sometimes means having an unusual work schedule.
No One Puts Agencies in the Corner
It is our job to recommend and guide our clients both creatively and strategically, and often that means working within the constructs of an established brand. Part of the fun is pushing the limitations of what a brand can be, like telling the story from a different angle or adding in a new design element. Sometimes taking a chance pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. As ad experts, we thrive on new ideas, and it’s that creative shake-up that energizes us.
The Culture of Work Hard, Have Fun
EPIC’s motto “Work hard. Have fun.” wasn’t pulled from thin air. It represents the blood, sweat and tears we put into every piece of creative we touch as well as the fun we have as collaborators and teammates. Here at EPIC, we cultivate great employee relationships by investing in office culture and perks. Many agencies offer a variety of perks, like free snacks available throughout the office, dog-friendly workspaces, fun and unusual monthly food events, book clubs, happy hours and profit sharing.
Business in the Front, Party in the Back
When I started my career in advertising a few years ago, I was surprised at how laid-back the environment was. Business-casual attire seemed to be only a light suggestion. Cracking open a beer in the afternoon was not uncommon. Then there was the delightful ease at which my former colleagues used colorful language to communicate their ideas. This surprising, yet inviting atmosphere reinforced the passion and inventiveness all ad workers possess. But when it’s time to get down to business, we take it seriously. We throw ourselves into work with a passionate vigor to create high-quality products for our clients. Creative meetings may start out as easygoing brainstorms, but we always leave with thorough notes and tangibles ideas.
As someone who is still relatively new to the advertising world, I’m constantly amazed at the passion, enthusiasm and determination I see on a daily basis at EPIC. We are a family of collaborative creators who love what we do, the brands we represent and the creative adventure it takes us on.