My Dream Agency

By Jamie Kakleas


Being back on the job hunt has really made me think about my ideal dream agency. What may be the perfect place for you, may not be the perfect place for him or her. What makes you happy, may not necessarily make me happy. And that’s just it. My ultimate goal in life is to be happy. I don’t know what that means exactly, but I do know that if there’s a smile on my face, then I’m successful.

So what is my dream agency? Well, it’s just that. A place that puts a smile on my face. A place that I enjoy coming to every morning and don’t feel forced or obligated to spend so many hours of my day there. That, to me, is most important. In the advertising business, we spend so many hours and after-hours working. You wouldn’t want to be a miserable mess while doing so, would you? We are lucky to be working in an industry that allows us to have so much fun in the process. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.
So what makes me smile in terms of an agency? I’d say these three things are most important.
1. Inspiration: First and most importantly, to feel inspired when I walk through those front doors. A place where the creativity and passion to do greatness radiate off the walls and give me that inner spark to do something amazing every single day. A place led by creative geniuses themselves, who are so passionate that just being around them stirs up something inside you that you didn’t even know was there. They value hard work, yet also know the importance of fun and time off to rejuvenate and recharge. They know that true creatives never stop thinking, no matter where they are.
2. Agency Culture: This feeds off of number 1. The people are hungry with ambition and share a passion to do work that can change the world. But they aren’t just co-workers. They are friends. They are people you’d go out for a drink with on a Friday night and sing drunken karaoke with while swallowing your inhibitions. They are family, and together, everyone is proud to be a part of something great.
3. Unsafe Work: Combine numbers 1 and 2 and the result will most likely lead to number 3. Different work. I really learned a lot about the type of work I want to be creating after working at my last agency. If it’s been done before, get it away from me. I want fresh, original, scary. In an ideal world, the client would trust you to do what you feel is best for their consumers and for their business. The work is unsafe here. It’s what makes it exciting, memorable, and if you’re lucky– controversial. That’s the type of work I want to do. That’s the type of work I want to point to and say, “I wrote that.” Not some mundane headline on the side of a highway next to a stock image of a kid that stirs up no inner emotion. Anyone can do that. But to create great, inspiring work that makes someone feel something? That takes talent. And that’s my dream.
I’ve realized just how hard it is to find agencies that really push for that creative, unique work. Most just do what the client says. None have the courage to show the clients what they should really be putting out into the world. They play it safe. But safe is just so boring. You might be thinking, what do I know? I’m just a junior with barely any experience in the business. Well, maybe naiveté is a good thing at this point. Maybe it’s a creative advantage not knowing what can’t be done. Why set limits? If I remember correctly growing up, we’ve always been taught that the sky’s the limit. I think fearlessness is just what it takes to make it in this business.

I had such a great opportunity working at my last agency. My creative leaders stood for exactly what I’m writing of. They’ve shown me what’s possible in this business and have now set my new standard. Their agency motto was “safe from safe.” And in a world where everyone is the same, it’s tough to find one who’s different. But I’ll keep looking. My dream agency must be out there somewhere. But until I find it, I’ll be happy with a place that offers even one out of the three.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Instagram

By Jamie Kakleas


It goes a little something like this. Facebook buys Instagram. Poof! There go your rights to all your art. Seriously? Are we entitled to anything anymore?

Here’s what the terms state and what it means for you. Basically, Instagram owns your images. Any other business or entity may pay Instagram for the use of user images, “and may do so without any compensation to you.” Bullshit. Instagram users are in a sense, photographers. Every photographer should own the right to his or her photos. Who does Instagram think they are?

They state the only way to opt out is to delete your account. So be it. On to the next one.

I have a feeling that Instagram will be losing a lot of users very quickly. As an avid user myself, I am very disappointed by these new terms. I love Instagram. I love going about my day and coming across an interesting setting where I think right away, Instagram! It’s become infused into my daily life. But now, I’ll have to think twice about it. These photos are for me. For my friends, and for my family. Why do you feel the need to steal MY images, along with millions of other users, for your benefit?

This all brings me back to this one point I seem to be coming back to a lot lately. Technology. Technology sucks. Sure, technology helps us in a lot of ways, but with it, we also lose a lot of things- mainly our privacy. Everything is digital. Everything is online. Everything can instantly appear right before your eyes with the press of a few buttons. I personally miss the days where photos existed in photo albums in a box under the bed. Where people had to dust off the cover and actually be there to look through the pictures. They existed in one place only. And you controlled who saw them. You owned them.

Now, your pictures are everywhere. A photo that you take in your bedroom can end up on a screen in someone’s office in South Africa. Someone you don’t even know! Everything, and I mean everything, is way too accessible today. I don’t think people realize just how creepy it is that once something enters the digital realm, it’s there forever and you have no control over who sees it. You pretty much don’t even own it anymore.

I mean think about it. You go out on a Friday night with some friends. You have a few drinks, take a few pictures. Immediately, you upload them to your Facebook or Instagram to share with all your friends. But do you ever really stop to think about where that photo can end up? People all the way across the world can see that photo. I’m not talking about your grandmother or uncle in Greece. I’m talking about complete strangers. Complete strangers can gain access to your photo and see what YOU were doing Friday night at a bar in New York City. Is that really necessary? You’re basically sending your photo out into the world and telling ANYBODY, “Here, look at me. Manipulate me.” It’s just not right.

And now Instagram just decides to claim ownership of your work. I, myself, work in the Advertising business. I can see how something like this can greatly benefit the ad industry by creating a huge pool of stock images for content. But even I don’t like it. Business is one thing. But Instagram- our photos of our moms, our dads, our friends, our children, our pets. Those are personal. And Nobody should have to the right to those, but us.

Am I surprised instagram created these new terms? Absolutely not. It was bound to happen. I’m actually surprised they waited this long to make it happen.

But Instagram, I will leave you with this. If you really want to steal my photos of my dog and make him famous, then be my guest. Just keep it classy. He’s an aristocrat.

Thank you.

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