Sunday, February 27, 2011

Portlandia's take on agency life is stranger than fiction

This hilarious video is taken from episode 4 of Portlandia, a new series on IFC. The show is generally about how eccentric the city of Portland, Oregon, is. So it only follows that a big ad agency headquartered there, Wieden + Kennedy, would be an epicentre of "WTF?":

Interestingly, the character Julia is both written and played by former Sleater-Kinney rocker Carrie Brownstein, who briefly worked with W+K in the late '90s.

How realistic is this? Well,  I've never been anywhere near W+K. I don't know anyone who works there.

This is how you come up with ballsy creative.

But here in Ottawa, I have worked in agencies where the main brainstorming room was filled with plastic balls, or is decorated like a jungle.  I have gone to meetings wearing an enormous pink bra. When you work in a creative field, all that imagineering can produce bizarre byproducts.

Interestingly enough, while W+K happily donated their brand and their space for the goofy send-up on modern agencies, AdWeek says the agency would not give comment on how they felt about the portrayal.

It does have the typical blurring of agency roles, where everyone is essentially both creative director and account director all in one, like Darrin on Bewitched.

But who cares? I just want a hot air balloon.

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