Verner visits The Dark Side

Verner, the creative intern, returns to share a milestone in his career.

Today, for the first time, I experienced the business side of advertising (a.k.a. The Dark Side). I saw how a sale is made and how hard it is to be an account executive.

I sat in on a client meeting with SIMS Recycling Solutions and observed the masterful presentation of creative concepts I had contributed to. This is where all our ‘brain sweat’ would be judged and given life or humiliation.

I have to admit I underestimated the account department. I thought they had it easy compared with the creative team. After all, we conceive, design and write everything and all the account executives have to do is sell it. Any salesclerk can do that.

Boy was I wrong. Without the sale, all our efforts are worthless. The way Jeff (A.E.) laid out the market forces, competition and brand strategy made the concepts to follow seem inevitable. I also admired the ease with which he and Eric (ACD) made the presentation; easy and engaging and also confident and convincing. If it weren’t for the PowerPoint, it would have been like a chat session.

The clients were ecstatic about the concepts—especially one that started as my idea. While it was being presented I felt like jumping up and shouting, “I did that! That’s my baby!” But as a team player I let the team get the glory.

All in all, it was quite an experience. And I have more appreciation for AEs, although I still don’t want to be one.

Schifino Lee

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