A $25K mistake in a TV “billboard,” the still frames they show while a voiceover says, “Sponsored by blah blah blah.” It was for Pampers and our tagline at the time was, “Pamper the skin they’re in.” I had trafficked out slides (yes, slides, I’m that old) that said, “Pamper the skin their in.” The worst part is that I’m a total grammar nerd and I have no idea how that happened. Their in? Their what are in? The second worst part is that I was probably making $25K a year at that point and I was certain I’d be fired for this costly mistake.
Living on $25k a year in NYC, which means lunch was often scrounged from conference room leftovers and dinner was sometimes a free hot dog from Rudy’s in Hell’s Kitchen.
Wearing poly-blend two-piece skirt suits from Daffy’s (“clothing bargains for millionaires”) and thinking I looked cool. (Ron Howard’s voice: “She did not.”)
Sexual harassment up the wazoo (not literally, thankfully). I’m a woman in advertising. The only more harass-y job in my personal experience is Friendly’s waitress.
An escaped bull on a commercial shoot in Wilmington, NC. We hid out in the production trailer until the bull wrangler, um, wrangled the bull. It was a Fixodent commercial.
The humiliation of my boss yelling, “Go Oral Maniacs!” as I bowled at some downtown New York bowling alley when our team (the oral care brands: Crest, Scope, Fixodent) took on the “Sicks” (Vicks) team.
Learning to drive a Vespa while actually driving a Vespa on a cliff in Sicily.
A 9 am meeting in midtown on September 11th, 2001. We watched the towers burn on a small TV in the office.
A bomb threat in our NYC building on September 12th, 2001. Walked down 30 flights of stairs. My mom yelled at me on the phone for going back to get my purse before I went downstairs.
Many drunken ad agency holiday parties, including one at Cipriani’s where my boss’s boss screwed an intern in a stall in the ladies’ room. Awkward team meeting the next day.
Being threatened with a subpoena to try on a size 6 Pampers diaper in court. We were launching the biggest sized Pampers to date and they seemed comically large to me, so one time I tried them on (over my clothes) in the office and technically, they fit. So I told our client and we had a good laugh about it. A few months later, a company was trying to launch adult diapers called “Grampers” and P&G wanted to give them a cease and desist. “But Grampers are for adults and Pampers are for babies,” the company insisted. My client said they might need to have me demonstrate in court that technically, adults can wear Pampers in order to win the case. Thankfully, it was not necessary.
Working at an ad agency within the Manhattan Mall, where the escalator was always broken, the Smooooooooothie man was always calling for you, and you could get a full meal based on Food Court samples.
Taking a 40% pay cut to switch from account management to creative. Worth it.
A week in Buenos Aires, eating steak with a spoon, flirting with a beautiful art director from a rival agency, and hanging out at a bar called Kim Y Novak. Just kidding, that was awesome.
Scared clients, sexist clients, mean clients, dumb clients, and the worst: mean, dumb clients, including one that legit gave my partner an eye twitch. (Thankfully, I’ve also had more than my share of ballsy, empowering, kind, smart clients.)
The Great NERF war of 2010 and resulting PTSD. I still remember that shifty stairwell shot, Nick.
The “booger wall” in bathroom #1. You know who you are.
Two maternity leaves.
Pumping for two kids in bathroom #3.
Many client meetings where I had to (poorly) sing a made-up jingle.
One client meeting where I read the whole script in a British-Aussie hybrid accent.
One client meeting where the word “queef” was accidentally mentioned. Just kidding, I wasn’t there, but I feel like I was because I’ve made my friend T tell me the story so many times.
Ramen Wig, Ice Pants, Crestache, and more from the aptly named bar game, “Consequences.”
A creative director who suggested we “google some ideas.”
A team lunch at FiRE + iCE (their Spongebob meme caps).
Sitting in an open office space with people chewing everywhere.
Working remotely for 11 months, doing everything – including concepting and presenting work, casting and shooting a TV campaign, directing voiceover talent, having come-to-Jesus talks with coworkers, biweekly creative team happy hour, and no holds barred diversity, equity and inclusion discussions – over email, Teams and Zoom.
Getting laid off. At least, I think I’ve survived it. Kinda in the middle of it now. Check back later.