Is It Detrimental To Be Modest In Adland?

Man with a cardboard box on his head working on laptop
SHARE
THIS



Adland used to be well-known for its inflated egos, and while this might have died down, do we still need egos in the industry to push work out there?

Having coffee with a friend in the industry the other day, it came up the friend’s directors were rather modest about their work. And while it’s great to be humble, he was concerned it could be counterproductive for the communications agency as it wasn’t getting their work out there.

Obviously you don’t want to be shoving your work down people’s throats in an arrogant and cocky manner, however Dandrew Cruda, an author for software company Apttus, wrote a LinkedIn post around a year ago why being too modest can actually be a hinderance, suggesting people could underestimate you, skills and accolades will go unnoticed and you might end up being a follower rather than a leader.

Posing the question whether being modest in adland is counterproductive, Dan Robathan, general manager at digital marketing agency Deepend, said it’s important to stand up for your work.

“It’s vital to have the confidence to stand behind and celebrate your work whilst maintaining the professional stance to listen and learn if someone tears it apart,” he told B&T.

“You can objectively celebrate company success without the negative bragging of an ‘ego’ whilst carefully treading the fine line between reasonable pride in achievement and inflated ego.”

Jonathan Pease, executive ideas director and managing partner at creative agency Tongue, believes if you’re not proud of your work and don’t fight for it “you’re not trying hard enough”.

“There is a big difference between being proud of your work and wanting to show people versus having an ego,” he said.

“Giving a shit about the work should also not be confused with having a big ego.”

However, being more modest about your work can come down to your creativity, suggested Mike Barry, creative director for The White Agency.

“The point about not promoting your work is an interesting one,” he mused. “I think it’s not so much about modesty as it is about the nature of being a creative person. I look at the work I’ve spent months on and find satisfaction in it because I know what the client needed to achieve, I know how hard my team worked, and I know all the obstacles we had to navigate just to get this thing made.

“But I also remember the purity of the original idea.”

And when it comes to securing new business, it pays to not be overly modest. “Good work you’re genuinely proud of in a portfolio is vital when securing new business, provided you are continually looking to the future in order to innovate,” said Deepend’s Robathan. “Never resting on your laurels is the true path to continued creative success. ”

While modesty is a subjective issue, it was widely agreed having a monstrous ego isn’t nice.

“My issue with egos in this business is very simple. Egos kill ideas and the ruin client/agency culture,” said Tongue’s Pease.

“Yes, clients can also have big egos and it also kills great work.

“I also believe it’s very hard to have ideas in the first place if you have a big ego. To have ideas you’ve got to be willing to take risks and put bad, potentially embarrassing ideas on the table. Lots of ideas that start out ‘bad’ become great with the right amount of attention, stretching and combining.”

What do you think? Is it counterproductive to be modest in adland? Tweet us @bandt

Please login with linkedin to comment

Advertising Standards Bureau smooth festival of chocolate

Latest News

Verizon Media Academy Ends For 2021 With Youth Charity Pitch-Off
  • Advertising
  • Media

Verizon Media Academy Ends For 2021 With Youth Charity Pitch-Off

Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]

Industry’s Gamers Unite For UnLtd’s Virtual Rocket League Comp
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Industry’s Gamers Unite For UnLtd’s Virtual Rocket League Comp

Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]

Sam Worthington And Phoebe Tonkin To Star In New Stan Original Film ‘Transfusion’
  • Media

Sam Worthington And Phoebe Tonkin To Star In New Stan Original Film ‘Transfusion’

Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]

COVID-19 Saw Stock Imagery Return To Harmful Gender Stereotypes
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

COVID-19 Saw Stock Imagery Return To Harmful Gender Stereotypes

According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Maddison Connaughton Ends Time As Editor Of The Saturday Paper
  • Media

Maddison Connaughton Ends Time As Editor Of The Saturday Paper

Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]

Teenage boy wearing headphones works at desk in his bedroom
  • Media

New Research Names Olivia Rodrigo And BTS The Most Popular Study Music

Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]

Happy woman drinking tea and waving to someone while having video call over desktop PC in the evening at home.
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Building A Successful Remote Marketing Team

Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Australia’s The Kid LAROI Joins Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo And More In iHeartRadio Festival Line-Up
  • Media

Australia’s The Kid LAROI Joins Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo And More In iHeartRadio Festival Line-Up

The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]