13 Nov

One year ago I knew nothing about the advertising industry. I knew of Wieden and Kennedy, because I am from Portland, and that was about it. I did not understand the job titles or the difference between account and creative positions. I knew that I liked it, and I liked to create things, but nothing about what I was going to do when I actually graduated.

I know so much more now through classes, and my own research. I feel like I have thrown myself into this industry, reading constant blogs, and reviews. I have a passion for this stuff, and I feel like my understanding is continually growing. My professors constantly talk about great people and places to work, until this past Tuesday.

In my creative strategist class my professor showed us a movie called Lemonade. Lemonade is a movie that tells the story of people in the advertising agency who were laid off, and found something else more meaningful. While my professor addressed the hypocrisy of showing this to us, she said we need to know that advertising is not what is more important.

The movie follows people after these lost their jobs, and how they go about reinventing their lives. Phil Johnson of Adage reviewed the movie. He said “I’m sitting in the audience with conflicting emotions. I’m blown away by the power of the movie and the personal stories. The characters on screen are a

reflection of what I love about the industry: wonderfully smart, funny people, most of whom you would hire in a heartbeat. Pushed out the door, they discover new passions and more satisfying lives than they ever had working at their agency jobs. While I found myself cheering for these life stories, I was also saying, “Hold on, I don’t want to be part of a machine that stifles the inner passions of talented people.”

According to Johnson, his review of the film said that each person in it described how a creative brief, or whatever they were working on wasn’t entirely what they wanted to say. This is a little disheartening for someone who has not even stepped foot in the industry yet. I am impressed; however, of the support that this movie is received from the advertising industry itself. The movie ran on a donation process, where people who believed in the project could donated to the cause.

This movie scares me. But this goes back to what I have been told by every industry professional, work with good people. I certainly will never be defined by advertising, and will not work in a place that wants me to be. I have only seen the preview for the film, and I am completely moved. In support of this project, I will definitely see this film, however scary it may be.

Erik Proulx is currently working on his second Lemonade movie in the city of Detrioit.

Here is the trailer for the Detroit film.


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