AD NOMAD: MY REVIEW: A MUST READ


AD NOMAD:
ERIC JAY SONNENSCHEIN

Would you quit your job to become the older living copywriter in the world? Dane Bacchus is a professor without tenure forced to change careers. Now in his forties he had decided to plunge ahead into the untenable field of advertising. Eric Jay Sonnenschein is about to take the reader into a world that most of us think as glamorous where actors read the words, copywriters create the copy and artists might use graphics to create the scenes or pictures to produce the billboards, ads in papers, magazines and television that take up the spaces between programs, news articles and stories. But Dane is thirsty for success gut the roadblocks ahead are many and the end result is far form what he expects. Dane is smart, creative, resourceful and definitely eager to please and succeed but there are many who would rather see him fail.

 

When teaching was no longer an option for Dane Bacchus life became different, choices had to be made and career decisions carefully thought out. But, why would a college terminate someone that was enthusiastic, working with remedial students and actually wanted to educate our youth? Why create a contract that interrupts a person’s career and force them to leave a profession they love? Why? That’s the system that ‘s why. Dane Bacchus is a victim of red tape, college bureaucracy and mundane rules. Hoping to forge ahead in another career he comes across a magazine ad that would set a chain of events in motion and take him back him time 20 years. Dane loved what he did but advertising was always in his blood and seeing the ad that he wrote in a paper rekindled the passion. The only problem is Dane was not getting the credit for his own work. Someone stole the idea but maybe this was the kick, the force the impetus he needed to take action and make a change in his life. But, no one said it would be easy. There is no cookie cutter that you can creatively use to write perfect ads in a uniform way that will please everyone. In Ad Nomad, the Case Histories of Dane Bacchus, the author allows the reader to enter the world of advertising from the bottom up. Faced with many challenges he forges ahead and gets an interview with a creative director of an ad agency only to learn that what he thought was great work was far from it. Not discouraged he followed suit, took classes, worked hard and finally decided to try again with an old friend and received the same response. Not discouraged and definitely determined he enrolled in a class in a prestigious school with three teachers hoping to learn something: a creative art director and two others taught the class. But, rather than teach, they tore apart, debased, humiliated and criticized everything their students created or did but never explained how to improve or showed them how to make it better. Dane was smart, worked out and would not give up under any circumstances. But, sometimes things go too far and when presenting a campaign that these three so called teachers were too review they would literally tear it apart piece by piece leaving shreds of paper in a trail on the floor or worse. But, Dane would not give up and voicing his concerns, asking questions would only alienate him further. His classmates resented him and spoke against him to the three up front, the teachers were bent on discouraging him and hoped he’ d leave and Dane just wanted to succeed. But, would he and at what cost? The world of advertising is definitely competitive and only the best will succeed. But, from what I have read so far it requires stamina, perseverance, diligence and a thick skin.

 

Interviews, mentors, failed interviews, poor responses and definitely a lot of trial and error before anything happened for Dane. Told to improve his art direction, get an art director, sent on interviews but lacked the proper finesse at times or even a resume Dane plotted along until finally someone offered him his first chance at a real job and to prove that he had talent. Real estate advertising was his first shot and the assignment made him hungry to get started and succeed. Creative directors, art directors and copywriters overworked, pushed to the limit and definitely out for themselves, Dane learns the ins and outs of the business and much more. Backstabbing, jealousy, few assignments and then working with the top bosses, Dane often found himself either floundering or hoping for more work. Each case history deals with a different branch of advertising from real estate, to cereal ads, pharmaceutical products, medicines and much more as Dane proves that he is a definite force in this business filled with competition, decide, corruption and where his ingenuity he hopes will pay off. Bosses that appear to love his work and account executive that resent him being in their air space this book tells it all. But, when you look deep into the core of Wittman or WIF ad agency you will see the dark side of the world as account executives use Dane’s ideas and make tons of money. Rarely acknowledging his expertise you begin to wonder why he just doesn’t go in business for himself.  Drug abuse, deceit, lack of trust and even fraud Dane begins to wonder if this is what he really wants, if he is part of this flawed system or why if you are trying to please a client doesn’t everyone work as a team?

 

When you think about the title if fits Dane’s career to a T as he moves from company to company finding the situations just about the same. Some ideas stolen, others taking credit, ads for incontinence, vaginal dryness expert and menopause as well as acid reflux are just some of the ads and copy he is asked to create. Working with many different creative art directors, writers, editors and more Dane learns the hard way at times that his talents are not always appreciated and others resent his work. Even more standing up for yourself and place you in a difficult position as well as alienating you from your co-workers.

 

Author Eric Jay Sonnenschein takes the reader inside the world of advertising and allows you to learn, see and experience first hand what a junior copywriter goes through just to get experience and hopefully a better paying job to support his family and feel good about himself. However, throughout the novel this reader and reviewer has to wonder why Dane is so determined to remain in this field, how his wife really feels about his job and his dedication, is it taking a toll on their marriage and what about his daughter?

 

Dane is truly a wanderer of a nomad in this field as he goes from company to company just trying to succeed and make a name for himself with many stumbling blocks, roadblocks, sabotages and conniving account executives ready to chomp down on him or anyone else that dares to test his/her creative talents at their expense and wants to look better. Ad Nomad Four is his time with Unihealth as each company presents a different perspective on the industry, different drugs this time for prostate and different cases that are sometimes hilarious, sometimes really sad and at other times you begin to wonder just why anyone would want to do this. This time the job was fifty miles away from home, which had to be hard on his family and him.

 

From Unihealth to Mentos and now to Georgian Shield New York Dane would encounter still another manager more cunning, devious and backstabbing than the rest. Enter Nigel who lived to destroy his underlings and loved to exploit their weaknesses. But, when something happens to alert him that his eyes and brain were having difficulty processing words and more you won’t believe the end result as he and his wife see a specialist that appears to understand but is seriously quite strange. The end result and where he winds up and what happens you have to read for yourself because you just won’t believe it. Freelancing, finding his own niche in the business and finally and ending that you will give you much pause for thought as Dane Bacchus comes full circle and realizes what he wants, where he might wind up and the rest: Find out when the author relates the last Ad Nomad 7: Nomad’s Land you read Living your Dream vs. Dreaming your life! If you want to understand what this means read the book, enter the world of advertising at times gratifying and others cutthroat and dangerous as you will learn when Dane goes too far and things heat up. Will he survive his own human frailties? Will his wife stand by him in the end? AD NOMAD: Where does the wanderer wind up? Thought provoking, entertaining and definitely makes you wonder just how true some of this is when you learn what the author reveals in this outstanding novel about the drug and pharmaceutical industries and just how far they would go to get their products sold and who they would sell out to get there.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer:

Let’s give this book: FIVE GOLD ADS FOR DANE

Advertisements