To me, this site, warts and all, is about the creation, critique and ultimately, celebration of local work. But ladies and gentlemen, amidst all the highbrow, feather ruffling, raising the bar zigging, I’m going to zag by presenting to you, quite possibly the finest, save your ass acronym ever. An abbreviation more determined than MADD, smarter than NASA, simpler than KISS. And 180 degrees from anything breakthrough, conceptual or award winning, FYI.
It’s JDIAGTM. Say “jid-ee-ag-tum.”
Just Do It And Get The Money.
The man who invented the phrase, then turned it into a silly, silly acronym ran Jim Mitchell Advertising, one of the first agencies for which I freelanced. Jim was a good guy, and no professional slouch either. From his office just off Main Street in what many would call God-forsaken, and for damn sure Alex-Bogusky-forsaken town of Longmont, Colorado, Jim handled a variety of national accounts – Descente, Head, Tecnica – he had the Steamboat account. His walls were lined with work I’d wished I’d done.
And then one day as I was whining about some client killing some headline, he sat down, smiled as though he were Mr. Rogers, and with an excruciating level of mild-mannered calmness said:
“Eric, JDIAGTM. Just Do It And Get The Money.”
“What say thee? Foul BLASPHEMY?” (Bastards Loathing Advertising’s Sensitive Practitioners Heroically Embracing Mankind’s Yearnings)
I’m paraphrasing what came next, but essentially, Jim laid it out: You do the best you possibly can, you sell as hard as you are able, but despite all that, sometimes the client says, “Look, you simpleton, I want the offer in the headline, the logo the size of a Christmas ham and you out of here.”
Then you bite your tongue, hard, and say to yourself, inaudibly, whilst leaving, “JDIAGTM.”
And why not, after all, regardless of how artistic you may be, if you’re in the business of making ads, collateral pieces, guerrilla marketing, websites or a dozen other similar things, you’re not an artist. You’re a capitalist. You persuade, cajole, yes, sometimes you “HALF-OFF, LIMITED TIME OFFER, HURRY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.” Of course, you could try to make it look good, with a pleasing, and please, well-kerned, typeface.
You get people to do things, go places and buy stuff. That’s it.
And what’s the number one rule of capitalism? Don’t leave money on the table. If you for some reason don’t agree with that, then get yourself straight over to Neiman’s (Nordstrom’s just opened as well), Design Within Reach, your favorite skate/snowboard shop, or Halo 3 reseller, do some serious retail drooling and get your religion back.
On the other hand, if you have either a “Live simply so that others may simply live” or “If you’re not outraged you’re missing the point” bumper sticker on your rusted out Ford Focus, well, you’re in the wrong damn business.
In closing, regardless of how proudly and high you carry the banner of creativity, remember, next time someone craps all over your best work, go ahead; think of him or her as an SOB if you need to, but at the end of the day, JDIAGTM.