Donald Trump is president, the Supreme Court is stacked, the coming climate apocalypse is only 10 years away and one of the most direct consequences of these things is that scrolling through your social media is a full-on dumpster fire. And that’s not even taking into account that you’re in advertising, an industry that’s going through massive changes every 5 minutes. It’s depressing and confusing, but I’m here to tell you that there are a few blessed oases in the desert of despair that is your twitter feed.
Here are the 5 accounts that are my personal candles in the darkness.
1.) Honey Stay Super
@honeystaysuper is the Twitter handle for Kimberly Harrington, a Vermont based copywriter/creative director who is so insanely talented that I constantly wonder why the hell she lives in Vermont. Her advertising portfolio is superb, and she’s worked for some of the biggest brands in the world including Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Converse, Nike, and Skullcandy. But that’s not the reason I include her here. The reason I follow her account is for the writing she’s NOT doing on behalf of brands. She’s a regular contributor to McSweeney’s, which if you’ve ever contributed anything to them, is quite a feat because they are super picky.
She’s the founder and editor of the parenting humor site RAZED and her work has been featured in the New Yorker, The New York Times, The Cut and on Medium. Every word she writes is a gem and a gift to humanity, and no I’m not over-selling her. Oh, and did I mention she also just published a book? AMATEUR HOUR: MOTHERHOOD IN ESSAYS AND SWEAR WORDS is out now from Harper Perennial. And you should go buy it right now. I mean, damn girl, you’re making the rest of us copywriter/creative directors lazy. I basically wish I could have her career. She’s the real deal when it comes to writing that captures the nexus of humor and emotion. Follow her now, go on, I’ll wait.
@adweak Back in 2001, a website called Adweak.com anonymously launched, with the simple yet brilliant premise of being The Onion for advertising people. And with this business being as ridiculous as it is and chock full of ego-maniacs ripe for parody, it was an immediate sensation. Back in the day, the website had actual full-blown articles, but now it just exists as a Twitter feed of hilarious headlines. Here are a few gems, so you can get the funny-because-it’s-true vibe they are laying down:
BREAKING: Mid-Size Agency Looking For Acct. Coordinator With 2 To 3 Years Experience In Just Writing Down Everything Client Says And Reading It Back To Creative Teams
BREAKING: Liking Every One Of Droga5’s Tweets Not Doing One Damn Bit Of Good For Freelance Copywriter
BREAKING: Agency Talks Itself Into Believing Their Philosophy Totally Different Than Any Other Agency
BREAKING: Agency Forced To Revise Schedule To Allow For One Day Of Concepting, 14 Days For Client Approval
They also have an animated YouTube channel, and you can even hire out this group of agency jokesters to create content for your brand. Pretty cool.
@Copyranter is the Twitter handle of Mark Duffy aka The CopyRanter and believe me when I say this is the PERFECT twitter handle for him. For years he wrote a popular blog (the last entry was written in February 2018, Headline: Super Bowl Ads: You’re Doing It Wrong.) But now, I believe, he lives mostly on Twitter where he’s the equivalent of the Clint Eastwood character in Gran Torino. His former bio line was perfect:
The Best Ad Blogger in the World™ (™ pending), which is akin to being the best ice hockey team in Paraguay, but there it is. I rant about ads, good and bad.
His newest bio is a bit less uplifting due to Mark’s current employment status:
VERIFIED Best Ad Critic In The World™. Currently involuntarily unemployed. CLIO, One Show, Bobcat Pin. My wrist shot is better than yours.
Mark tweets ‘em likes he sees ‘em. If he thinks your ad is shit, he says so– in a devastatingly, clever way. And if he praises your ad, take the day off, because man, you have to cherish the rare moments of luck the universe throws your way. Funny. Cranky. Insightful. Jesus Christ, someone hire this dude.
But here’s the real reason I love Mark: in 2012 Buzzfeed hired him to be their on-staff Ad Critic. They loved his vibe, and he took a huge pay cut to go work for them. The gig lasted about a year and a half. They fired him, and he went down in a dazzling display of anger and resentment for the ages. For the record: I am FULLY on his side. You can read about his Buzzfeed adventure here, here and here.
Mark is unabashedly himself, for better or for worse. It’s kind of refreshing in a business known for bullshit. He may not be the hero we want, but dammit, he’s the hero we need. A cranky, cranky hero.
4.) Carter Murray
But if you’re the type of person who can only take so much cranky ranting, I recommend following @Cartermurray7 on Instagram for the perfect amuse bouche after Mark Duffy. Carter Murray is the Global CEO of FCB (Foote, Cone, and Belding) and his Instagram account is one pic after another of pure unadulterated, unbridled optimism. Yeah. OPTIMISM.
Carter uses his Instagram feed to celebrate the thousands of employees of FBC, usually using some sort of boomerang. His mantra is #TalentAboveAllElse, and Carter goes out of his way to celebrate the talented people around him. He’s the Global CEO who knows that an agency is not a proprietary creative process or a collection of clients: it’s a collection of people, and you have to look after your people. Oh, he also has adorable twin boys who make an appearance now and then. So check it out, and if you hate your job…see if Carter is hiring.
5.) Red Antler
Red Antler is an agency whose mission is to create brands that people can’t stop thinking about. Basically, they are THE agency to hire if you are a startup. That’s their thing. They’re the reason why companies like Casper, Brandless, AllBirds, Betterment, and Birchbox, look, feel and sound like they do. Which, if you haven’t noticed is AWESOME. Basically, every ad you see in a subway car is done by Red Antler. I recommend following both their Twitter and Instagram. Between the two of them, they function as kind of a “how to launch cool shit” school. The twitter account is full of gems about their strategy to launch a successful brand, and the Instagram is just one lesson after another in great design.
There you have it. 5 inspiring, funny and creative follows that will brighten your day. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to endlessly scroll on my phone until I feel something…anything…