Or is it just me?
I’ve been part of Sacramento’s advertising community off and on for the last 13 years.
When I first got started, it was for a very small shop (only five people) that was extremely isolated from the other agencies in town. In fact, I hesitate to even call us an agency, but I digress.
As the years passed and I moved on to other shops, I was introduced to a culture within this community that wasn’t particularly friendly. The people I worked with became like family, and vendors became more like my friends than anything else. But between the other agencies in town, there seemed to be little love lost. If you worked at RS&E, you were boring. If you were at Glass McClure, you were an asshole. Those folks at Crocker Flanagan? Holier than thou jerks. And Mering? Well, we never really saw them.
Whenever I crossed paths with contemporaries from other shops, thinly-veiled smiles were offered or you were simply ignored altogether. I never really understood it, but that was the world I was a part of.
Over time, people I worked with moved on to other agencies. And the folks that I used to “hate” became co-workers of myself or people that I loved. Barriers slowly started crumbling and lines of communication that never existed were now opening with far more welcome voices on each end.
The Sacramento Ad Club used to be all about the awards – the ones you won and especially the ones you didn’t. Now, I could (almost) care less about those. Instead, it’s an opportunity to see old and new friends and to celebrate a community of people that have become huge parts of my life – regarless of where they work.
How much of this shift is thanks to the homogenization of the market with people changing jobs? How much of this has to do with the Great Recession we’ve experienced and the realization that you can’t burn your bridges? How much of it is due to the maturation of the people at their respective companies?
Whatever the reason (at least from my perspective), there’s been a huge shift in the level of mutual respect and feeling of kinship within the Sacramento advertising community. I have people at pretty much every shop in this region that I can reach out to help me solve a problem, to give me some professional advice or simply to grab a beer and watch a movie with.
And I’m really excited about that change.