Shane Rodak is a copywriter at dentsu mcgarrybowen, Toronto.
A strategic-minded creative, he's fascinated by emerging media, subversive human insights, and good old- fashioned writing.
Shane has created impactful work for iconic brands like Mazda, Hotels.com, Subway, Lexus, Tim Hortons, and many others.
Attended Creative LIAisons in 2017
I don’t really like the word “advertising.” When people hear the word “advertising” they think of personal injury lawyers on local channels with catchy musicalized phone numbers. They think of banner ads that know you need more laundry detergent before you do. They think of influencers giving you 20% off of a Daniel Wellington watch when you use a special promo code.
Luckily, I’ve realized in the last three years that I’m not in the business of advertising; I’m in the business of creativity. I love that every day when I open my notebook to a fresh page, I have the opportunity to fill it with a big idea that can solve a big problem.
What I don’t love is that in our industry, the idea often becomes paramount to the problem it is intended to solve. It’s easy to forget that creativity as we use it is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. If our purpose is supposed to be results-oriented, then why are so many creatives so award-oriented? What is the role of industry awards? Do they provide any tangible good, or are they just self-congratulatory?
These were thoughts I grappled with when I arrived in Las Vegas three years ago as a fresh-faced junior creative for my very first award show: the London International Awards.
But hearing some of our industry’s best and brightest speak passionately about their work gave me some reprieve. Advertising at its best can reinforce democracy, help society’s most vulnerable, and in some cases save lives (think Dumb Ways To Die).
One thing became certain: creativity is objectively good, and the more the world has of it, the better. Yes, rewarding self-serving creativity can be toxic. It can even undermine our ability to deliver work that actually works. But ultimately, the more we celebrate creativity, the more we incentivize people to be creative.
I’ll probably always have a complicated relationship with award shows. But for better or worse, I left the LIAs and the Creative LIAisons program confident that advertising isn’t just about cheesy jingles, or award-bait one-offs. It still is and will always be about solving really big problems with really big ideas.
Hm. Maybe advertising isn’t such a bad word after all.