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Looking for Impossible People


If there was one thing I’d love to take off my to-do list. It would be the ‘find awesome people’ action. I suspect that’s unlikely to happen any time soon though. Especially as the brief is so impossible.

We are looking for people who most probably don’t exist. Walking paradoxes. People who can exist at 2 ends of a spectrum simultaneously without descending into schizophrenia. People who enjoy being on both sides of any fence they come across. They might be hater lovers or lover haters. Angels who crave a bit of Satan, or Satanists who like the idea of God. People who can deal with being 100% yin and 100% yang at the same time.

Freaks basically. Freaks who are interested in the idea of being Interactive Creative Directors at the highest levels of W+K’s offices around the world.

We’re looking for Visionary Realists, people who revel in the wonder of what the world is becoming and are excited to invent the future of the agency. But at the same time know that there’s shit to get done in order to get there. That today’s graft will become tomorrow’s glory. People who are excited to make the most of what they have today to propel them to where they want to go tomorrow. Their visioneering should excite everyone around them (inside and outside of the agency), and their realism should inspire confidence, trust, and loyalty from clients and co-workers.

We’re looking for Perfectionist Hackers, people who are comfortable throwing stuff together out of what they’ve got lying around as much as they are working with a multi-million dollar budget to produce the most expertly crafted thing in the universe. Understanding that different situations require different solutions and being equally happy with cheap-and-dirty and mind-blowingly-indulgent.

We’re looking for Wildly Conceptual Thinkers with Executional Grounding, people who would “Choose the Moon” but be confident in how to actually get there. Big dreamers who have turned outlandish dreams into reality a bunch of times before. People whose passion and vision for an idea will have everyone around them believing that it can and must be done, and whose experience inspires confidence that we can do it.

We’re looking for Digital Revolutionaries with Traditional Sympathies, people who are first and foremost digital agitators. People who get frustrated by most of the work that they see. People that think we’re not trying hard enough. That we’re too slow, too backwards, too analogue, too static, too broadcasty – that we need to push harder and push more.

But at the same time they must have a respect for, and understanding of, the heritage of the agency. Of the un-process that has been creating great provocative communications for almost 30 years. An interest and passion for the craft that makes the most wonderful, soulful, effective, advertising in the world. But then be prepared to pick the right moments to say: “fuck it old timers, that was yesterday”.

Know anyone that fits the bill?

If you or someone you know does, please email me at this address – everything will be treated in the strictest confidence. I won’t take an email as a sign of anything more than just being a tiny bit curious.

Oh, and I started out writing that with the idea of it being about Interactive Creative Directors. And that’s what I’m personally trying to hunt down at the moment. But if you’re someone that’s saying “hey, that’s me” and you happen to be an account person, strategist, technologist, juggler, mercenary, monkey butler or whatever, I’d be happy to hook you up with the right people.

14 Comments on "Looking for Impossible People"

  • Strategic Mercenary Monkey Juggler here. Imagine I should be talking to Matt St. Gelais.

  • fabulous.

  • I am one of those people that you are not looking for. I can program my computer into the garbage and that is about it. However, you will know who I am someday. I am a visionary, as well as my (soon to be fiancee but she doesn’t know it quite yet). I am a Licensed Psychotherapist and I studied in Somatic Psychotherapy. I heal the mind and the body of my clients by helping them bridge the gap between the two that they didn’t know was there. My girlfriend is an Integrative Medicine doctor who is going to do her fellowship with Dr. Andrew Weil in the coming year. We are both on a path to create an Integrative Healing center somewhere either in California or Oregon. You will know us someday because we are going to spearhead the revolution of the medical field. In the meantime, we are working on the process to get there and we are collecting all of the people that we can who want to be on our side. By your writing, you seem like you are like-minded, albeit on a different path. Who knows what true Integrative Medicine really is, we’ll just have to wait and see. It may include the most prolific marketers in our future and it may take years but this thing takes time and these waves have begun to be surfed.

    Good luck in your search and being at the top of your game,

    Jordan Marks, MFT, CMT, PPSC

  • What are you waiting for?

  • How do Iain, Have you talked to Mr Karl Sadler or Marek Bereza Well worth a pop i’d say…Cheers


  • Which W & K? I’m moving to Portland, OR. Game on.

  • love this post for so many reasons. coming up through the ranks I have had to wear so many hats over the years, designer, developer, producer, client services, strategy, it was all expected from one person in order to grow a business and emerge. The agency world is stunted by its silo mentality regarding roles. Timesheets force people into a single line item for billing rather than allow for someone to contribute across various disciplines. I know so many multi-talented people who get stuck in sigle focused roles and they suffer for it as does the agency suffer because the utilization is not being maximized.

    Time for change, the time is now.

    Great post!

    • Love your comment Craig. Bang on. And this post was one of the most inspiring I read this week to boot.

  • Where do I send my resume? And more importantly, where do I send the measurements for my new monkey butler uniform?

  • Paul says

    If you need casting done by a team that believes the process is more than just ‘slate’, ‘turn’, and next….we are here for you. We are true ‘Casting Directors’ and search for people that make a difference and allow them to show their uniqueness in the casting.

  • stinkytwinky says

    wow ian – how BRILLIANTLY insightful!!! how much you get paid for crap like that anyway. just asking because i’m thinking about switching from banking into advertising. it seems like there are more overpaid, arrogant dicks in your line of work.

    • Iain says

      Thanks for the comment. Much appreciated. I await your application with open arms.

      • Laura says

        I came to your site from your old blog, the post about books with coloured edges. I’m writing a post on my site about old books which used to have so much more texture, be more touchable than new books or ebooks. I want to find the word publishers/ printers use for that coloured edge.

        I ended up following you to your new site, read this post. That would be an interesting group of people. I’d like to see what ideas come out of that mix up of people. I like keeping history from disappearing while seeing how the new can change and evolve. I hate the idea of getting older, knowing I won’t forever be here to see what comes along next.