Within the walls of every agency, there are those scary things that go bump in the night.

halloween ad agency scary monstersEvery person in an ad agency, at some time or another, ends up in some scary and very strange places. Places where the creatures of the night come out and play with our minds. When demons and monsters haunt our very being and reach into our souls.

These are the creatures that can cause otherwise smart agency folks to start acting like idiots.

In celebration of Halloween, let’s review the worst of the worst. And if you have any ideas for some others, please let us know in the comments.

Ad Agency Monsters:

Ghosts1Ghosts: These are the old timers that wander the halls of every agency — the legacy of times long gone. Bumping around, mumbling about the ol’ days, rattling the chains of three martini lunches and x-rated parties. Most of the time found in media and account service departments, these spirits keep rambling on about mass marketing, broadcast TV and traditional media. There is little you can do to exercise these specters from the agency halls. Best just to leave them be and learn what you can from the random words you catch as they drift past.

witch1Witches/Warlocks: These powerful beings drive every agency staff crazy. Nobody can understand how they do what they do and survive. Through human sacrifice or some evil spell, they create chaos and confusion, yet never get blamed. Somehow they’re able to walk through a complete agency meltdown with immunity. It takes a special spell, or a stake through the heart, to remove this monster from the agency halls. The fact that management loves them is proof of their power.

Skeleton1Skeletons: These monsters just sit around and complain. Most people try to ignore them, but then they start getting all uppity and rattle their chains and bones. There is nothing more satisfying to skeletons than sitting around and kvetching. Too cold, too hot, font doesn’t look good, we will never win. It never stops. It seems nothing can ever make skeletons happy.

ad agency vampireVampires: Most often found in the creative department, they only come out at night. They always show up late and lurk in the shadows. These creatures of the night have an outstanding sense of style but are hard to see in public (especially in the light of day). Best to keep feeding them blood and let them work in the dark. One warning – never let them take over. They multiply quickly and can take over a department overnight. One day you walk in and everyone is sleeping under their desk. The only way to remove this scourge once it takes over is with lots of sunlight.

ad agency devilDevils: These are the smooth talking deal makers. Always a challenge for any agency. It’s hard to win any battle as they always find a loophole. Every department has this unique monster, and nobody can figure out how to handle them. Charming, beautiful, and oozing sex appeal, once they strike a deal you had better check your wallet. Somehow, they always win.

ad agency werewolvesWerewolves: Watch out for these monsters! You never know what phase they’re in. Most of the time they’re happy-go-lucky normal people. And then, when you least expect it, boom. They transform before your eyes. The claws come out, hair goes wild, and the next thing you know your neck is ripped out. When this happens, just run. Clear the room. Try and wait them out.

Mummy1Mummies: Powerful beings from a time long gone. Just when you think they’re dead, they come walking back into your life. Most often found in the below the line marketing departments: out of home, yellow pages, and even PR. They can be surprisingly effective and most often strike fear in the hearts of the young and more digital savvy.

ad agency frankensteinFrankenstein’s Monsters: Parts is parts, right? Everything mixed and matched into something new, and a little scary. This is all your new media, social, digital types who are always being recombined. Yesterday it was banner ads, today it’s all about mobile, or big data and analytics. But the truly scary monster here is Frankenstein, the creator. Nobody knows what scary creation will come out of this genius’s mind down the road. Who is really creating these monsters?

ad agency piratesPirates: Aaaargh! Watch your booty mates! The pirate will swoop in and take all your gold. Winning ideas, outstanding creative, innovative strategies are all fair game to the pirate. They will claim credit for any successful program. And if you challenge them, they will raise the black flag and declare war. Next thing you know, you’re sleeping with the fishes.

ad agency zombieZombies: The walking dead. This unfortunate affliction happens to young and old alike: they become the leftovers from a lost pitch, an account gone south, or some corporate merger. Left without any hope, they stalk the halls looking for brains to eat. Slow and lifeless, they know their time is short. Some seem to accept it, and some try to create as much havoc as they can before they have to go away.

ad agency deathGrim Reapers/Death: The most powerful monster of them all. These are the killers of ideas, crushers of spirit and destroyers of souls. They live in on the client side and strike fear in agency types the world over. With a simple wave of a hand, they can wipe out an entire agency’s weekend. A simple shake of the head and creative hearts are crushed as their creative dream is regulated to the trash heap.

ad agency clownClowns: The scariest for last. Oh sure, everyone loves clowns, right? They seem so fun, so safe, so childlike. So why are we so scared of them? For reasons best left unsaid, clowns reach down into the deep dark recesses of our psyche. These agency folks seem normal, everything looks fine, but for some reason we get that ick feeling around them. The flight reaction is strong anytime they’re in the room. And. We. Can’t. Explain. It.

As you celebrate Halloween, reflect on which monsters most scare you and let us know in the comments below.

Be sure to read our post how to master the 5 rules of strategic trick-or-treating (and some thoughts on new business)! And if you would like to get more tips, ideas, and insights into the world of creative agencies, be sure to sign up to our mailing list below!


Halloween Pumpkin photo by Tim Evanson and used under creative commons.

Halloween Avatars Icons by Hopstarter