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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Greatest Obstacle To Your Dream Career And Dream Wardrobe

I once had a dream that I was an old man and I went to a free cinema on Sydney's Macquarie Street (of which there currently are no cinemas) to watch a free film that was sponsored by Coca-Cola. I was in a grey pin-stripe suit (something I would never wear), it was cold out and as I left the film, which was visually very red and white, I noticed that there was a big bright banner of Coca-Cola above the cinema listing facade. It was just a dream but it made sense to me in the morning after, that one day a company like Coca-Cola, instead of making vignettes of life with Coca-Cola, will make an entire feature film as part of an advertising campaign. This excellent free idea I have just let out of the bag will no doubt make some aspiring advertising creative director a great fortune somewhere in the near future. (Copyright Le Noeud Papillon Sydney 2014) !

The vignette I post below, a Coca-Cola Life commercial from Argentina, is so wonderful in its brevity in pin-pointing the changes in a man's life once he becomes a parent that I had to watch it over and over the other night just because the amusement and truth would not leave me. Of course in doing so I built up a latent demand to have full sugar Coca-Cola too - so it was a win-win for both consumer and producer.

The nub is that once we men become parents, as I have recently become, it is not just the women that get hemmed in in terms of their careers and financial independence. Most new fathers will be able to watch this vignette below and recognise almost every aspect of of it as a truth: from the late nights with one eye opened watching the baby monitor fearing even the slightest twitch or sound, to trying to navigate through a crowded room with prams and bags like a mobile bric-à-brac store, watching your child treat your 200 2 ply fine cotton shirt like a dirty handkerchief as she rubs her snot into your shoulder, tripping on the strangest objects late at night in a half light you can barely recognise your haggard face in, watching single people have fun in the street with not a care in the world as they dance their way to the next party, or having to scrub the floor on your hands and knees around the high chair after you've finally got her to bed.

In an internet age when we, as businessmen, are expected to be available to our customers in all time zones at all times via our websites, when we are already poor for time and where looking good for work is important to keep up the appearance of success; having children must be the most beautiful and yet antagonistic experience to undergo.

I would not change it for one minute - but, as my father once said to me - "you smart arse, one day you will see what sacrifices you make to have a family" - I am fast becoming aware that the greatest asset you have in your life is also the single greatest obstacle to your dream career and wardrobe.

But, as Richard Prior once told Eddie Murphy to tell Bill Cosby - "have a coke and a smile and shut the f up" . And on that note I think I might take his advice!

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