I’ve got a theory about Cameron Day. It’s just a theory. Which means, of course, that it could be wrong. But never-the-less here it is.
I think Cameron totally idolized his father. What kid doesn’t? My kids idolize me and I’m a pretty sizable fuck-up. But in Cameron’s case, his father is one of the most brilliant and legendary names in all of advertising.
So, it would have been really easy for Cameron to walk a red carpet right into Chiat Day. He could have even been humble about it and started in the mailroom—legitimizing and even adding a bit of lore to his inevitable ascent. But that’s not the kind of guy Cameron is. Which is fucking stupid, because if my dad owned one of the world’s most famous agencies I would have taken that job faster than you can say Donny Deutsch.
But to Cameron, that would have been cheating. He needed to go out and make it on his own. Which he did. Big time. Cameron Day is as legit as they come in the advertising creative world. And you’d think that his success at agencies all over the country (other than the one owned by his old man) would have been enough to put Cameron at peace with the fact that his talent and accomplishments are rightly earned.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
Even though Cameron didn’t take the easy way, he still had an unfair advantage. Whenever he got in a jam or didn’t know what to do, he could always call his dad, one of the most brilliant and experienced advertising minds on the planet and ask for advice. He knows that’s something 99.9% of us can’t do. And I think that eats away at Cameron. So, my theory is that’s what this book is really about. It’s about him finally making the whole thing even Steven, once and for all.
What Cameron Day is doing with this book (I hear series of books?) is sharing all of his wisdom and all of his father’s wisdom so that every creative can benefit from the lessons, stories and helpful hacks contained within its pages. This book is more of a donation than anything else. It’s a gift from Cameron on behalf of himself and his father to every creative person out there who’s either toiling away or aspiring to toil away in an advertising agency.
As someone who’s worked in advertising for over 25 years this book was a joy to read and gave me a lot to think about.
For someone who’s five or six years into their career and starting to think about moving into leadership roles, I’d say this book is absolutely essential reading. It’s a fucking road map.
But most importantly, for someone who’s in ad school right now, I’d consider Chew With Your Mind Open to be the perfect companion piece to Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. And here's why. Luke Sullivan teaches you how to make advertising. Cameron Day teaches you how to make it in advertising.
Trust me when I say that they are equally important if you want to have any sort of a successful and lasting career in this fucked up business.
My review: 5 Stars