Confessions: Copywriting in the apocalypse
Andrew Jacquet, a Copywriter talks about the challenges of dealing with anxiety when the world is falling apart.

Confessions: Copywriting in the apocalypse

Andrew Jacquet, a Copywriter talks about the challenges of dealing with anxiety when the world is falling apart.
  • Our confessions series is a platform where young professionals from the advertising, marketing and media world will get to pour their hearts out on how the outbreak of coronavirus has affected their daily routines, the good, bad and ugly sides of working while under house arrest and talk about if it's even possible to balance work and personal life in a situation like this.
  • In our latest edition, Andrew Jacquet, a Copywriter by profession and Graphic Designer for his love of ‘dark arts’, talks about the challenges of dealing with anxiety when the world is falling apart and trying to be creative every day.
My alarm clock rings; it’s 8:30 in the morning. Craving a few more minutes of blissful unconsciousness, I try and swat it out of instinct, but years of experience have taught me to keep my alarm clock in my bedside side drawer - lest I break another one with a well-placed right hook. I force myself up, making sure to carve a line into my bedroom wall, it’s not the first, and it certainly won’t be the last. For 26 days I’ve been confined to the boundaries of my house, and my conception of time is slowly fading away. I wonder about the world I’ve left behind. Will things ever go back to normal? Or will I find myself walking through the deserted wastelands of Bandra wrestling packets of Parle-G from hordes of my feral neighbours just to survive?

My thoughtful fantasies of being Will Smith in I Am Legend are rudely interrupted by a Zoom call. Zoom has, over the last few weeks become the world’s primary distributor of unsolicited pornography, in addition to being a video conferencing app. It’s my boss, and he doesn’t sound too happy. Our client changed the brief again, and we (by which he means me) have just one hour to revise everything. I sigh; my plans of playing a round of CS-GO all day are ruined. But with no alternative in sight, I begrudgingly agree to the deadline and my copy is equally as begrudgingly accepted. This cycle continues for the next 12 hours, interrupted only by a series of video conferences where everyone over 40 spends embarrassing amounts of time giving briefs while their system is on mute.

To me, being a copywriter in the End Times is not all that different from how it’s always been. My hours are still outrageous, bordering on sweatshop territory; but lacking the prestige of working for Nike and my clothing is still highly unprofessional if I choose to wear anything at all. Perhaps most unsurprisingly to everyone associated with the advertising business, the sacred line between my work and personal time is as non-existent as Taiwan is to the World Health Organisation. Trust me, Google it. On the fortunate side, many of the inefficiencies that would take up a plurality of my time like dangling out of a local train for an hour and a half and the endless meetings which could have been summarised in the subject line of an email, have been wholly eliminated. I would even go so far as to say that the solace of a quiet home is a far more nurturing work environment than an office with colleagues trying to ambush you so they can show off their new kid.

On a more personal front, there’s always the anxiety that my aging parents could get infected, but the fear of losing everyone I love in addition to my entire life’s savings is greatly mitigated by HR who never fail to send me emails about the best way to wash my hands, at least five times a week. Those really help. My strategic reserves of Kingfisher have gradually been exhausted, and I’ve had to resort to drinking breezers instead, not ideal circumstances, but I’ve heard of cases where people were forced to drink Bira – so I still count my blessings. In a weird sort of way, I’m far more connected to my family in these trying times, even if it is just small talk, than I ever have been before, thanks to apps like Houseparty and Discord; and all it took was COVID: 19. If there ever were a Biblical plague, maybe my parents and I could finally have a conversation about my poor career choices.

When the dust settles and the economy claws its way out of the next recession, I see digital copywriting as a profession improving for the better. I’ve had no shortage of work, unlike most of my colleagues, and from my experience, every major brand is looking to force itself into this bad situation for whatever reason. I’m optimistic that the concept of working remotely will become more acceptable to the old guard and so long as that saves me time and money, it’s something I can look forward to.

- By Andrew Jacquet, Copywriter