Everyone’s Complain Department: The Messenger

The ‘Everyone’s Complaint Department’ series of comic strips began as random doodles and reflection pieces of Alvin Teoh, ECD of Naga DDB Tribal. These little stories featured in MARKETING magazine were originally posted on Facebook and are an ongoing tribute to life in Adland.
The comic depicts Alvin’s early days in the advertising industry and words from the Executive Creative Director (ECD) himself.

Some of the people I love best in the industry are angry people (not to be confused with people who have anger issues). I love them because they give a shit about stuff. For them, work is personal and while this may sound a little unprofessional, allow me to explain.
In the pursuit of the ‘perfect’ idea, that one powerful insight, the next best line, that one thought that make us giggle like children in a candy shop, that script we’ve always dreamt about, that project that gives us reason to wake up smiling on a Monday morning, we’ve missed our own birthdays, skipped dinner with our aging parents, or holidays, or reunions, or religious services, rushed helter-skelter to the florist because you suddenly remembered it’s your wedding anniversary, come home so late we only see our kids after they’ve gone to bed, cancelled holiday plans, ignored mc’s and showed up at work, threw away a RM600 concert ticket of The Cure because a client sat on a decision till last minute and now you have to produce a campaign in 24 hours (true story, oh wait, they’re all true), write ideas on a laptop while taking a dump, while on holiday, on a train, on a plane, on the go.
So how do you respond when people tell you that it’s just work, so don’t take it so personally?
So yes, the people who give a shit take it very personally when people around them, clients and colleagues alike, don’t give much thought or concern over the task at hand. You bleed for your work and your partner under-delivers, the person responsible for the brief opens the briefing session with ‘the client says’, and the client changes the brief in mid-presentation because the boss raised questions that the mid-level client could not answer. And there you are, standing there smiling and summoning all the energies in the universe because you need to be supportive, understanding, positive, professional and mature.
Hey, it’s just work, don’t take it personally.
Well, screw you. Of course, it’s personal. Every work done by a person who cares has his or her thumbprint on it. It contains their inner-most thoughts and beliefs, it contains their soul, dammit. It is intensely personal because they have gutted themselves open and allowed their insides to spill out all over their work.
So yeah, it’s incredibly painful to work with messengers of other people’s thoughts and worse still, they don’t even get those right. The industry needs thinkers, dreamers and restless people who question everything. It needs people driven mad by curiosity and child-like wonder. It needs an active contemplative who constantly looks within to find that often illusive human insight that enables magic to happen.
We don’t need blind and lukewarm messengers. We need to be message-bearers of something bigger than ourselves. And until we find it, allow us to be angry.

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Is the Customer at the heart of your Digital Transformation?
On 19th of July, MARKETING will be organising a conference on Customer-Centric Digital Transformation (#DTCX2018) to help you answer that question. The conference will be driven by Paul Stewart who authored the best-seller ‘Branded Customer Service’ and currently is the Special Advisor, Strategy & Transformation for TMI Malaysia. Drawing from his 25 years of diverse experience as a Chief Economist, CEO and consulting in organisational change, transformation and innovation Paul will be sharing his learnings and current trends in this realm.
He will be joined by key thought leaders in the areas of transformation, data analytics, customer service, branding, marketing, digital, human resources and more! Some of the key names who will be joining us include:
* Imran Kunalan Abdullah, Advisor/Principal Consultant – Digital Talent Development & Leadership and People Analytics
* George Aveling, CEO, TMI Malaysia
* Laurence Smith, Head, Asia Region, SmartUP
* Falko Leonhardt, Principal Consultant Transformation Strategy and Change, TMI
and MORE!
Get ready to be inspired by case studies on transformation, honest conversations on driving change and actionable insights you can take back to implement in your organisation.
Date: 19th July 2018
Time: 8.30 am -6.00 pm
Venue: Sime Darby Convention Center, Bukit Kiara
For more information on DTCX 2018 contact Amira today at [email protected] or Book your spot early to avoid disappointment!

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
Submit Entries Here

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