Does Caffeine Deserve an Honorary One Show Pencil?

April 15, 2010

Back when I was in ad school, I had a hard time getting sooooo much work done. Truly, it’s hard enough to complete a crapload of work and also do it well.

To beat drowsiness, I drank a lot of Diet Coke and espresso. It was especially easy to down 8 Diet Cokes in a sitting back in Atlanta — free refills everywhere you go! NYC restaurants aren’t usually quite so generous.

By the time I’d had about 3-4 Diet Cokes, I’d start to get buzzy and spinny. I’d be louder. I’d get hyper. And my ideas got crazier… and by crazier, I do mean better.

Soon, I figured out that I truly wrote better on a lot of caffeine. And then, I couldn’t write well at all unless I was completely high on diet cola.

I’ve been on and off with caffeine addiction. On those days where I pound a couple liters of diet soda, I definitely work better. But I also become extremely irritable. I bounce around like a freakin cokehead for 4 hours and then crash hard for 12. It’s very tiring being a caffeine addict.

When I look back at my portfolio, I can often remember when/where I thought of my best headlines or ideas. And 99% of the time, I was off-the-wall high on caffeine. “Oh! That one was at Starbucks!” “Oh yeah — that was at Panera after my 12th Diet Pepsi.”

Do I owe my career to caffeine? Would I be a secretary or a cell phone salesman if not for that precious molecule? Or would I, in my addictive nature, have reached out for a harder substance? And become a full-on addict of Naughty Snorty?

And how many ad creatives could attribute many of their successes to caffeine consumption? I doubt I’m alone. I tend to think this entire industry owes a LOT to this nasty little chemical.

Anyway, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank caffeine for all its given me. Thank you for all the laughs, for getting me jobs, the late nights and early mornings. Caffeine, I salute you.

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