Comically Idiotic List of Advertising’s ‘500 Under 500’ Spoofs the Industry’s Love of Rankings

McCann creatives take aim at tradition

There's no shortage of lists ranking ad people—people profess to hate them, but of course, everybody reads them. And now, Lex Singer and Jesse Yowell have unveiled the bloated, bloviating mother of them all—the 500 Under 500. That's right, 500 people, each of them under 500 years old, who are doing great and/or really innocuous things in the business.

"We saw how seriously people take all these industry lists, so we wanted to make the most absurd version of it possible," says Singer, a copywriter who partners with Yowell, an art director, at McCann New York. "At first we thought we'd do 1,000 under 1,000 and then we decided to make it slightly more manageable."

We find it exhausting to even do lists of 100, so hats off to Singer and Yowell for pulling off this impressive feat—with blurbs that really get to the heart of each honoree's strengths. (They set the tone right away with No. 500, DDB global creative chief Amir Kassaei. His blurb, succinct and factually unimpeachable: "Shit, this guy's done a lot of stuff."

There's also plenty of Adweek people on the list, including myself, so you know it's legit.