If you have an advertising professional or two in your life, you know it can be a challenge to find the right gift for them at the holidays. What could such culturally savvy trendsurfers possibly need? In the spirit of the season, AdFreak has pulled together a few ideas, broken out by job title. So, whether you’re shopping for a literary snob of a copywriter or a chronically clock-watching account exec, check out our suggestions (and share your own) after the jump.
—Posted by David Griner
For the Associate Creative Director
Want to help one of your favorite creatives make that next step into the world of management? If it’s a guy, he could probably learn to show some self-respect and shave off that deadbeat hipster stubble. The Art of Shaving’s Compact Shaving Set ($195) will make him feel both retro and respectable. If that works, step two will be to lure him into a barbershop by telling him it’s a record store that has vintage vinyl of Uncle Tupelo.
For the Account Executive
“How are we coming on deadline?” “When is the talent supposed to get here again?” “Crap, it’s still not 5 o’clock?” These are all questions best asked while pulling out a stylish pocket watch and giving it an intense glare. This chrome-plated model from Charles-Hubert Paris ($85) is minimalist enough to work for a man or a woman. As a bonus, it requires daily winding, which gives you a whole new nervous habit to annoy people with during creative presentations.
You’ll never be able to get ahead of an interactive geek on the gadget front, so try something that’s both old-school and freshly informative: Web Analytics 2.0, the new book by Google Analytics evangelist Avinash Kaushik. Your digitally minded friend will surely chafe at the very 2008-sounding title, but beyond that, he or she will probably be impressed that you found such an insightful yet relatively obscure guidebook for the new landscape of ROI. It’s $26.39 on Amazon. (Surprisingly, it’s not available as an e-book.)
For the Art Director
Designers are constantly trying to merge the natural and the artificial, exploring the place where humanity meets the physical world around us. Where is this union better symbolized than on the soles of our feet? Where once Birkenstocks reigned, you’ll increasingly find Vibram FiveFingers shoes ($75-$110). Quirky but comfortable, they give the earthy sensation of running barefoot through city or country, but without all the pesky tetanus infections.
It can be hard to find a slab of great writing that your favorite wordsmith hasn’t already devoured, so here’s a better idea: Buy 10 incredible books that aren’t even out yet. The McSweeney’s Book Release Club ($100 plus shipping) is a pre-paid subscription of sorts that will send your friend the next 10 McSweeney’s books as they are published. Right now, the first book is Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, an autobiographical story of a child who feared his penis could emit rays that would defile images of the Virgin Mary. If that doesn’t scream Christmas, what does?
For the CEO
It’s been a rough year for agency execs, what with all the marketing budget massacres, decimating layoffs and tectonic paradigm shifts. So, what could mark the end of 2009 better than a whisky with hints of scorched earth and tough medicine? Laphroaig is a salty, smoky beast of a Scotch from the famed Islay region. With a medicinal taste of phenol and the seaside undertones of a burning galleon, this is a drink for the bold of heart. It’s also just what the doctor ordered to rekindle the fires in a CEO’s capitalist belly. If you’re buying this for a spouse or country-club colleague, go for the 25-year at $375 a bottle. If you’re buying it for your boss, the 10-year cask strength is about $60, making it both a moderately affordable gift and a socially acceptable way to give your CEO a punch in the throat.