Dec 3, 2007

Too Creative About your Work?

How much are you allowed to joke about your job while you are not at work? And how 'public' can you make those jokes? Where is the line that you shouldn't cross to avoid being in trouble?

In the era of bloggers and youtubers, is really difficult to assess if (or when) a joke about your job made public can get you in trouble. Someone that can testify to that is Emma Clarke, one of the official announcers for London's Metro system. According to some versions, she has been fired last November 27th for making spoof messages mocking American tourists, peeping Toms and media employees (some other sources believe she was fired by admitting she doesn't use the Tube at all because she finds it 'dreadful').

In her case the story will probably not have a bad ending because before she was fired few people knew who she was. Today, she's almost a brand just because The London Tube fired her (and by making the news headlines people got curious about her spoof messages and flooded her website). So the London Tube has probably done more for helping Ms. Clarke's career by firing her than anything they have done during the previous years where they have an employer/employee relationship.

Some will say that her spoof messages were not "politically correct". Maybe. On the other hand, my guess is that if you have at least 5 grams of imagination and Emma's job, it is impossible not to have that type of 'messages' crossing your mind everyday. Being a voice over professional with a website, a reel and a blog it takes just 5 minutes to cross the bridge between your mind and the world.

Me, I find them funny. I truly believe that being too serious and too politically correct does not helps creativity. In advertising creativity is about crossing limits. With a strategy behind and with some common sense of course, but still is about going beyond what the public expects. In that sense, the spoof messages became an excellent advertising campaign for Emma and her voice!

You can hear more of Emma's now famous messages here or check out her playful sense of humour @ her blog.

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