Balance – By @TarunChandy

By Tarun Chandy




This week, we’ve been working on a brief for a company we’re not legally allowed to talk about. So, writing a SCAB about the way this brief made me reflect on my life might be a little challenging. But, I think I can say what I need to say without naming any names or making any obvious references to the brand itself. All you really need to know is this. The brand has to do with health and wellness, and the brief centred around the idea of living a balanced life. I feel like that keeps things vague enough to ensure I won’t be sued.


Trying to find a fresh approach to take to this brief was challenging. We asked questions. What does a balanced life involve? How does our brand actually play a role in helping people regain their sense of balance? Finally, when it felt like we were hitting a brick wall, my partner asked me whether I thought my life was balanced.


My immediate response was, fuck no! How could it be? I avoid all physical activity like the plague. My diet is that of a twelve year old on a whim. And I’ve always enjoyed oscillating between extremes, rather than finding a midpoint that satisfied all the requirements of a sustainable lifestyle.


But the more I think about it, the more I realise that balance needs to be subjective. Sure, many would argue that there are certain things that make for a healthy life and certain things that work directly against them. However, if we were to pretend that there was no frame of reference for distinguishing the healthy choices from the unhealthy ones, the idea of balance would be entirely psychological. And the only question we’d have to ask ourselves would be, do I think that there is something missing from my life? Do I want something I can’t have or do I have something I don’t want? As soon as I amended the question, I felt a lot better about my answer. I now believe that my life is in fact as balanced as I’d like it to be.


Being at SCA, it seems like our balances could easily be tested. We might be overworked to the point where we don’t do things for ourselves. We might be focusing so intently on the goals we all share, that we forget about our individual desires and drives. As we get closer to the end, there’s a lot more stress, fear and uncertainty for all of us. But what really helps me maintain my sense of balance is the knowledge that for almost everything we’re told at SCA, at one point or another we’ve been told the opposite.


When it feels like focusing too hard on strategy is ruining a campaign, I remember that you can make a good ad without a proposition. When it feels like there’s going to be far too much competition to get into the agencies I’d like to be in, I remember that it’s alright because everyone gets a job somewhere in the end. When it feels like I am spending too long agonising over details and overthinking every little thing, I remember that it’s just an ad and no one besides us really cares. Nothing we’re told or taught at SCA feels like an absolute or an ultimatum. So, the only thing that can really ruin our sense of balance is taking any one lesson too seriously.

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