Side View’s weekend theme this week is Advertising. It’s been the story of my life, I worked in the industry and now I feed people in that world. I had ups and I had downs, I was lucky in that I met many wonderful people. I also met many awful people; there was the aging creative director who took the credit for his copywriter’s ideas and will forever carry the guilt of her suicide; everybody in the industry knows exactly who I am talking about.

Being “in advertising” is not the glamorous business young hopefuls think it to be; the hours are long and the deadlines are inevitably tight leading to high stress levels. Sure, the money is better than in most other industries, but burnout is frequent and the widespread stories of substance abuse are grounded in truth. It’s a tough world and I’m quite grateful I’m on the other side of the fence today. So, before I go off and make 80 meatballs for a film shoot tomorrow, let me make a case for mackerel …

Let’s begin with the most important lesson in advertising from He Who Knows All, David Ogilvy: “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

So, I could wax lyrical about the nutritional value of this fatty fish. Or I could simply say FEED YOUR FAMILY FOR ONLY R20!

Yep, four fish and two potatoes and I got me some great fishcakes. Ta da!

Fish burger, anyone?


65 Comments Add yours

  1. Susan Green says:

    Bargain! *holds out plate*

    1. theonlycin says:

      *passes over fishcake*

  2. SidevieW says:

    It is another tough world, yet people queue to get in.

    I think I must find me some mackerel

    1. theonlycin says:

      Try Checkers in Emmarentia 🙂

  3. Oooh, yes please! Yet another idea for dinner tonight…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Easy peasy, Kate 🙂

  4. Sparkle says:

    The fish cakes look yummy! Did you oven bake the fish before creating the cakes?
    Was worried about your whereabouts but didn’t want to sound nosy. Glad you are well 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Just a bit busy with catering jobs, Sparky 🙂
      (yes, I baked the fish first.)

  5. Love the idea of fishcakes–so comforting for so many people!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I think I want to try my hand at gefilte fish, Preeva, do you have a recipe for me?

  6. Linda says:

    Oh no thank you. Great tip about the headline though.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hahaha … I guess it’s not everyone’s cup of tea 😉

  7. Tandy says:

    it is the most reasonably priced fish! With some celeriac and horseradish mash divine 🙂 The world of advertising can be brutal it sounds. Have a good evening xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, it is perfect with horseradish to set off the richness of the fish 🙂 xxx

  8. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) says:

    Thanks for a tiny look from the inside at advertising.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re welcme, thanks for the visit, Lisa 🙂

  9. gospelwriter says:

    Mackerel’s a saltwater fish, right? It never occurred to me, living as I did for most of my life on the prairies, how odd it was that “holy mackerel!” was such a commonly heard expression (of surprise) there. Now I’m wondering what mackerel tastes like… Those fishcakes look yummy!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It is a very rich, oily fish with wonderful health benefits.

  10. We don’t eat mackerel, and just the other day I was wondering if we should. Thanks for answering the question for me! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re welcome, Celia 🙂

  11. souldipper says:

    I used to watch the people come and go from our corporate marketing division and wonder what caused the high turnover. I once told the Vice President how I responded to clients who wanted to know the substance and strength of our Financial firm. He took that idea to marketing, it became a widespread and highly successful advertising campaign that was used for many years.

    I was never credited with the concept. I never complained about it, but I knew exactly who I was dealing with. That was not a lesson lost!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You find them all over the world, Amy.

  12. There’s definitely some truth to the writing on headers; I find that it is often what makes me pick something up, marvel at the creativity or not even notice. Some that I’ve seen has just been SO WOW! The things people come up with…

    Those look like divine fish cakes! If I close my eyes I can smell them! 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      It never ceases to amaze me how many youngsters are just dying to get into the industry *shrugs*

      1. When you’re young it is easy to be in love with an idea. Many probably can’t tell the difference between the the real deal and the illusion until they’ve been in it for a while. Perhaps just a part of growing up and life…

      2. theonlycin says:

        I guess you’re right and I probably wouldn’t change my past life even if I could 🙂

  13. nursemyra says:

    I’m not very keen on mackerel but your fishcakes could change my mind

    1. theonlycin says:

      Very good with a spicey mayo, Myra 🙂

  14. bluebee says:

    Fishcakes are delish

  15. I’m fascinated by the industry. My partner works in media/advertising and constantly talks of the harshness of the industry. We have just got into the series Mad Men, and my mom talks of how it all used to be back then. Every industry has it’s flaws, and it’s fair share of folk that give up. That is sad that the copywriter gave up, and even safer that all feel the creative director should feel guilt. We have choices in this life……
    Your fish cakes look amazingly delicious. Good idea I say. 🙂 Haven’t had a good fish cake in yonkas.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m dying to see Mad Men, I believe the styling is incredibly good!

  16. nrhatch says:

    A well phrased slogan is worth a thousand . . . sales. 😉

    Nice take on the theme, Cin.

  17. Tammy says:

    it’s an important lesson, isn’t it Cin? We might not be so taken but the masses are.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I just say to myself “been there, done that, got lots of tshirts” 🙂

  18. Naomi says:

    Sjoe, Cin, it’s sobering to read about the advertising “underbelly”, especially with my stepson an art director too. Catering to the crew sounds far less intense and lots of fun. Enjoy! Those fishcakes look exceptional 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Catering is like still being in the game, but on the sideline 😉

  19. Tilly Bud says:

    Glad you’re out of it; that’s an awful story you told.

    Hope you’re feeling better.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am, thank you Tilly 🙂

  20. Not sure I could handle the advertising industry, however, I could definitely handle those there mackerel fishcakes.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too Mandy 🙂

  21. slpmartin says:

    Okay…I would have to see the recipe for preparing the mackerel…not a prized fish around here. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Probably perceived as horrid because it’s cheap?

  22. earlybird says:

    AND they’re incredibly good for you. (Like sardines.) I slash ’em and stuff ’em with chermoula and cook on the bbq. They can take the robust flavour and that way the kitchen doesn’t smell of oily fish.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for the tip, I will try that too, the kitchen did smell fishy for ages 😉

  23. johnell74 says:

    Cindy, you got my saliva running at 6 in the morning!
    Lovely pic of the fish cakes – one of my favourites!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you John 😀

  24. Steffi says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!Have a nice day!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Steffi, you too 😀

  25. That is SERIOUSLY cheap! Were they as good as they look in the photo?

    1. theonlycin says:

      They were excellent, bought at Checkers in Emmarentia 🙂

  26. sparkle says:

    Cin, I made chicken kebabs yesterday but I forgot to soak the skewers 1st, so they got burnt but atleast the burnt taste did not affect the taste. Do I soak the skewers in cold water? The kebabs you posted reminded me that I had those sticks from K’s party where I had choc fountain.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I don’t soak the sticks, Sparky, but I would guess cold water would be best 🙂

  27. adeeyoyo says:

    Now that’s a fishy post, Cindy!

  28. johnlmalone says:

    I loved this blog an d the sculpture. you can learn a lot by letting people open up to you and what better way to do it than over a meal? nteresting snippet of history too

    1. theonlycin says:

      Isn’t it just? Finland has little part in the stories generally told about the war.

  29. I dont think that fish burgers sound too appetizing! BUt they look delicious just like that.

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re very good, bokkie 😉

  30. Jamie Dedes says:

    I was just next door to advertising for awhile – PR! Learned a lot. Don’t want the life.

    Meanwhile, I do my fishcakes much like you I think. Fish, mashed potatoes,egg … and, believe it or not, minced onions and Bell’s Poultry Seasoning. Now I can quickly do bread crumbs to coat again as we have gluten-free Panko available now in some stores. Don’t have to make my own anymore.

    Bell’s includes: thyme and sage. Lovely! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I think your Panko must be much like our Packo 🙂

  31. That was interesting reading, Cin (I’m playing ‘catch-up’ on my favourite blogs tonight). You’ve had an interesting career 🙂

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