Forget January 1st. The New Year Is Right Around the Corner

Time Once Again for Friday Afternoon Meetings

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Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
As far as I'm concerned, what Dick Clark oversees is simply a ceremonial event. The real deal comes right after Labor Day. And it's a real shock to the system that has been lulled into summer mode. Gone are the vodka tonics by the beach. The long walks in the mountains. The bike rides to nowhere in particular. And throwing something on the grill almost every night.

Sure, we work hard in our business through the summer. Deadlines don't go away. But there is a distinct difference in mindset in the business world during summer. Just try reaching someone you need to meet with in late July or any time in August. You get a lot of "OOTO" email replies. Gone to the beach, mountains, or someplace even better!

Summer is a good time to think. Ideas percolate better when the days are longer and warmer.

But as the daylight gets shorter with each passing August day, we stand up a little straighter, see a few more back-to-school ads on TV, and slowly prepare ourselves for The Other New Year (also known as ALD, or After Labor Day). Soon, agencies, and their clients will dress more formally. Maybe even throw on a tie every now and then. Meetings will be scheduled late on a Friday afternoon, because people will be there. And the workload will increase at agencies small and large, as clients return and begin implementing plans that were put on hold for a few summer vacation weeks.

Personally, I'm not for ready The Other New Year. For me, it also means the resumption of monthly board meetings, helping my kids with their homework, escalation of pressure to execute Q4 campaigns, and fewer late-night bottles of wine on the patio with friends.

Since we can't change how the world shifts behavior in a couple of weeks, I propose that Dick Clark does his countdown in Times Square right after Labor Day. At least it'll give us something to celebrate as we buckle down to business, and put our serious faces on again.
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