I am sorry for my apology

I have to start my new weekly column with an apology. I tend to talk about my books too much. It’s not to be promotional (although I wouldn’t mind if you bought a copy or two or ten thousand), but the research I did to write them has shaped my views.

And, I believe that many of my views are best expressed in my books.

One of the themes from How to Succeed in Advertising When All You Have Is Talent Second Edition is to eliminate weak work from your portfolio and your presentations. If you never take the client a bad ad concept, says Ted Bell, former Worldwide Creative Director of Young & Rubicam and current novelist, they can’t make a bad decision.

Before you say duh, I can’t even begin to count the number of times a student (not all) or a creative team (ditto) says, “I knew you were going to say that" or “I was thinking the same thing” after I commented on their work.

If you know I am going to say that something isn't working, why ask?

If you’re thinking that something isn't working, why show it?

If the creators can sense that something isn’t working, what makes them think that I won’t pick up on it? And if I—an outsider to their creative process—can sense that something isn’t right, shouldn’t the consumer be able to sense that too?

True, they might not be able to use the same lingo as us.

But as one quote goes, “our job is to train ourselves to become consumers. It is not the job of consumers to train themselves to become ad executives.”

Now you can say duh.

Of course, if you realize that a piece of work you presented to a client is not up to snuff, admit it and then fix it. But it also means you should never knowingly put yourself in a position of feeling the need to apologize or provide an excuse for weaker work. And that includes the product; if you don’t like it, don’t work on it.

So eliminate straw dogs. If you don’t like something, fix it or broom it. Simple, common sense advice that is too often forgotten or ignored. See, I even ignored it in my headline and introduction. But, then again, I didn’t.

14 comments:

L.L. said...

A drunken man walks in a way that is quite impossible for a sober man to imitate, and vice versa. An evil man has a way, no matter how clever--to the trained eye, his way will show itself.

Littlejohn said...

l.l. - I believe you have the wrong blog. The fluffy, pointless, fake proverb blog is somewhere else. Google that. You’ll find a home, I’m sure of it. Good luck.

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