I probably would have killed that

From time to time I see a great ad, whether it be print/online/TV, that I probably would have killed in the concepting stages. I would have shot it down, put the kabosh on it and relegated it to the idea wastebasket.

So how does one kill a great idea? In my head here's how I see it going down:

I imagine my partner and I sitting down at a coffee shop the evening before we present. After ordering some coffees he would jump into the idea I would eventually kill. I imagine his enthusiasm as he describes each and every nuance. He would reference movie scenes, camera angles and other idea landmarks so I could fully grasp the shear brilliance of what he was describing. He would then finish his frantic ten-word-a-second description at which point I would sit back, rub my chin, and give him the worst feedback a partner can give: "I'm not feeling it."

And right there I strike a fatal blow to the idea.

I assume he would then reiterate the idea in even greater detail as I surely must not have fully understood it. His denial would be fruitless as I would be certain that this wasn't the right direction. His emotions would run the gambit: denial would turn into anger and frustration then he would try to find some middle ground, which inevitably would bring upon the realization that the idea was dead and he had to accept it and move on.

I imagine the last words of this conversation being: "I guess this idea was better last night after I had a couple drinks."


Click here to see my favorite spot, ever. And yes I would have killed it. Damn.


Dick Margulis said...

I'd still kill it.

DJiLLPAPA said...

as a rule, we didn't kill ideas. we let our CD or, God forbid, the client do it.

PS: i kinda miss the good ol' days of Drivers Wanted. it's funny, 'cuz "When you get into a Volkswagen, it gets into you" is starting to feel a whole lot like an iteration of that classic campaign...

Johnny Lefthand said...

djillpapa, I used to have that same philosophy of showing my CD everything in the hopes that he/she would see some golden nugget buried in one of the ideas. But when I did this I could sometimes see my CD losing interest after awhile. And I usually find it best to do some self editing so every idea I show is at least pretty good, it makes you look smarter!

DJiLLPAPA said...

oh i hear ya. like i said, we "did not"--past tense. there's definitely more self-editing involved in the process now, especially when it comes to actually presenting ideas. gotta say though, if one of us is excited enough about an idea but the other one isn't, we tend not to kill it on the spot. there's probably some merit to the idea if one of us just won't let it go. but that's also a matter of trusting who you're working with at that point in time. and letting that person champion that idea all the way to the CD level usually isn't an entirely futile exercise. 'cuz there's always the possibility of learning something new...

Littlejohn said...

My old partner and I had a rule of thumb that we went by when concepting. We both had to like an to present it to a CD. But we each got to keep one idea that the other didn't like. It really forced us to only bring the good stuff, but still allowed for those rare golden nuggets to get through that the other person couldn't see. Worked quite well for us. What do you think Lefthand?

Johnny Lefthand said...

Littlejohn that was a good practice that I still continue today. There's nothing better than walking out of your CD's office when he liked the idea you got to keep alive.

Littlejohn said...

I know the feeling all to well.

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