The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

You’re Looking Beautiful Today.
July 18, 2006, 2:59 pm
Filed under: Comment

Yesterday I pitched for a piece of business against a mate of mine who is a planner at a Multinational agency.

He is a wonderful bloke …  and as an ex-planner from Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam, incredibly smart.

So after the pitch we caught up and talked about what we presented and interestingly, they were completely different approaches. [‘Which proves that there is no such thing as only ‘one solution’]

However – and this is without doubt going to sound like sour grapes – his idea [which to be fair to him, he admitted] was formulated to appeal to the ego of the client whereas stupidly, our idea was about nurturing a cultural movement.  [Yes, I know that sounds wank, but it was – and the insight was a corker!]

Hence we won’t win the business and they most definitely will.

So would I have done anything differently? 

Sure, there’s a few superficial things – but nothing fundamental – except maybe present to a bunch of marketing people who actually wanted to engage consumers rather than simply smack them over the head with self-indulgent bollocks that makes them feel good.

Hmmmmn, that really does sound like sour grapes doesn’t it.

I know a while back I wrote about how the highs and lows of advertising make you feel ‘alive’ … and that when you lose a pitch – you don’t see your mistakes, just their stupidity … and I know that advertising is a business with no prize for 2nd place … but something still sticks in my throat when a company shouts out about wanting an idea that can work in any medium that really engages consumers in a different, imaginative way and then chooses an agency who gives them ‘ego-rant’ wrapped up in a pretty, little TVC.

Do I blame my mate? 

Of course not, his idea makes sense [both from answering the brief and keeping the clients ego, ‘puffed up’] … it’s just that the concept is so bloody dated, self-indulgent and TV orientated and that sort of thing drives me nuts, especially as the insights showed that something fresh, involving and demonstrative would work more powerfully.

I guess this is another example of why we must educate people on the value of creativity … because as much as many marketing managers believe they are ‘protecting their brand’, they are actually stopping it from growing.

I do appreciate I am being incredibly negative – especially as we have had no client feedback yet – but in the unlikely event I am proved wrong, the fact of the matter is that this situation is happening far too often … and if companies really want to realise their potential, they’ll one day have to accept we’re the experts in connecting with people, not them.

I leave you with this gem from Billy Connolly.

The Queen thinks the World smells of fresh paint because wherever she goes, 40 feet infront of her are a bunch of people desperately painting the walls to ensure she see’s everything in the best possible light.

It would seem many Marketing Managers work on this philosophy for their board of directors.

If people really, really, really love working with sycophants, may I suggest they go here, and download ‘Al Morale’ – he should keep them happy!

4 Comments so far
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Unfortunately, this is only likely to happen to some businesses when they release that not doing it is costing them money.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

… and we can undeniably prove that fact!

Comment by Rob @ Cynic

I think pandering to the client’s ego is more than just a desperate measure. To me, it is ‘cheating’ as it has nothing to do with solving the business problem. It doesn’t demonstrate the agency’s true abilities either. Perhaps, it is what W.C. Fields once said: a thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.

However, it works, doesn’t it? In my college days, I have seen enough of this! Once again, it is a case of “If you can’t beat it, join it.”


Comment by Celeste

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