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

The Easiest Way To Get To Great Work …

Great work. It’s a term used by so many but – let’s be honest – there’s not huge amounts of it about.

Of course there’s some … work that literally takes your breath away … but in the main, it’s all a bit beige and blah.

But what’s interesting is who people are blaming for this situation.

Often it’s the ad agencies who cop all the abuse.

Claims of being … out of touch, selfish and arrogant, more focused on what they want than their client needs.

But frankly, all this feels a bit too convenient because the people and organisations shouting the abuse the loudest happen to be the people and organisations who are directly competing for the same budgets.

Hmmmmn, I wonder if that undermines their credibility a little?

Throw in they’re often more focused on optimising than progressing and make work that either says whatever the client wants to say – regardless of how tone deaf that may be in culture – or just talk at people with buzzwords and data points that have no value, resonance or humanity towards the audience they are trying to engage … then you start to realise this is more a shitty strategy, than a future of marketing play.

Don’t get me wrong, I think agencies have to take a significant amount of the blame for the situation they find themselves in …

Too many have sold creativity down the river.
Charge for the process they undertake rather than work.
Seek to beliked by clients rather than respected.
Focus on creating generalised answers not unique problems.
Underpay, undervalue and under-appeal to the best of the best – existing or new.

… but even then, it’s only some of the blame, not all.

And the reason for this is great work is a team sport.

Everyone plays a part.

Not everyone – to use a football analogy – will be the striker, but they’re all necessary to score the goal.

But too often, we’re in situations where it’s not played that way.

Where too many wanting the authority but none of the responsibility.

Taking the credit but rejecting the blame.

Handing out dour instruction but expecting amazing results. Even though they don’t even know what amazing is, because either they’re context is small or they simply think everything they do is great so it doesn’t matter what they say.

Hence they’re the ones who criticise the agency for not delivering.

They’re the one’s questioning their commitment and passion.

They’re the ones running to data and management consultants to subject society to communication that in cultural landfill, not cultural stimulus.

And that’s why Rick’s quote is so good.

Because it acknowledges the inclusive responsibility to making something great.

From literally how you deliver the brief – let alone the actual brief – to how you support, encourage and give feedback to the people you want to do the best work of their life to help you have the best time of your life.

Because the reality is, if you’re not excited about doing something great, why the fuck do you think anyone else will be?

12 Comments so far
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For the last paragraph alone, this is an excellent post.

Comment by Lee Hill

As is Rick Rubin’s quote.

Comment by Lee Hill

Both under 280 characters too.

Comment by John

this is the shit that happens when you have people who only care about the cash run a company. fuckers.

Comment by andy@cynic

this is also the shit that happens when you have mediocre clients in charge. who dont give a fuck about whats made just that some shit is churned out. im fucking glad im out that shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well said Andrew.

Comment by George

That is a quote for everything. The only reason most people wouldn’t want to hear it is because they’d have to admit they’re not having fun.

Comment by DH


Comment by Bazza

I think your Rubin project could be a phenomenal agency credentials. It would also make a pretty good business book as well.

Comment by George

Ha …yes they would but they are for something else.

But if they come to their senses, prepare to see Colenso’s new creds. Haha

Comment by Rob

Should a Forest fan be making football analogies about scoring goals?

Comment by John


Comment by DH

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