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

The Fine Line Between Guidelines And Dictatorship …

I recently came across the above ‘guidelines’ for the cartoon RoadRunner and Cayote.

Admittedly they read more like a list of rules than guidelines, but there’s two things that really struck me:

1. How well they knew their characters.
2. How they only needed 9 ‘guidelines’ to truly encapsulate the characters of the cartoon.

Now you could say that I shouldn’t be surprised.

It’s a cartoon.

They draw it every day.

But I deal with companies all the time who have been making stuff and couldn’t articulate the key characteristics that ensures their product is distinct to them.

Many could talk about the process in which they make it, but few would be able to highlight the context needed to ensure their is a consistency in the ‘experience’ for the audience.

Which reminds me of a story I’ve told many times before.

The time we interviewed chefs for Tabasco Sauce and one said,

“The more confident the chef, the less ingredients they need.”

I guess that can be paraphrased for anything … even cartoons.

Which reminds me of another story I’ve written before.

The one where Ronald Reagan articulates how you know if you’ve done a good job in expressing your perspective or point of view.

“If you’re explaining, you’re losing”.

Planners … creatives … brands should take note of both.

12 Comments so far
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this is almost good campbell. had to happen eventually.

Comment by andy@cynic

It won’t happen again.

Comment by Rob

it didnt happen this time because you stole all the fucking points from other people. like you always fucking have.

Comment by andy@cynic

roadrunner to tabasco to reagan. thats the shittest party ever.

Comment by andy@cynic

All this post has made me do is wonder why it takes planners 1000 slides to say nothing much?

Comment by DH

grade a fucking insulting.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hahahahaha … you fucker.

It’s also true. For a lot of planners.

Or should I say people who are pretending to be one.

Comment by Rob

1) The planner cannot harm the work except by going blah blah.

2) The planner could stop anytime, except he’s a planner.

3) All inaction must be confined to the natural environment of the parties – the long, deck-filled meeting.

4) No dialogue ever, except blah blah.

5) All material, tools, travel or mechancial conveniences will be obtained as freebies.

6) The planner is always more humiliated than harmed by his musical and clothing taste.

Comment by John

theres only one rule. dont listen to the fucking planner. ever.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

Rob, Clarity is key!

I always start my clients by forcing them to clarify what they want. “I want to lose weight” and say “cut off your foot, you’ll be lighter!” There goal isn’t clear!

Whatever you’re doing, to do it well, you need to be very clear about what you want and how you will go about achieving it – including being clear about what is not acceptable (no products other than Acme, Road Runner can’t leave the road, etc.)

Great post, where did you find that list, btw?

Comment by Charles Freeland

Yep, clarity is key. And agreement of it. Haha.

My friend sent me the list, good isn’t it.

Comment by Rob

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