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

You Only Get One Chance To Impress. And If You Do It Right, That’s All You Should Need.
August 27, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Reagan Insight

So for reasons I still don’t quite grasp, many American’s believe Ronald Reagan was their best ever president.

Yes … better than Lincoln, Washington, Kennedy or Roosevelt.

Of course, this is also a nation that thinks Fox News offers ‘fair and balanced’ reporting, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

To be fair to the C-grade, cigarette peddling actor, there were some things he did/said/believed that were pretty good.

He didn’t believe in knee-jerk reactions for one.

He once said “vengeance isn’t the name of the game, we have got to protect against over–reaction” … which compared to a few presidents who followed him, shows a level of maturity you’d never expect from a man who once made a living riding horses in terrible, terrible movies.

Anyway, I recently saw a quote of his that I thought was a good lesson for adland.

To be honest, I have no idea of the context he said it, but I have to say I’ve seen way too many planners and creatives finish their presentation and then have to go back right to the beginning to explain why their idea is right.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s a bunch of people out there than couldn’t open a packet of cornflakes without a video guide, but there’s also a hell of a lot who are smart, sharp and commercially savvy and if they don’t get why your idea or strategy is right, then maybe you have to look at what you’ve done or how you’ve done it.

For me, it all comes down to knowing what the real problem is you’re trying to solve and preparing your argument clearly and concisely.

That doesn’t mean you have to be uber-rational nor does it mean you have to bore them to death with a 10,000 page powerpoint … you just have to appreciate that just because you think something is right doesn’t mean others will so you have to make sure you construct an argument that gives people the confidence to buy rather than something that purely tries to sell someone into acceptance.

That’s why I hate when adland uses the word ‘brave’ to describe work.

Or at least when the agency behind the work defines it that way.

No work should be brave. Behind everything provocative or innovative should be an argument that shows it to be a wise commercial decision … even if to the outsider, the logic is more twisted than a M. Night Shyamala plot.

Being questioned about your strategy/work doesn’t mean it’s wrong or you’ve failed – it can also mean they’re interested and want to know more – but for me, the best way to judge how well you’ve done your job is if the questions you’re asked post presentation are less about ‘why’ you’re doing it and more about ‘how to make it happen’ … because to paraphrase Reagan, if you find yourself having to justify, you’ve not made the most of your chance.