By Alan Graner
I’d spent long hours working with my art director (he would claim I was his copywriter) coming up with concepts for a client’s ad campaign. We were quite proud of the result. The concepts were fresh, creative, compelling and drove home the sales message.
The client hated them.
She was very blunt in her request: she wanted ads that looked exactly like her competitors.
Male bovine excrement
I understood her motivation. She believed that by copying competitors’ designs, she would appear to be one of the “big boys.” I’ve run across this conceit a few times.
We patiently explained why this approach was counter-productive. By blending in with everybody else, her company would gain scant notice. The only way to break through the clutter was to do something different.
We fought with her for a while to no avail. She was adamant. To continue arguing would only antagonize her, and it was her dime.
We could have walked away, in which case she’d hire someone who’d give her pure dreck. My position is if a client hires me to do crap, then I’m going to give her the best crap possible. That includes carefully crafted copy, appropriate visuals, a great layout and all the little details that produce effective marketing communications, and screw the awards shows.
Booga-booga isn’t just a college cheer
I understand many clients consider marketing communications as booga-booga.. They don’t know the difference between good marcom and bad, and many don’t really care. They just want the stuff published.
They have that right.
What’s your experience?
Image: Brandon Ledger
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations. He also lets clients eat cake. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.