Monday, 30 March 2015

Practice What You Preach. Even More So If You're a Creative.

I work in advertising. It's a fun job but it offers a lot of leeway to the slackers. If you watch Mad Men, you know it's full of right brained  - Creative Team that conceptualises ads and left brained people - Servicing Team that liaises with the client, although no martini lunches for them any more.)

So what happens is the Servicing Team interacts with the client a lot more than the Creative Team. The Creative Team makes in an appearance at an important presentation but the Servicing Team becomes the face of the account. (Agencies started addressing the business of a client as an account thinking every new account would add more money to their bank account.)

Anyway, so if a creative resource does a bad job, it's the servicing resource who has to take the flak. He filters the feedback for his right-brained counterpart. This ensures that the right-brained guy, who is somehow assumed to be all id, stays motivated. You will be surprised though to learn that a good number of clients insist on personally praising the creative team a great job. 

You think all this is fine but somewhere things went south in the business. The creative team blamed the servicing team for every error. Every rejection was pinned on them. They got clever, as creatives are wont to do. 'You couldn't sell mineral water in the Saharas', they chirped. Had this been just poking fun at colleagues, it would be fine but after seeing this countless times, it just comes across as creative resources not taking accountability of the fact that may be somewhere they did a bad job. 

Such a thing can go on for sometime. Till one day, you put the creative resource in front of the client. The client growls. The servicing resources step in. They cajole. They comfort. They say, 'We could fix in post.' This is the point where a true creative resource steps in. He doesn't wait till the meeting is over and blame it on the servicing team. With as much suave as his servicing counterpart, he explains to the client whatever his team did with the creative was only done for the good of his own brand's business. 

This is truly an irksome part of advertising. And there are many irksome things about advertising. A good number of creative resources would never rise to the occasion. Surely, some would get better at 'selling an idea.' But when shit has hit the fan, they wouldn't roll up their sleeves and speak directly with the client.

Honestly, this takes a lot of courage. A good number of clients still regard creative resources and ideas with fear. So when a client turns down your idea and if you use your zen-like aura to tell them why the idea is good for their brand, they are bound to hear you out. In many a cases, they will respect you for standing up. Mind you, standing up and not throwing a fit. Your servicing teammates will admire you for saying to the client what you said to them. And the best part, the client will a good number of times take money out of his own pocket to back your idea. 

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