Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More ideas please

So you worked really hard. You racked your brain for hours. You stayed up late. You did research. You even got the whole group together for a 3-hour gangbang. And you struck gold. 20, no 30 great concepts. All of them on-strategy, innovative and doable.

You present them to your CD. You hold your breath as he/she studies every ad. This time he/she’s gonna be happy. This time he/she’s gonna say you’re done. But the CD doesn’t . Oh, he/she likes a lot on the work. He/she even says it’s a “Good start.” But he/she would like to see some more, tomorrow.

Groan. More work? But you’re tapped out. You dug deep, you can’t dig any deeper. WHY GOD, OH WHY?

I hear you. We all want to be done with our projects. We want to get a brief, come up with ideas and send them off. It gives you a sense of closure. I mean, you don’t wash your car and then decide to wash it again, do you?

But this is not a post about how shitty it is to ask for more work. This is about the need for review. Unless your CD is a total asshole, he/she is actually doing you a favor. They’re giving you more time to refine your ideas and to come up with new ones. And that’s a good thing. Sometimes we are in such a hurry to finish a job that we rush the ideas. “Ok, that’s another one! Next!”

But when you are given a time to take a second look at your work, you start to notice a few things.

Headline that seemed hilarious at 1am after several meetings with “MJ”
-Not so funny today

Kick-ass layout
-Looks a lot like Apple’s new campaign

Million-dollar TV idea
-Uh, client only has $30K.

Really cool logo design
-If you turn it sideways it looks like a penis

Another day lets you toss out your “What Were We Thinking?” concepts. It also gives you time to do a little fine-tuning. Change the color, shorten the headlines, and tweak the layout. And you mind be able to take that idea that just didn’t quite work and turn it into something great. As for the “new” work, it doesn’t always have to be that new. Usually you’ll have a bunch of ideas that never went anywhere. Pull out your notes and look for some gold in the reject pile. And take another hard look at your original concepts. That little ad in the corner could lead into a whole new direction. Or it could be the first in a campaign. It might even lead you to the BIG IDEA.

So the next time your CD ask you to go back to the idea pool, get pissed, cruse their name, then get to work. Remember more time=better ideas.

Asking for more ideas is NOT always a good thing. For example:

Ever-changing Strategies
If the client, CD, or Account people keep changing the message, you get less time to work on your concepts. And the final work is often done at the very last minute.

Same thing. Nothing is more painful then finding out you wasted a night’s work because someone cut-and-pasted from the wrong file.

Too Much Time
“It’s October, and the layouts are due in March. Lets have 27 rounds until then.” This is a great way to create work that is over-designed, over-written and over-thought.

1 comment:

Joker said...

I have no qualms with getting more time if and only if, real thought and good analysis is provided. If a CD's idea of reworking a layout means doing a circle jerk for five hours to see which word better suits their mood they can gladly cup my balls while tossing my salad. Also, and a very big also, if we get more time I expect ideas to be a logical amount of concepts to present. The other day my CD showed his hackness by agreeing to present about 18 TV ideas... The problem is that we all ended up looking like asses even if the entire team could say I told you so, which we did by the way.