Filed under: Comment
Some say opinions are like arseholes.
Everyone has them, except some are prettier than others.
That definition could also be directed at advertising.
Everyone has an opinion.
An opinion on what’s wrong with it … what’s right with it … how it could be made better … how it could have been made … you name it, advertising attracts it and debates it.
What’s worse is that as much as the opinions flow like rivers once the things been made, that’s nothing compared to the opinions that are thrown into the mix when you’re trying to actually develop something.
The easy way would be to go with consensus.
Go with what the majority want and make your life easier.
But the problem with the majority is that their decisions are often tainted by all sorts of personal agenda or fear which means success can be impacted before it has even had a chance to prosper.
With this in mind, the ability to distinguish fact from fiction – and do it in a way that clients will understand and accept – is incredibly important and the funny thing is, it’s incredibly easy … at least in theory.
There’s an old adage that perception is reality but it isn’t reality is reality … which is why one of the greatest bits of advice I have ever been given to keep good things happening – rather than let consensus conquer all – is appreciate the difference between subjective and objective.
Now I’m sure you guys already know this, but for me, it’s still unbelievably important – especially when we’re discussing strategies/ideas/creative concepts with clients.
The sad reality these days is that clients are empowered to say ‘no’ rather than yes.
With that in mind, there seems to be this subliminal belief that a brand managers goal is to minimise risk rather than maximise potential.
Don’t get me wrong, no one wants to do something stupidly risky – well, unless strategically it makes sense – but when your starting point is ‘not rock the boat’ rather than ‘drive cultural change’, you can often end up in a situation where you’re bombarded with reasons why NOT to do something rather than things that can push the potential to even greater heights.
So what do you do?
Enter subjective and objective.
Too many times comments are thrown back at you that aren’t exactly true.
I’m not saying people are purposefully lying, but quite often the things they regard as ‘fact’ actually end up being far more subjective than objective.
It could be because they are using old research to form their view or basing it on feedback that comes from an unrelated topic or confusing the context of the situation or ignoring the broader issues that affected their example or simply talking about an ad that worked/failed at a very different time – which is why the key is to never go into a meeting thinking you can handle everything with your smarts, you have to go in prepared … where you know far more about their business than just their marketing and have the information to back it up.
Of course the key to challenging clients opinion is knowing how to do it – something that I admit, I need to improve on – but if you can do it and do it in a way they understand is to drive better work not just satisfy your ego, you might just find you end up making work that pushes culture not just adds to the overall category noise.
28 Comments so far
Leave a comment