Friday, August 06, 2004

Creative, Schmative

+ "Marketers must market, creatives create" is a nice opinion piece on agency pitches. Here's an excerpt: "In the normal course of business the agency is selling access to its intellectual property, and like most intangible services it is consumed instantly - once presented the idea is gone and the agency can only hope to earn income if it can convince the client to pay for its peripheral products, such as production and media. In the pitch situation the message the agency sends is: “The creativity is worthless, we’ll just give it away.” For a business whose stock in trade is creativity this is sad – maybe even dare I say even STUPID." He also makes mention of the fact that by giving away ideas for free, it lessens the value of the product- ideas and creativity. Which is probably one of the many reasons why many clients tend to not value the creativity of agencies. In a related article, "Agencies need to buy some backbone", another author states "But pitches aide, another problem is that when they actually get the business, some agencies are so desperate to keep it that they will do anything the client wants. Or anything the client's wife wants." And that's quite true too. It goes back to something I'm sure I've said before about you wouldn't pay to go to a doctor for a diagnosis and then tell him he was wrong. And actually I can't really think of any other profession where it's acceptable to muck about the way clients do in advertising. Sure, they are the customer, and the customer is always right- to a point. Because letting them change the font, kill a concept because they don't like a color or are missing the point that their target audience might not like exactly what they personally do, leads creativity in ads down a very slippery slope. It shows a total lack of respect for what creatives do. Do other professionals get the same kind of "let me tell you how to do it" thrown at them? Let's see. Accountants? No. Firemen? No. Lawyers? No. Therapists? No. General Contractors/Carpenters/Plumbers? No. I think I could go on and on because I don't think there is a "Yes" out there. So why do we let this be the case? It happens to every creative- from the hottest agencies to the individual freelancer. There has to be a point where someone stands up and says "Wait a minute- WTF?" Of course with the economy still on it's way to improving, no one is going to do that. They will continue to be the patsies to the clients whims, no matter what the cost- just as long as it's not at the cost of losing the client. And I can see why one would have to do this sort of thing in the current climate. But then when do you stop? When can you stand up if you're always in fear of losing a client? There's something to be said for respect as well. And this chipping away at ideas- good solid ideas- as well as new business pitches where ideas are given away for free- s a lack of respect for what we do. Not that it's news of any kind. But who can you go in day in and day out, putting in 100% into something, when you don't have any respect for what you do coming back at you? It definitely makes it harder. It just creates more disgruntled workers. Overall the result is not good. Which is probably why there is popularity in sending in spec work to award shows. The temptation is too great and the great clients are too few. And a good majority of all this stems from the pitch- the gift of free ideas, the devaluing of an agency's and creative's most important commodity.

+ Ad Icon competition is heating up. came across this press release for the michelin man and this one for Mr. Clean. And Adland has the story on Charlie the Tuna looking for your vote.

+ Apparently CP+B's Subservient Chicken, Ugoff, etc has helped Burger King out. "Miami-based Burger King Corp. said its July results show U.S. systemwide same-store sales up 12.9 percent. The fast-food chain said U.S. franchise sales were up 12.4 percent and company restaurant sales were up 18.4 percent, year over year. July marks the sixth consecutive month of positive U.S. same-store sales, Burger King said." Proof that good creative is effective. :D

+ Adland reports on the reports of serving paid links within articles written by journalists. Just what is needed, another reason for the public to distrust advertisers, journalists, and media outlets. To me this seems like a cop-out. Is there no other way to reach your target than by manipulating the information from reliable sources? It's bad enough with product placements, advertorials in magazines and the like.

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