Wednesday, May 21, 2014

No Mood for Mood Boards

If you haven't guessed I am a man of many pet peeves.

You don't get to a 1000+ posts on a blog without having some irritations. Or in my case, way too many.

Perhaps I should learn to meditate but I can't help thinking nothing will dry the well faster than a sense of tranquility and ease with the world at large.

And so I willfully remain peeved. And the world returns the favor with an endless supply of asininity.

Nothing illustrates that more than the mood board.

Years ago, my partner and I were working at an ad agency, an unnamed local satellite of a much larger worldwide agency. The creative directors in charge were young. Given to tattoos, Capri pants and artisanal coffee; all well-documented pet peeves of mine.

While they were long on affectations, they were noticeably shorthanded in their ability to tell a story.

And so we found ourselves, on several late nights, preparing elaborate mood boards to accompany and elucidate our scripts.

My best thinking and my best writing are done early so I'm not fond of being in the office at 8 o'clock on any night. By then Final Jeopardy has been answered and I've been robbed of an opportunity to flaunt my abundant trivial knowledge in front of my family.

I'm particularly foul about staying late to do a Google image search for just the right rustic farmhouse barn.

Or the perfectly coiffed middle aged housewife.

Or the demographically-correct breed of pet dog.

Let's say you're a client, you're the Chief Marketing Officer of a large multibillion dollar company. You've spent years in the business and have an intuitive feel for how a brand's message needs to be conveyed.

And let's say I'm in your fancy Chief Marketing Officer's office and I'm presenting you a script. And just for example the spot opens with, "A woman walks into a luxurious high end apartment."

Do you really need to see a mood board -- like the one above -- in order to understand the visual cues one might find in a luxurious high end apartment?


If anything you should be insulted that we, the ad agency, have discounted your imagination and opted to spoon feed you meaningless generic images screen grabbed off a computer while eating crappy, over-spiced Thai food.

You should rightfully be insulted and cheesed off that we assigned billable hours to that stupid endeavor.

Conversely, if you are a CMO and you need a mood board because you can't conjure up the images in your head, well then I would respectfully submit that your reach has exceeded your grasp.


Tony Mariani said...

I assume you meant artisanal tea as well.

adasaurus said...

While I am an older AD, we are one. I love the way you write and think. If I lived on the west coast or if I still worked on projects with bigger budgets that got me there I would love to buy you a drink. Thanks for Rnd17.

glasgowdick said...

@ Tony. Yes, of course.
@ Adasaurus, thank you for the kind words. And the readership.