Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Remember rhythm?

I miss football.

One of the things I enjoy most about NFL football is watching the coach make adjustments. A hard charging defense can be countered with a screen or a draw. Or a team can opt to spread the field. Go up tempo.

It's all designed to get the offense in a rhythm. Because only when the offense is in rhythm, can the team advance the ball, move down the field and put points up on the scoreboard. It's about flow. And timing. And having the patience to get in a groove.

This is not cold fusion science. It's easily understood, by a four year old or even a 300 lbs. no-neck offensive lineman from Iowa with a bachelor's degree in Bench Press.

It is however an enigma to the folks calling the shots at ad agencies. Who have all but robbed a creative team's hope of gathering any rhythm. Those of you who wield a pen or a wacom board know exactly where I'm going with this.

A brief is handed to off to a gaggle of copywriters and art directors. No sooner do the creatives drag their asses from the conference room, grab a cup of coffee and return to their assigned 4 square feet at the SuperDesk™, does an electronic meeting notice arrive.

The Junior Creative Director would like to check in with the teams, 23 hours from now.

23 Hours!

The ink on the fuzzy-thinking brief is barely dry.

Fast forward to the next day, when the 'work' is shown. Killed. And followed up by...

"I don't know guys, I'm not seeing any Cannes Gold here."-- Junior Creative Director

An hour later, there's an email from the client (an assistant at that) who has decided to take some initiative. Monday's brief about automotive luxury -- the one that took 6 weeks to prepare-- has magically morphed into Tuesday's brief about performance. This is quickly complemented with another meeting notification about another check in, 22 hours from now.

As expected, Cannes Gold is conspicuously absent. As are any hopes of establishing a rhythm. Because The CMO has changed his vacation plans to Aruba and is now leaving a week earlier than previously scheduled.

The vice is tightened, again and again.

The hastily-prepared performance "strategy" has been changed to fuel efficiency.

And luxury.

And more performance.

The client isn't sure about TV and thinks social media is the way to go.

"Here's $80,000. Make sure it goes viral."

And tomorrow's check in has been re-scheduled for 8 PM.


Maybe what I miss most about NFL football is the opportunity to level someone with a stiff, bony forearm to the soft, unprotected section of the throat.

No comments: