Wednesday, April 6, 2016
A monkey can do it.
Unlike some of my more demure colleagues, I have no problem questioning the wisdom of a strategic brief, or of its author, the Planner. And why should I? After all, they question the validity of our work on a weekly basis.
Did I say weekly? I meant daily.
Because God knows creatives, even seasoned 44 year olds like myself, don't have the wherewithal to move forward and develop an advertising campaign without the daily watchful guidance and skilled expertise of a professional Planner with degrees in...what is it they have degrees in?
Point being, I've heard some awful stupid stuff from the Planning department.
Years ago, we were pitching Sparkletts water and to the credit of the crack research team and the careful analysis of all the big data, the Planner had successfully reduced the strategy down to its barest minimum. Not one page mind you, one word.
That's right, we, the cynics and jaded artisans in the creative department, were told to vigorously pursue and make hay out of the word BLUE.
Years later, I was working at a different agency, and I use the word different hesitantly because they're different in name only, and I balked at a different brief. I don't even remember what it was for, nor is that important. The sheer fact that I dared to question the logic of the brief brought about a completely unexpected response...
"Well Rich, I'll grant you that it's not the most insightful brief in the world, but they all can't be Got Milk? you know. It just doesn't work that way."
There's a new benchmark for underachievement. They all can't be Apple's 1984 or VW's Darth Vader, I thought, but that doesn't mean we don't try.
Recently I sat in on a meeting and heard the latest nugget for my collection. And this one my fellow copywriters can savor for years. A planner was heard to say...
"If we get this brief just right, the spots will literally write themselves."
Good thing this happened early in the morning and I was on an empty stomach, because had it transpired a few hours later in the day, I would have seen my lunch for the second time.
Spots do not write themselves. Nor do they rewrite themselves after the brief has changed. Nor do they rewrite the rewrites because someone in upper management doesn't like dogs. Or umbrellas. Or ketchup. Or seven. Or tweed. Or convertibles. Or love seats. Or oranges.
If it ever gets to a point where spots do write themselves, I'll be out of a job.
Of course, I could go into Planning, how hard can that be?