Whilst at Campbell Doyle Dye, I pitched for Christian Aid.
It’s an emotional subject matter, I got emotional.
Sean Doyle and I wrote lots of very angry ads, essentially trying force people to reach into their pockets and save a starving child’s life.
We won the pitch.
We met our brand new client, Claire.
She said, rather sheepishly, ‘The ads… we like them, but they look so gloomy, and… well, we’re all quite positive around here and wondered whether they could look a bit more upbeat?’
It was our first meeting and the clients were very nice, so I bit my tongue and said I’d go away and explore.
I left thinking she was nuts, we were talking about dying children, what’s so upbeat about that?
I stared at the ads and tried to think about how we could solve the issue.
The answer was obvious; we can’t.
We can’t make negative content look positive, we needed positive content.
A planner was sent to their Waterloo offices to dig around and interview people.
He came back with a big bunch of notes.
Buried amongst them was a quote ‘As you know, we only invest in things that multiply’.
It was from an old lady, who gave an example; Christian Aid would send a male and female goat to Africa, but not goats meat.
Wow! That seemed amazing, almost as if you could solve the problem over time.
You can’t get anymore positive than that.
The work wrote itself.
It was the most successful Christian Aid Week ever.
Although Claire couldn’t quite articulate it, her instinct was 100% right.