I just found this batch of rejects for The Economist.
I was surprised at how many shots we’d had at the brief.
I knew the work was getting past the Creative Director, because I was he.
It must’ve been the client.
I can’t remember who first coined that phrase ‘bouncebackability’, (I think it was a footballing Ian, Holloway or possibly Dowie), but it’s a crucial, if unglamorous skill every creative needs.
Your ideas are torched every single day.
As good as you get at debating, persuading and plain arguing, you’re still going to go again, again and again on the same brief.
You need to be positive every time.
Anyway, The Economist, it was a tough brief, after years of using advertising spaces to flatter the readers intelligence, we now needed to tell them ‘Great news – Colour pictures!’
It was difficult to think how this wasn’t a clash with the high brow image of our reader that had been carefully built up over the years.
We tried to be Economisty, but talk about colour.

Economist Scamp14

Economist Scamp13
Economist Scamp

Rejected – ‘Too like the regular Economist work’. (Spelling ‘hear’ wrong probably didn’t help.)
We went again, maybe more visual.

Economist Scamp9
Economist Scamp8
Economist Scamp11

Rejected; ‘Not Economisty enough’.
We went again, we got a bit sarcastic this time.

Economist Scamp15
Economist Scamp6
Economist Scamp5
Economist Scamp7

Rejected; ‘Too sarcastic!’
We went again, maybe more office based, from the point of view of the people on the receiving end of this technological breakthrough?

Economist Scamp2
Economist Scamp3
Economist Scamp4

Rejected; ‘Bit chatty, not really our tone’.
We went again, maybe use more intelligent, technical sounding things?

Economist Colour Overlap2
Economist Colour Overlap4
Economist Colour Overlap6
Economist Colour Overlap3
Economist Colour Overlap

Rejected; ‘A bit clever-clever’.
Really, this is a compliment from The Economist, but they still wouldn’t buy.
We went again, this time aiming for a ‘single clever’ campaign.

Economist Colour Blocks
Economist Colour Blocks3
Economist Colour Blocks2

Bought. Run.

(In retrospect, I think I prefer the ‘clever-clever’ campaign.)

4 thoughts on “Bouncebackability.

  1. Hi Dave. Just wanted to say that as a fairly junior creative, I’m finding this blog incredibly useful. It’s refreshing to see so much concrete advice and so many practical examples, where advice from seniors so often veers towards the vague.

    I do a lot of work with students and will be steering them firmly in your direction. Hope you keep it up.

  2. Great blog Dave, thanks for sharing your thoughts and work.

    Interesting to see this process. I think I prefer the work that ran, and, if I’m honest – after that, the first concepts.

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