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.
Rejected – ‘Too like the regular Economist work’. (Spelling ‘hear’ wrong probably didn’t help.)
We went again, maybe more visual.
Rejected; ‘Not Economisty enough’.
We went again, we got a bit sarcastic this time.
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?
Rejected; ‘Bit chatty, not really our tone’.
We went again, maybe use more intelligent, technical sounding things?
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.
(In retrospect, I think I prefer the ‘clever-clever’ campaign.)