Last year I wrote a post about working on Milky Bars (https://davedye.com/2021/11/30/the-milky-bar-adult/).
The intro stayed with me;
“Is there another industry with a bigger disconnect between supply and demand?
One side continually supplying what the other side won’t buy.
“We serve them smoked salmon, they ask for fish paste” was how copywriter Malcolm Gluck described the situation.
Marketing Directors may describe it as ‘We ask for smoked salmon, they serve us fish paste’.
Regardless of who’s right or wrong, why the disconnect?
Why are their criteria for judging creative work so different?
Put clients and agencies in the same room to agree on what makes good advertising and they’ll be agreeing and high fiving in no time.
Lob a piece of creative work and you’ll see the two sides separate like oil and water.
It’s not just the subjective nature of the business, if it was it would be harder to predict which side of the table will be pushing for what.
It’s like one side are shopping for apples, the other oranges.
I’ve spent the first half of my career arguing the case for apples and the second half trying to understand this addiction to oranges whilst explaining the benefits of apples.”
It got me thinking – maybe the crossed wires are caused by not fully understanding what the other side of the table actually do.
Sure, they know the job titles and the tasks, but not what it’s like to do them.
So this summer I’m going to run a few Role Reversal Workshops.
The idea is that the people commissioning the ads spend a couple of days creating them.
From brief to finished ad.
To better understand what creatives actually do once they’ve been handed a brief.
Some panic, some get excited, but few ignore the brief.
Generally, the process goes like this:
Try your damnedest to make sense of that brief.
Try to think of your own experiences of product or category.
Try to find relevant references.
Try to edit down your ideas. (Some call this ‘Killing your babies’.)
Try to simplify them.
Try to polish.
Reading that list is one thing, doing it is another.
If you’d like to find out more, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org