I once read about a client agency interaction from the halcyon days of British advertising in the 1970s. There was this meeting between the client and the agency principal who was pitching for the business. There was this need from the agency end to ask a few questions regarding business to the client MD. The client MD explained that he had a bell on his table and he would ring it preciously in 30 minutes and the meeting will be over. ‘How many layers of people have to approve the final campaign?’ was the first question. ‘Seven’, answered the client. Then ring the bell. Now, what has it got to do with taste and advertising ideas? Well, taste is one example of the hollow virtues that clients fondly nad automatically mandate in their category. It is a piece of baggage that an idea is forced to carry in order to progress towards the final customer. Often, clients think of their own taste when it comes to creating brand positioning. And before that, in many Company hierarchies, the advertising standard reflect what junior managers belief will get the nod of approval from their bosses.
When it comes to agency networks, taste is what brings new business. In their creative departments, taste is what gets the awards. In all this, the actual customer is pushed to the third in line. The result is hobbled marketing making advertising a dull and blunted instrument. The phase ‘customer is king’ remains in oblivion. Ads are forced to bend to many differing agendas, so they collect mandatory inclusions that aren’t really about effective communication. Another thing that comes in between is that agencies often style themselves as service industry, serving to the fancies of the client. Rather, if they put themselves as a manufacturing industry it would have better reaching results. Their product: ideas; carefully assembled, tangible artfully transforming ideas.
Now in this digital ridden world, there is lesser and lesser time to manufacture good ideas. the challenge is growing by the day and most people are taking the well-traveled path of making the client happy and drawing according to his taste. The thing that complicates it more is that advertising agencies no longer seem to have the relationship or the command of respect of senior company management. And without a champion, at the highest level of the client company, a great idea demerits with each and every meeting with layers of indecision creeping in. Weather for good, lazy or political reasons, a great idea often stumbles before reaching the end customer. Too many campaigns are pretending to address the market, but are continually looking over the shoulder for nods of approvals around the room. That definitely spoils the art and science of advertising that makes us stick to this profession.
If you want to create tasteful brand ads, work with us. We create sting in the consumers’ minds with communications that will take your brands beyond expectations of your brand managers. Call us for a discussion on ‘advertisting’! We are ever ready.