By V. Subramaniam (Subbu)
(Image courtesy: Haags Uitburo)
It was close to midnight. The agency was abuzz with frenetic activity for an important presentation in the morning. The client was a large MNC with an extremely tough marketing head. The agency had failed couple of times before in trying to sell their campaign ideas. The agency team was at their wits end. My boss had rounded up the entire team to discuss the presentation strategy. He was trying to develop a ‘rationale’ for each of the creative idea in front of us. Being the junior-most at that time, I was perplexed at the contrived explanations that the team members were coming up with. It was a whole lot of bull-crap. I was not alone in thinking that way.
The consequences suffered at the presentation could have been a little less painful had we carried a jar of Vaseline. We paid the price of bullshit overshadowing the creative and therefore becoming the point of debate. It is critical not to fall into this trap and important to sell the creative, not the bullshit. This is the problem with ‘rationale’. It is a logical or process driven explanation of a product (creative) that triggers an asymmetric, non-linear process within the mind. One is on a slippery and dangerous ground with it as clients can easily identify with logic.
Sometimes I wonder what Michelangelo’s pitch to the Vatican was when he shared his idea for the Sistine Chapel. Or for that matter that of the architect of Taj Mahal. Did he, for instance, tell the Emperor that the four minarets represented the eternal hard-on he had for his beloved?
I suspect there has always been an element of bullshit that is used to sell creative. It will always be that way. Now is the time for the million dollar question. What if the bullshit becomes the creative, which is the case most of the time? ***************************************************
V. Subramaniam (Subbu)
When people ask me what I do, I drop in words like experiment, creative, strategy, technology and intersection. I surely don't know what it means. If you have figured it out, do let me know. I am not complaining though, as I have done some interesting projects for Wipro Technologies and continue to do so for equally interesting clients like Nu Street Technologies, 3dSoc and so on.
In my previous avatar I was an adman, marketing bloke and brand specialist. It so happened that agencies like Ogilvy and JWT were foolish enough to let me handle all kinds of brands - from large ones like Unilever, BP to small local brands. I stumbled into the world of marketing during the internet (dotcom) boom days. If you have reached here, you must be surely curious about me. Why don’t you drop in a line?
**Subbu writes blog regularly at http://www.thefreeunion.blogspot.com.
***Views Expressed here are personal. The writer can be reached at email@example.com