Archive | October 2013

Letter ‘C’ Stole the Meat From the…

“Oh me?”

“Yes you!”

My friends are so pained right now. They just literally asked for a bottle…for the pain. Blue Label, maybe?

Hey Barman!

Someone stole their ‘meat’ in broad daylight…right before their very eyes…or ‘in their very before’ like my good man Zebrudaya would say.

You would think that since they know who the culprit is, they could get some justice and all would be well with the Universe…for where?

Letter ‘C’ is brutal. No remorse whatsoever. He can’t be ‘bovered’. Infact he will steal from you again and again…Nothing dey happen.

But seriously guys, how do we handle IDEA THEFT by some of these clients?

Every Adman is aware of the hardwork, sleepless nights, money and money’s worth put in to develop a brilliant proposal, especially if it’s a pitch. Great ideas don’t just happen! They are the result of substantial time, effort and resources!

It’s bad enough that after all the time, effort and resources put in a project, an Agency is sent that carefully-worded, heart-breaking mail informing them that they did not win the pitch. Why will a client compound the problem by ‘stealing’ their idea(s) and giving it to another Agency to execute or even execute themselves?! Why?! And they want to make heaven, ba?

Sometimes, Agencies are not even notified of their disqualification. They find out the hard way…just like my friends did. *big sigh* Mehn, you don’t want to know the gist.

Have you ever worked on an Event Proposal, say a Launch campaign for a client. You sent in your proposal like every other Agency. 3 weeks later and still no response from the client. You try to reach your contact on the client-side and he tells you the project is on hold because a particular Director has gone on vacation, visiting his ancestors, friends and family.

You foolishly chill, hoping he gets back to you as soon as he decides to ‘unhold’ the project only for you to see pictures of the Launch Event on BellaNaija the next day! I swear, the only pain close to what you’d feel would be labour pains.

Here’s what I think…Some Clients idea-shop all in the name of a pitch. They just send out RFPs like baits and trust Agencies to fall for the trap. Agencies literally fall over themselves all in a bid to win pitches. The struggle is real, man. Client collates all the ideas, tweaks a few things and executes themselves…or worst still give to a competing Agency.

But enough of the bullcrap! Agencies need to have the audacity to get clients (prospective or current) to sign a legal agreement at the pitch stage, clearly specifying that the ideas put forward cannot be used without the agency’s permission or without adequate compensation.

Infact, there should be Pitch Fee as a line item somewhere in the budget. Agencies should be paid something no matter how small, whether or not they win a pitch or not. At all at all na him bad pass.

How long are we going to continue like this? If you have any useful suggestion to put an end to this madness, kindly share in the comments section…Please.

Do have a great weekend! Where the bottles at?!

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Dis Creative Guys Sef…

Over the years, I’ve had to watch a few MDs openly express their displeasure over the work style of a few of my colleagues in the Creative Unit.
I’ve heard them complain about a particular Creative person’s physical appearance – his shirts not tucked in, his hair/beards not well-cut; his nonchalant attitude to work/deadlines, recurrent carelessness in paying attention to details, seemingly fake excuses for missing work and lackadaisical attitude towards punctuality.

Most times, Creative people come across as a bunch of lazy, non-productive clowns who play all day and get very little work done. Is sack an option? Maybe. Do things really get better with the recruitment of a new creative egghead? I don’t think so. Same ol’ story.

I must say most MDs are sticklers for rules, detail and accuracy and it must really hurt to have to contend with persons who are nothing like them. I’m sure that if there’s anything they have come to realize in their decades of working in an Advertising Agency, it must be the awesome fact that Creative People cannot be totally bound by a set of rules/mode of conduct. We are wired differently. (I should paste on our door ‘SEE! WE ARE NORMAL…NOT!’). It’s perfectly okay if you find our lifestyles and behaviours a little strange.

You may see us sitting at our desks, staring at the ceiling, watching or talking about a movie, listening to loud music, simply laughing out loud and may think we’re blatantly slacking off, wasting company’s time and money. In all instances, you are probably wrong.

The fact of the matter is this – great creative ideas come from the subconscious mind. And the best way to let it work is to leave it alone. It is often while we gaze, chitchat about mundane stuff and daydream that some of the best ideas pop into our heads, because we are relaxed, calm, out from under the weight of managerial pressures.

Talking about managerial pressures, can you all cut us some slack? Creative people work their best when there is no one hovering over them, micromanaging their every move. They like to feel autonomous, like their own boss, independent and without distraction. Asking for a progress report before we’ve finished a project will not only interrupt the process, but it will make us feel watched, managed and stifled. This is not to say that we do not respect deadlines, we very much do so, but we don’t need managers on our shoulders every step of the way.

When Creative guys aren’t working together to brainstorm ideas, they need to be left alone. Management also needs to understand that very often doing nothing is exactly what the creative process looks like. It’s OK to do nothing. Most of the best creative works were created in solitude.

What motivates Creative people? Truth be told, we don’t need extra money to do a good job. All we need is a pat on the back for a job well done; after all we absorb all the criticisms too. We’re really that simple. A ‘guys that was a great job. The client loved every single creative design’ comment would go a long way.

Instead of political battles over a well-furnished office, access to the MD, or a bigger title/position, Creative people are more interested in the color of their office, some latitude with hairstyles/clothes, being able to listen to music while they work. Grant them all these and you’ll see their motivation and quality of work dramatically increase. Whether or not one can be creative without some level of ‘craze’ is a topic for another day.

As long as they keep up, meet with deadlines and are doing great work, what does it matter when and how they do it?

I’m certain other units have their idiosyncrasies. Please share, so that we can work better with compromises here and there. Thank you in advance.
Admit it or not, Creative people are a rare specie…going extinct maybe. We’re not saying we’re the best, we’re only asking, who’s better? 

The ‘C’ Factor

I’ve got 99…scratch that…10…just 10 problems and they all start with ‘C’.

I spend the best part of my night thinking about them…well, besides drooling over the perfection that is Bradley Cooper.

If these problems also keep you up at night and somehow stop you from attaining greatness, then I suggest we do ourselves a favour and pull the plug…as long as it somehow doesn’t mean the perpetual demise of your Agency…

Here you go:

Clients that kill great work…Like out of the whole lot that you’ve painstakingly created, they pick one that’s not even in your top 100. Yup, that hurts real bad.

Clients that take forever to revert… When they finally do, they want you to put every other project on hold…If it was that important, why did it take them so long to revert?!!!!!! *big sigh*

Clients that never know what they want…They keep on making endless edits until they edit your sanity. Even when you try to help with useful suggestions, they kill it, suggest theirs and kill it too.

Clients that can owe for Africa…These ones are the very reason full-fledged Agencies shut down business forever. Very mean people. They ask Agencies to run projects with their money and promise to pay before the projects ends. For where? And it’s not like they don’t have the money! Eba mi ki gbe ole o!

Clients that always want you to increase the size of their logos… “Make it bigger” *smh* No, how about you make your brain cells bigger? Yup, that could help all of us.

Clients that want great work with zero budget…They never have enough money to run the campaign/project and yet they expect tremendous ROI. We’re getting you, Oga client…We’re really getting you.

Clients that want 10 flyer design options…and end up choosing one. Trust me, the only one picked oftentimes ends up being the scrappiest of the lot. So why exactly did you ask for 10?!!!! Common sense dictates that if you’re looking to produce one flyer design, demand for 3 designs at the most and pick your freaking one! Gosh!

Clients with unrealistic deadlines… “I need it before COB”…And he isn’t talking about a flyer/call card design. A 360* campaign – Press, Radio, TV, Digital. Capable Client, are you kidding?

Clients that always want to tone it down. They never want to take risks… “You guys have done a great job…very creative but please can you ton…” Arrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh! If you want mediocrity, go to Shomolu or a business centre! Why put an Agency through the meat grinder? Haba…Habatically.

Clients that are ex-Agency peeps and should know better…Ahmean, you sit in a meeting with a client who you very well know used to work in an Agency and you all are trying to fix timelines for deliverables and he blurts ‘Guys, I need this before COB…make it happen’ How do you make it happen before COB when you’re still in a meeting at 5pm? Please touch him…check his body temperature… Is he alright?

Here’s what I think…I understand that Agencies need to keep the lights on and pay people. I understand that perfectly. Hence, they can’t keep turning down briefs from certain clients. But there are clients out there who will never find their perfect match because they should be alone like a bitter spinster. #TeamForeverAlone.

You have a bad client? Fire them…NOW! Or they will zap your last blood till you drop. Thank me later. What other ‘problems’ keep you up at night? Share and let’s hope a client is reading if they are not all asleep while we burn the midnight kilobyte.