74 bri lliant marketing
smart and generally funny and self-confident, as most salesmen
usually are. The people walking around looking very thoughtful
and slightly pained are Planners and we’ll deal with them on
another occasion. They are too clever for the moment.
Agency relationships in general
Make sure of three things:
That the agency values your business not just because you
spend money with them but because you are appreciative of
their skill and effort. Thank them a lot. Make them pleased
that you are coming in to see them. Go out of your way to
be popular and you can then be as demanding as you want,
which should be very, very demanding.
That they understand what you are trying to achieve in the
long run not just on an ad by ad basis. Agency people are
professionals and like dealing with people who have grand
plans, who have a strategic vision. And they like feeling they
are working in partnership.
That they know you like good advertising and want to
sponsor work that is cutting edge and not boring or
ordinary.
Advertising checklist (don’t leave home without it)
This is really important. More careers have been spoilt by being
sloppy than should have been possible. This checklist stops you
having an ‘if only’ moment.
brilliant
tip
Help those insecure creatives feel loved and rated. Ask that they
have lunch on you, the client.
1 The brief. Has it been agreed
with all the key people in your
organisation and at the agency?
Make sure it is actually signed
off, not just verbally agreed.
2 Is what is produced good
enough? Imagine you are a target consumer. Does it speak
to you? Are you going to be proud of being the owner of
this advertising?
3 Is what is produced on brief? Look at what is produced very
carefully over a couple of days. If you have concerns, record
them.
4 Do you have a proper internal approval system? If not,
create one. Make sure all the people who need to see it do
so.
5 Are there any corporate strategic issues? Is there anything
someone senior might pick up on some legacy in the
place, however odd, like we don’t have children or animals
in our advertising? Or does the CEO have a prejudice about
something like Ernest Saunders did when he ran
Guinness. He couldn’t stand comedians. So he was told
Billy Connolly was a social humorist not a comedian and
this appeased him when he saw the Kaliber advertising.
6 Is it legal, decent and honest? Are there any conceivable
IPA, ASA, Ofcom issues? Are we knocking competition
unfairly? Could anyone in the media seek to ridicule us?
7 Are there any other issues? Is it going to create an issue
with any of the trade customers or distributors? Is there any
downside with the advertising from any quarter?
8 Have there been any advertising problems historically? What
were they? What was the resolution?
How to make advertising work 75
more careers have been
spoilt by being sloppy
than should have been
possible
9 Proofreading. Do it yourself. Check pagination. Leave
nothing to chance. Dianne Thompson, CEO of Camelot,
went to check proofs of a very important, long document at
the printers an arduous task and she found what would
have been two embarrassing errors. That’s leading from the
front. And here’s how to proofread properly:
do it slowly
read it backwards
read it forwards
then again.
10 Caveat. Do not expect anything from all your efforts if:
the type is too small people’s eyesight deteriorates as
they get older
you have too much information and too many ideas in
collision with each other.
Summary
Don’t do your own advertising if possible. It’s nearly as bad
as doing your own surgery. Messy, risky and possibly fatal.
You should work with an advertising agency.
Hopefully they’ll be excellent. Only work with the very
good practitioners of the art, sit with them, listen to them,
learn from them and challenge them to be the best.
Understand that this is a one-ball game. If I throw a
consumer one ball they’ll probably catch it, if I throw them
two they’ll probably miss both, and almost certainly all of
them if I throw them three.
Try to ensure that everyone doing work of any kind for you
knows you are obsessive about having a unity of feel and
look.
Be dispassionate. Keep on asking hard questions. Especially,
does this advertising sell my product?
76 bri lliant marketing

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