Sunday, 8 February 2015

Trust and Great Advertising

This is an article I wrote for an agency blog while I was interning with them- for obvious reasons they didn't go with it. It's a bit more of an 'internal' piece.

Trust and Great Advertising

What makes great creative work? People love to talk about this. There’s always a lot of emphasis placed on off-kilter thinking, on radical ideas and deep insights. All of that is important to be sure. But something that’s rarely talked about in earnest is how crucial confidence and trust is, between the client and the agency.

Why? Because without a strong relationship, no truly ground breaking, great ideas will be approved by the client and make it out into the world.

As an example, take a look at the Volvo Test Drive series, one of the most awarded campaigns of recent years. Volvo had so much confidence in Forsman & Bodenfors that they put their president in an ad. He was standing on top of a truck hanging from a crane in the middle of Gothenburg harbour.

Or think of the famous Levi’s ads by BBH. Levi’s were certainly nervous about the unusual approach taken by their new agency. But they took a chance, and put their faith in BBH. It paid off.

Good ideas aren’t enough if the client doesn’t trust you enough to use them. Great advertising which no one gets to see isn’t advertising. But you need to give the client reasons to trust you.

Think about it like a vase of flowers. The flowers look good, but they aren’t going to last.

So what does that mean for us? We need to lay down roots. It means we need to be more engaged with the client, with the aim of building their confidence in us- and a belief that when we give them a risky idea, there is good, sound reason behind it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we need to be crazy and take wild risks. But we need to be brave enough to back great creative, even in the face of opposition.

And I say this with all the authority of a high powered intern.

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