|Advertising by Committee: How Many People Do You Have to Please?
By: Mona Sabbah
There are too many people to please when working in advertising. Lately, I’ve been working with bigger teams, even when I’m not on site. This environment is making me realize that creatives’ jobs are tougher in a way that many others’ aren’t. On any given project, an advertising team includes a variety of people from diverse disciplines. From account people to CDs, ACDs, designers, yourself, of course — and let’s not forget the client side.
So how do you deal? Which direction do you take? Who do you please? Advertising means a team of 12, practically a little league, for a 160 X 160 web banner. Can you imagine if a waitress had to consult 12 people before she made the decision to substitute eggs for egg whites? Or a nurse checking in with a dozen people before she can take a patient’s temperature?
Here’s how you begin the creative process when there’s too many chefs in the kitchen and just one cook. That’s you, by the way! You’re that one cook who has to turn a fantastic dish out of that hot potato.
- Align yourself with those you agree with most, even if they’re not the most powerful
- Be active in getting everyone on the same page: yours
- Set up meetings, hear teammates’ concerns, and negotiate
- Write a revised brief, get everyone’s buy-in
- Try to talk directly to the client; hear objectives straight from the source
- Do great work; when the work is great, people forget about everything else
- Have backup work, leaning more toward others’ vision — maybe your work wasn’t that great
In the end, just like with anything, the more experience you have, the less you have to please.
Mona Sabbah is a Senior Copywriter/Creative Director with over 12 years of experience writing for print, TV, radio, and online. Mona has worked on a number of accounts from The Florida Lottery to Air Canada and Keiser University. You can see some of her work at http://www.miamicopywriter.com/. Find her on Twitter at @miamicopywriter.
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