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Open Mind for Campaigns That Shine
By: Cameron Kirkwood
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I was reading ‘The Sweet Spot’ over for inspiration earlier today. I highly suggest to anyone in the industry who hasn’t read it yet to do so; although there are hundreds of thought-provoking insights to choose from, there is one today that stood out to me in particular.

“Too often do we ask consumers what they think only when we’re trying to prove an idea we’re already committed to.”

It’s something that I believe is reflective of a reality that happens way too often.

Half the problem lies within human nature to protect one’s baby — or idea. When you get caught up in your idea, it’s easy to walk down a path of delusional perfectionism in your own mind.

You can read up more on the infamous “ad baby” and how to (*gasp*) kill it here.
However, for now, I want to talk about the problem of testing consumers for answers and going with your plan regardless of their responses.
There are two big problems here:

1. You’re wasting both your time and the consumer’s time, resources, and money.
Focus groups, social polls, and even asking your mother for advice are all great ways to get some feedback; however, if you’re not at least taking their thoughts into consideration, then you have achieved absolutely nothing but an emptier wallet and wasted hours all around.

2. There are likely errors that you are overlooking.  
Lighten up, man. The benefit of being a part of a social society is the ability to have great and immediate feedback at your disposal. Listen to who you’re asking sincerely, especially if they are close to your target demographic.

Even if there aren’t any errors, it certainly can still be approved. Don’t let your ego get in the way of producing great content. After all, we all want the same thing — a successful campaign and a happy audience.

It’s nearly impossible to catch our mistakes from the inside. We get it. You worked very hard on this and you think it’s perfect.

It’s not, and it never will be; however, one thing is certain. The more critique it receives, the greater it will become.

So grab a partner and invite them to rip it to shreds. Because a butt-hurt you is ten times better than a mediocre campaign. 

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About the Author
Cameron Kirkwood is a recent graduate, but a forever student of advertising. An aspiring brand strategist and digital aficionado, Cameron seeks to change the game through new and different channels of advertising in an ever extensively growing industry.
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