Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Process v. Product.

I've written about this before but it's, once again (in the words of Henry Wiggen) "rubbing my goat the wrong way."

There are two ways to look at the business we're in.

One is PROCESS.
Two is PRODUCT.

When I began in the business, agencies essentially weren't paid until an ad or a commercial ran. That's because we got paid a percentage of media dollars spent and we marked up production--usually at a rate of 17.65%.

This was a system that put product at the center of our reason for being.

We made therefore we am.

Today, we create long timelines with road maps that chart out every meeting for months. We powerpoint and plan and plot. The balloon stays inflated, the cash register keeps ringing until we actually put work in market. Then quiet.

For much of my 33 years in creating marketing communications (this includes my years at Montgomery Ward and Bloomingdale's as a copywriter) I have had a retail orientation. I don't mean by that that I like ads that say "Save 25% on Plush, Cotton Towels." By retail I mean I like to get things done.

The professionalism of advertising and client ranks has brought a preciousness to our work. We engage in (group) overthink to make sure every ad is polished to a smooth, dull nub. We take, some times, eight months to get a commercial on air.

We forget that perfection is often the enemy of success.

Our process, our precious pursuit of perfection has mitigated gut and soul.

I'm tired this morning.

1 comment:

Steve Silver said...

You are dead on. It's funny how the business and the culture has changed. Back in the 60's, committees were seen as the enemy of creativity. Remember 'group think?' But yesterday's group think is today's collaboration (and of course, collaboration in the 40s would have earned you a shaved head and a public parade through the streets of Paris).

S.