October 30, 2007

The Yellow and Brown Process

Prospective clients want to believe that there is a method to the madness.

More and more, success in winning new clients is not about the effectiveness of the advertising you create, but about how clever you are at articulating a convincing process behind your creative endeavors.

Well, there are processes for doing just about everything an agency does. But when it comes to creating ideas, sorry, there ain't no process. I once asked marketing icon Jack Trout how much of his success was due to his process and how much to inspiration. He said 95% inspiration.

Don't get me wrong, we all pretend there's a process (see Precision Guessing.) We have to. Clients insist. We sometimes even give it a name...oops, sorry...I mean, we brand it.

A prospective client once asked me what process I used to create an ad he particularly liked. I told him I used the "Yellow and Brown" process. He seemed excited, "Really? What's the 'Yellow and Brown' process?"

"I took a legal pad with me to the bathroom."

We didn't get the account.


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