May 07, 2008

Conversation With A CEO

The following is an imaginary conversation between The Ad Contrarian and a company CEO.

CEO: Okay, why did you drag me down here?

TAC: I want to talk to you about advertising.

CEO: I have a marketing department for that.

TAC: Advertising is too important to be left to the marketing department.

CEO: What's so important about it?

TAC: It's your company's public personality. Nothing's more important.

CEO: What do you want me to do?

TAC: Right now, there are dozens of people in your organization who think they have a right to influence your ads -- product people, operations people, financial people... This is death to creativity. You have no idea how many ads are being twisted, crushed, and mutilated by knuckleheads before they get to you.

CEO: If I get involved, isn’t that going to piss-off my cmo.

TAC: Not if she's smart. The best advertising is often done one-to-one between a creative director and a ceo. Do yourself a favor. Call the head creative at your agency and invite him/her to lunch. Buy him a glass of wine or two and get the truth out of him. You will find that there are way too many people at your company involved in the process and that they are screwing up the creative product.

CEO: Okay, so now I’m the head advertising guy. What do I do?

TAC: Get your people out of the way. Work with the agency directly. Give them a chance to do it their way. If they can't, find an agency that can.

CEO: Anything else I should know?

TAC: That's it.

CEO: Okay. Will you untie me now?

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