August 25, 2008

The Yellow And Brown Process

In observance of "Worldwide No Blogging Week" The Ad Contrarian is -- you guessed it -- not blogging this week. Instead we'll be posting some oldies. Here's one.

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

More and more, success in winning new business is not about what you do (the effectiveness of the advertising you have created), but about how you do it (how clever you are at reverse engineering a convincing process behind your creative endeavors.)

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 legend 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.

At a new business pitch a prospective client once asked me what process I had 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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