June 01, 2010

The Yellow And Brown Process

Clients love to believe that there is a method to the advertising madness.

A substantial component of success at winning new business these days is not about the effectiveness of the advertising you create, but how clever you are at contriving a plausible sounding process for developing your ideas.

There are processes for doing just about everything an agency does. But when it comes to creating ideas, sorry, there ain't no process.

Don't get me wrong, we all pretend there's a process (see Precision Guessing.) We have to. Clients demand it. So we tart up the things we all do to make them look like steps in a process. We give them a name---oops, sorry, I mean, we brand them---and bingo! we have the TraDigital Process or the Ethno-Planning Process.

It's all baloney, but it makes clients feel good.

I was once presenting to a prospective client. He was in love with a campaign I had done. He wanted to know the process I used to develop the campaign. I said, "Do you really want me to take you through the full process I used?"

"Yes," he said. "I want to understand it.".

"Okay," I said. "When I wrote this campaign 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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