Clients get the advertising they deserve. That’s an industry adage that dates back to the last century. It’s rarely repeated in the presence of clients and only ever when things are going well. On one level, however, it’s true.
Clients that strangle the creative process through the need for control, or those who rely on focus groups to ‘sense check’ their advertising concepts, will usually wind up with blancmange.
Here’s the rub though. I’ll bet that, if asked, the client would say they are equally committed to creative excellence. It’s just that their view of excellence differs from that of their agency. And that’s sad. Because it means the objectivity and freshness the agency was hired to bring to the client is lost along with the trust necessary for a great partnership.
So what does it look like when both client and agency are as one in their drive to be truly creatively excellent?
There are four prerequisites to a highly creative client/agency partnership:
By now, you’ll have established a pretty clear framework on which your creative work can be developed. All without a single storyboard or layout being shared. Importantly, a sense of trust and collaboration is beginning to develop between you and your client, ensuring they know you’re committed to their success (as well as your own) and that you’re a reasonable human being. All of which has the potential to make the next step a joyous one:
There you have it. Four steps to highly effective creative collaboration that will help you achieve the creative standards you aspire to while bringing your client with you. These are the four steps that underpin our creative methodology at DPR&Co – a way of collaborating that we’ve proven to be of enormous value.
There will undoubtedly be some who violently disagree with this approach –subscribers to a ‘black box’ technique complete with big ‘reveals’. If the client hates the work, they’re just incapable of comprehending it. It’s an approach that can, on occasions, deliver a stunning result. But most of the best ideas wind up in the bin through lack of buy-in and ownership.
So, if you’re looking for the kind of partnership where your client trusts you enough to invest in a big idea, do the work. It’s four steps that could make life much more fulfilling. For you and your client.