Years and years ago, my partner and I were assigned to create some commercials for Celestial Seasonings Teas.
We dug in.
We worked hard.
We came up with some good campaigns.
Then we got on a plane to Boulder, Colorado to present to the client.
The meeting did not go well.
We got back on the plane having sold nothing and got back to work.
The same process repeated itself.
And again we flew out to Boulder.
And again we didn't sell anything.
The project was taken from us when we returned to the agency and assigned to another team.
My partner and I were disconsolate.
We had worked together for three years and had never before struck out.
I said to him, "If we come up with eight campaigns and 'don't get it,' it's not us. There's something else going on."
Sure enough the alternate team quickly sold a campaign to the Celestial Seasonings.
It featured the client's famous girlfriend in the ads.
We had neglected to use her.
Right now I am finishing a package of six commercials.
Five are finished already and shipped.
The sixth we have shown 51 versions of and we still can't get internal approval.
It's not us.
It's something else.