Monday, November 2, 2015

Starting and finishing.

Back in America, our baseball season ended last night with the Royals of Kansas City defeating the Mets of Queens, New York, four games to one.

When I was a kid, baseball used to be called "the Summer game," but now the rapacious owners and the rapacious television executives who run the major leagues have extended the season into November, pursuing mammon straight into the heart of the football season and the start of basketball's.

Be that as it may, a lesson was taught over the past week.

A lesson all of us in advertising, and life, can learn from.

It's this: It's not how you start games, it's how you finish them.

The fact of the matter is, the Mets started each game with a bang but ended nearly every one with a whimper.  At the halfway mark of each game, they held a lead.

In game one after five innings they led two to one.

They led one-zip after four and a half in game two.

Game three, the only game the Mets ultimately won, they were up five-three after five.

Game four, three-one after five.

And in the final stanza, two-zip after eight.

In advertising there are a lot of people who get out of the gate fast. They seem to have things sewn up early.

But somewhere along the way, something goes amiss.

They forget it's not about writing the copy once that matters, it's the 15 times you re-write it after it's been approved that counts.

This is true at both the macro and micro levels.

There are legions of people who seem to, at 28 or 32, set the business on fire. After winning an award or two at Cannes, they're vaulted skyward to lofty heights.

And from there, they disappear.

The Mets and others would do well to think about their starts and their finishes. They'd do well to take the long view. They'd benefit from thinking like Kansas City, who lost the World Series last year.

You might say it took the Royals two seasons to win one championship.

Sometimes that's the way it goes.

Hang in there.

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