Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Once I heard a client laugh.

How many times have you presented things to clients that were funny, only to have them look at you like they were staring into an abyss, waiting with a bayonet in their backs about to be stuffed into a cattle car on their way to Treblinka?

Emotion is something clients clinically remove from their cosmology like a cardiologist scrapping plaque from a fat man's arteries. Don't laugh. Don't react. Analyze with clinical detachment in a way that consumers don't look at ads.

Years ago I presented work that made a client laugh. I stopped the meeting and said, "Remember that laugh. It's what matters." In the course of the presentation he, and my vaunted account people, tried to find every good reason to kill the work I presented. But at the end of the day, I reminded them, it made you laugh.

Planets must have been aligned that day. The work was bought. The work ran. Some permutation of that work still runs. Laughter is good. It beats gloom. Or formula. Which is what most clients find affirming.

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