Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Avoid simplicity like the plague.

Advertising is a simple business. A really simple business. People inherently don't give a hoot about your client, so to communicate you have to do something interesting and unique. That's about it. But how many adverts (look! I'm British, I said adverts!) actually do that? No, they rely on "the pour shot," "the spoon shot," "the coffee aroma up the snout shot." And so on, so it all becomes a bland wash of beige.

Today, though, I am not talking about what we produce. I am talking about the way we manage people. At my agency now, we are doing "reviews." Whoever concocted the criteria for the reviews cares not a whit for anything but good citizenship and affable mediocrity.

Take a gander (or a goose) at these strictures and measurements. Edited to spare you nauseau.

Bridge Builder. Creates internal equity. Partners well with other groups and disciplines. Promotes teamwork.

Business Partner. Invested in the clients' business. Understands the clients' challenges and category. Strategic thinker. Thinks through assignments. Asks the right questions.

Innovator. Known for generating original concepts that support brand strategy.Offers a unique point of view. Can take an idea and make it better.

Skilled Navigator. Proactive in resolving issues. Knows when to escalate up. Innovative problem-solver. Identifies workable solutions.

Rainmaker. Shows strong creative and marketing instincts. Develops strong relationships with clients. Offers POV the clients trust.

Amid the hundreds of words above, there's something missing. Is their work good? Does it win awards? Does it drive businesses? Does it make clients successful?

Here's how to do a review. It should take ten minutes.

Are they good or do they suck? Do they come through? Do you want them on a pitch?

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