Monday, June 21, 2021

An open letter to new agency employees.

Dear New Employee,


No matter what your job title is at GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company, you have--from this point forward--an additional job.

You are a detective. 

You know, like Columbo, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple or Sam Spade. 

You are a detective.

You are here to find out clues and facts and salient information that make the products and services we advertise more interesting to more people. So we can sell more effectively for our clients.

There's no such thing as "The Big Book of Surprising Details." Or "Insights from A to Z." 

You won't find these things, necessarily in a 700-word single-spaced brief. Or a 48-page powerpoint deck adorned with jocular gifs. They won't be on the first couple of pages of a Google search.

No. While most agencies and clients and theorists use the word "insight" like they're floating around like pollen spores in May--real insights that clarify, inform and persuade are extremely rare. We don't use the word at GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company.

The only way to find the clues and facts and information is to dig. It's to read annual reports. It's to read twenty-year-old annual reports. It's to read competitors' ads. And trade magazines and talk to people who use our clients' products--and people who don't. We must talk to engineers. Product people. We must go on factory tours.

That's how we'll get to compelling facts that differentiate and persuade.

We'll dig. We'll listen. We'll think.

We won't do "category" commercials that are funny and memorable, but which could be for any brand including our competitors. 

It's been a trend for quite some time for advertising agencies to recommend and produce beautiful commercials that say little if anything because somehow we've persuaded ourselves that commercials or ads with copy are a lesser form of creative. 

I've spent 40 years hearing that. And I fundamentally reject it. You can find something important to say. And you can find an artful way to say it. And you can sell a shitload of stuff for our clients. And make our clients happy. You can do all that. AND win awards. 

Fundamental to any effective communication is getting attention. And nothing gets attention better than giving people information they need--that they can't get anywhere else--in an unusual, funny or charming way.

You are a detective.

Find information about how much lead is in a mechanical pencil. And we can do ads like this.

You are a detective.

Find information about how we inspect our cars. And we can do ads like this.

You are a detective.

Find information so you can do ads like this.

Dilettantes can't do work like this.

This is work.

Not just a pangloss of style. Or trend-aping.

Timesheet worriers can't. Cool-chasers. Scope-jockeys. Parity-parodies. It-wasn't-on-the-brief-ers.

You can.

You are a detective.

Find information.



Thank you.

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