Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reject my baby, but not me.

        When you go into advertising, maybe you should check your feelings at the reception desk. Rejection is part and parcel of the craft.

         Good bosses know how to reject the work without rejecting the person. "I can see how you came up with this but it needs some work on this part here." Not "you don't think this is funny, do you?"

         In my career, rejection has come in many forms.

         "That's cute. I hate cute."

         "You did something too different."

         "If you get off strategy again, I'll have to talk to the c.e.o."

         "I think we're going to have to get Merle in on this."

         "Guess I'll have to do this myself."

         Even "I hate purple."

         One creative director  I worked for threw a dart at one of my ads after a client rejected it. That really smarted. It also hurts when someone writes right on the layouts.

         What's an advertising creative person to do? Do the professional thing. Go back to work and do something even better. If others don't separate you from your work, you have to. There are a hundred ways to solve an advertising problem, and there's a good chance you'll find one you like even better than the first.

          Most advertising agencies have policies about clients rejecting their work. At Young and Rubicam in New York, they used to say that if clients don't want our best idea, we'll give them our second best. If that doesn't do the trick, we'll give them our third best. Might as well, or they'll get something not as good from somebody else.

         Of course, some agencies take much tougher stances. At DDB in Toronto, account executives were told that if they couldn't sell an ad, to keep it in the trunks of their cars until they found a way to sell it. An ad couldn't come back to the agency unsold unless it violated a client company policy or was factually incorrect. Liking or not liking an ad was not a legitimate reason. Sell the ad or your fired.

        Actors get "flop sweat", comedians bomb out, novelists see their best work on the remainder table.

       Ad people get a choice. Write another ad, or rewrite your resume.



1 comment:

  1. What about switching your skill over to selling something salutarily marvelous like sweetly fresh possibilities for life? Here, the actually working advertiser should refuse the temptation to become an artist and remain true to their poetically worthy calling of selling the newly forged dreams and the turbulently becoming good in the form of an explosive social awakening.