Feb 27, 2008

Quality Versus Quantity

This should not be a topic for a post. This should not be something anyone asks whether one should be chosen over the other. Unfortunately, this is reality and this is advertising.

I don't know how many times I've been told to only present what is absolutely necessary to sell a concept only to end up with over twenty layouts of bullshit adaptations. It's not that I've not been able to only do what's necessary and go with the essentials, but I keep butting into these situations where about two acres of trees get sacrificed in vain because someone insists that we "need" those adaptations. Coming from someone who has been able to go with over 40 printouts for certain campaigns and with 5 for others, let me tell you that odds of the 5 printout campaign being easier to sell are endlessly higher.

Why is this? Well for starters, if you have less pieces to explain there's a better chance that what you're trying to do will be clearer to the client and will also give them the chance to fall in love with the concept and maybe even recommend something that they'd like to see. The second part is kind of bullshit but rather than drag a meeting on, you get to the point and guess what, a client appreciates you being concise and direct to the point. They like to dialogue rather than just receive information and when you have a truckload of pieces, you basically screw yourself. What else? Oh, there's that little known fact that if you have fewer pieces to worry about you can actually focus on an effective concept based on strategy rather than the bullshit pieces like a mailer, a self mailer, a poster, a stand banner, and such. You have more time to come through with a big idea and to get your bullshit rationale together. This means that you even have time to discuss with your account team what you're going to say to the client rather than burning your eyebrows on an all nighter only to wing it presentation style.

So thinking about it, I came up with a few comparisons:

Quantity sacrifices ideas for the sake of layouts - Quality sacrifices layouts for the sake of being effective

Quality clears doubts - Quantity raises questions

Quality gets your message across - Quantity dilutes your strategy to the eyes of the client

Quality means you care - Quantity only makes you look like you care

Quality means you want to nail it - Quantity means you're looking for excuses or covering bases

Quality projects confidence - Quantity projects fear

Quality allows you to make changes quickly - Quantity forces you to waste hours and days on small changes for all the pieces

Quantity is complacency - Quality is commitment to excellence

Quantity wastes time, energy, CPU storage space, paper, foam boards and toner - Quality doesn't waste a thing

Quality makes people think - Quantity makes you look at your watch

So please, from a creative looking to be effective, save the forests, save the foam boards and save the time.

Peace, love and maki rolls



TexanInHippieland said...

Quality projects confidence. Quantity projects fear.

That is the main reason, right there. But sadly, too many Account Directors don't have true confidence in their creative's work, or their ability to sell the client. THEY ARE TERRIFIED. That's why they want 56 boards.

I am a HUGE believer in the rule of threes. Like the number 7 is to the Bible... the number 3 is to advertising. Give the client three options. It's enough to let them kill something, but it doesn't get them in the habit of killing. After all, if they've just killed your first 22 ideas, it'll be real easy for them to just keep going and kill the rest.

Wonderful post, by the way.

Thinking In Vain said...

This is screaming to be a poster. You should make it and sell it. THEN you can take that vacation.

I also like Ben's Rule of Threes.

Me said...

Eeesh. I had a boss that made me adapt every single piece we presented to all the sizes that they were thinking of doing.

One day I said: What happens if the client wants to revise the ad? Do you realize that we will waste more time changing every piece rather than actually making adaptations of the approved ad?

He looked at me, with this "I don't give a shit on how many hours it takes" expression.

What a fucking dumbass.

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