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