Aug 5, 2008

Seven Deadly Ad Client Sins:

For those of us lucky enough to work in advertising, we’ve seen a variety of things that not only make you scratch your head, but that push you to the brink of desperation because something that you swear could have work, ended up being a tepid excuse for a steaming pile of shit. Often times people who don’t know how advertising is run blame the creative or the agency but those of us who have seen our idea babies raped and conditioned to suck know that the fault lies somewhere else.

Though there are thousands of things that piss me off about a client, there are seven that resonate throughout the advertising world. So without further ado, I present the first of Seven Deadly Ad Client Sins.

Stuffage

An ad when finished by a creative team should have balance, the right amount of aesthetic glam and a coherent message. Clients don’t understand any of these and instead insist they know better than you about communicating effectively even if their status reports are more than enough proof to show that they’re full of manure.

There is only so much information an ad can hold before becoming ineffective. This is not a judgment call, it’s just pure sense. True there were days where you could include 8 paragraphs of copy and that was all fine and dandy but in a world as cluttered as ours, everyone’s competing for the reader’s attention when in reality the consumer doesn’t want to see your ad.

As if that weren’t a big enough hump to hurdle over, the client insists that you add more and more and more information. You see your original layout and you see how it swells with inane information that only serves to satisfy the client who demands that content be added because it’s MUST SEE information about the brand or a product.

This isn’t limited to print either. Thanks to the beauty of audio compression and VO talent with Micro Machine Speed Speech, more information gets fed into a poor ad to suffocate the primary message into submission.

Retail ads do wonders stuffing unnecessary information into an ad and trust me, if you think the ad is loaded, the client sees three spots where you can put bullet points, a sub-sub-sub-sub headline or a burst.

If you’re a client who has stumbled upon this page and you’ve committed this sin, you must say three Hail Me’s, Two Our Holy Jokers and lash yourself for two hours. Forgiveness shall not be offered for this, but it’ll sure as hell make us feel better.

3 comments:

Warren said...

If you’re a client who has stumbled upon this page and you’ve committed this sin, you must say three Hail Me’s, Two Our Holy Jokers and lash yourself for two hours.

Autodecapitation is actually the preferred method.

adhack said...

When the AEs ask me to add something to a piece that is already bursting at the seams, I say, "I'll do it, but nobody is going to read this piece of shit."

"Oh we know," they say.

And then we happily send the ad on its way.

Stan Lee said...

I love the "client knows best" approach so much, that if I ever need to have surgery I'm going to refuse the anesthetic so that I can tell the surgeon what to do while he is operating.

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