Thinking the wrong way around…

This week I’ve been dealing with a client. It’s one of those impossible situations where they’ve told the station what they want, and in the form they’ve asked for we simply can’t deliver it. There is a problem from a station point of view that we’re very protective of the brand. From the other side the client has become fixated on an approach. They are not thinking about how to get the campaign to work, they are thinking about how to deliver an idea that they’ve had.

When I train sales people on taking briefs I ask them, if they have an idea while they are taking a brief, they keep it to themselves. This is the opposite to an old Sales Director of mine who would tell them to come up with ideas there and then! They would bring the idea back to the station and the creative team would have to try to deliver that idea. Or if it was not possible then explain to a client… who was expecting that particular concept… why we couldn’t do it. I think that Sales Director was not wrong, but badly timed. We would have lots of rows about the briefs his sales people brought in. The time to WOW the client with a great idea is when you’ve worked on it, honed it and made sure you can execute it.

Yes! Ideas Sell. That’s the whole concept of Creative Led Selling!
Yes! Sales people come up with some great ideas.
But there is a thought process that goes into making commercials, and it’s not JUST about making great SOUNDING radio. It’s about making the campaign work. “The client wants two woman talking on a bus” is not a brief!!

Think about your radio like this. What do I want people to actually DO when they’ve heard the ad. And have I given them a really good reason to do it. Judge the script the same way. Does it communicate the brief!

The concept or idea should not form part of the brief. But it can be a note at the end. If it’s a great idea your writer will be happy to use it. If it’s a dead end, give the writer the freedom to move away from that concept.

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Rodin's sculpture entitled "How am I supposed to make this idea work on radio!"

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