Think differently and make a big difference

July 3, 2014

This is a lovely idea.
It’s a poster where you can swipe your credit (or debit) card down the middle of the poster.
When you do this the image on the poster changes and you donate €2.
But the changes in the poster are lovely.
It shows you slicing off a piece of bread for a hungry child. Or slicing through the ropes binding an imprisoned man’s hands.

Invite people to interact with your message. It makes them feel part of it, and therefore is more likely to get a response.
It’s the same when you’re presenting creative work (or copy, or art direction, or a media schedule) to your client.
Always, always make them feel part of the process. They’ll be far more likely to buy into the idea if it’s partly theirs (or even if they feel that it’s partly their idea).
Plus, it’s far less likely they’ll kill the idea stone dead if they’re responsible for its inception.

Reminds me of the Skoda brand manager who was almost fired for approving the ‘new’ Skoda ads about 10 years ago.
It’s a long story, but it’s a rewarding story for those of us who try hard to get ideas into our communications.
Basically Chris Hawken was given the task by VAG group to head up the Skoda brand in the UK.
He sold the board on repositioning the brand as a quality marque, rather than the slightly-less-than-quality reputation it held.
He (very bravely) decided to not use the internationally-renowned agency that the company normally used.
He chose to go with Fallon instead.
He bought ads from Fallon that were superb.
Many of the ads were written by Andy MacLeod and art directed by Richard Flintham (who were also executive creative directors and founding partners at Fallon).
They acknowledged that the marque had issues in the past. And they highlighted this by having people unable to accept that the lovely car they were looking at was a Skoda.
Here are some of the TV ads that they used to change people’s perceptions.

But when he presented the campaign idea to his line manger, the line manager refused to approve it.
So Chris Hawken resigned.
Once the board level management heard about his resignation, they asked why.
They then saw the ads he was proposing, and they invited Chris to return to the company and sacked his boss instead.
Last I heard he was heading up the whole of the VW/Audi Group in Australasia.
This is a lovely tale of the right idea winning out. Sadly it doesn’t happen all that often.
So grab every opportunity you see. Make the best of any job you ever work on. Because you never know when everything will click and you’ll get some dream work out there.
Ideas make a big difference. Honest.

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