Thursday, September 3, 2009

(M)AdMen Shoot Endangered Species in the Foot!

Working with some ad agencies is like going hunting with Dick Cheney ... even side-by-side you can get shot! DDB Brazil, in trying to gain World Wildlife Federation account work, attempted to portray the scale of environmental damage from global warming in comparison to the attack on the New York City on 9/11. The result speaks for itself. It's not that the idea shouldn't come up at all... but wasn't anyone over 19 attending the meeting? Despite WWFs initial disclaimer of any prior knowledge and unauthorized use of brand, the concept got far enough to be submitted at the One Show (and win an award!). In my experience, nothing goes out for submission unless senior decisionmakers at both agency and client have signed off ... if not, heads roll. A joint apology has now been issued, but more than a little too late.

So, my eager young associates ... take heed. This is what Fluent Ideas is all about. Everything you think is cool, relevant and meaningful may have alternative meanings to other audiences. If you listen only to the voices in your head, you will hear one hand clapping. Open up creative debate ... and listen ... and then think again! If these guys had done so, someone without 9 lattes in their bloodstream (or worse) might have urged caution. Unabashed creative enthusiasm ... like a monkey with a gun ... can quickly do damage that cannot be repaired with words.