‘Chronicles of a Head of Digital’ – 28

Following on from my recent article (Chronicles 22), I thought I’d do a spin from the other side of this whole explaining yourself malarkey.

Just so I don’t seem to be so full of negs and digs. I am a very positive person. Some might venture that I am in fact of a sunny disposition.

Anyways, enough about my stability and general positivity, back to the task in hand.

Picture the scene. I would say close your eyes but then you couldn’t read this, so just picture the scene whilst reading…

There you are in your studio lounge, the brainstorm room, the battle room, on the beanbags or whatever space you have for going over creative. We have a lounge with two red sofas and other such soft furnishing to do this in just off the main studio…

So, the team have developed a raft of wondrous creative, there are thought maps, paintings, mood boards, and early layouts all based on a handful of routes. You realise you have cold feet, you look down and realise your socks have been literally blown off. There is some good solid effort there. To be applauded.

So we open up, as you do, going through route 1.

Smiles all round. “I like it, let’s use it”, someone says.

Here we go…

Please never say “I like it” to me… we are professionals. What has your personal aesthetic view got to do with it? What has like got to do with it? What is it? FFS!

Look, I’m happy that ‘it’ is liked. Truly I am. But no. What you should be saying to me in an internal creative critique is:

“That works really well because…”

There we go, constructive, to the point, about something in particular, and based on reason and rationale.

So, yours or my own, personal ‘likes’ have eff all to do with the project in hand. We need to thoroughly pull apart what we are doing, and to an extent, dispassionately work out what works and what doesn’t to who we are targeting, and how that links to the thing we are trying to pedal to them.

You have got to remember that we are being paid to develop this stuff as we do it for a job. And we do it as a job coz we know better than the average Joe how this stuff works. The psychology at play, how to draw a reaction, how to lead the eye, how to best soak to then garner inbound…. All that stuff. Years upon years of collected expertise at play in one room of creative-driven strategic thinking.

So please don’t say to me, when we are in that room and being taken through some hard-worked creative for dissection, “I like that one”. We aren’t in a David Walliams sketch here.

Anyway that’s my piece. I’m just erring on a rant as my mind took me back to such a session full of “I like that one” a good few years back when I had hair to tear out. Why did my mind take me back there? Well, it was following a great session here today that was constructive.

I’m just glad we are doing it right these days.

So, just:

Explain to me what works, what doesn’t and why. Like we do. Thank you.