Archive for July, 2012
Judging by this ad (in Asda’s customer magazine), Kleenex would like you to use their tissues for all your disposable-wiping-of-stuff needs. When you’ve spilt some chutney at a bbq, you no longer need to reach for a sheet of kitchen towel as a mansize tissue will do the job.
I’m all for brands trying to increase their usage occasions, but this does seem to be stretching it a bit. I suspect they were inspired by the ‘recipe ideas’ section of food brand websites that always seem to have come up with, shall we say, unexpected ways to incorporate their product into meals. All-Bran lasagne anyone?
Kleenex’s parent company Kimberly-Clark actually have several kitchen towel brands in their portfolio (although non currently on shelf in the UK as far as I can tell) so I can’t imagine this ‘new usage’ campaign is a strategic shift…unless we can expect to see Kleenex branded kitchen towels on shelf soon?
I was at a research debrief with an agency recently and the following is more-or-less exactly how the conversation went afterwards:
Client: “I really liked your presentation”
Agency-and-me: “Erm, thank you”
Client: “Because it wasn’t all charts and numbers”
Agency-and-me: *crosses fingers that client is being serious and not sarcastic about our report based on a primarily quantitative methodology*
Client: “It told us what we actually needed to know and it did it in less than 20 slides…I don’t have time to read 100 page presentations that just sit there unread with us doing nothing anything about them. So let’s talk about Wave Two.”
So there you have it – less is more apparently. And when in doubt, leave the numbers out.
“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”
“Didn’t anyone tell you? New world, new rules.”
“I have charts and graphs to back me up…so f*** off”
I’ve always been reasonably lucky when dealing with suppliers and freelancers. Be it fieldwork, transcription, creative, visualiser or viewing facilities they’ve usually delivered what they said they would, when they would – and sometimes gone well above and beyond the call of duty too.
I only realised just how lucky I’ve been earlier this year when an agency brought me in to help clear up the mess caused by a supplier over promising and hopelessly under delivering due to inexperience. It also brought home to me just how potentially dangerous it can be for any business to try and wing it in an area that isn’t a specialism of theirs.
I’ve never been a fan of winging it. I’ve never been one to say “that’ll be a nice problem to have” when faced with a client brief and no idea of how to actually fulfil it. In fact, one of the joys of freelance life is being able to turn down projects that are outside my comfort zone. I’ve had a lot less sleepless nights and anxiety related stomach cramps since I gained the authority to say No to unsuitable work.
For the agencies and suppliers whose client base, business plan or financial position insists that they find a way of dealing with every client brief that lands, Amelia’s ‘Agency and Friends’ model, ‘a loose network of partners, developers and producers who can work alongside the core agency hub’ seems to be the way forward. Once AgencyLand bites the bullet and ‘fesses up that not everyone who works on the client’s business will be a full time agency employee but might instead be a close ‘friend’, getting the right people involved at the right time in order to do the job properly will become a lot easier.
I’ve been working on an integrated pitch where I had to brief in the entire pitch team on my ‘thinking so far’ a couple of days prior to creative briefing.
So last week I started writing the ‘show your workings’ stuff onto sheets of A4 and adding in good charts from research the client provided and so on. I ended up with this (mostly covered up for client confidentiality):
It turns out that the amount of information you can get on a sheet of A4 using marker pens is exactly the same amount of information that comfortably fits on a powerpoint slide. Basically I’d drafted the pitch presentation. In handy shuffle-the-slides round format.
Why didn’t I think of this before? I’m definitely doing this for all future pitches.