A war of temperaments went around Facebook recently about the new Wimpy (Impi) ad. It was said that a stand up comedian had hatched the idea for his routine, and that only after his show had been seen by a certain Copywriter, had the idea then made its way through the (oh so very long) process from pitch to client, production, post production and then to eventually transpiring into what we are seeing now on TV. They say there’s no such thing as a (brand spanking) new idea. Indeed. But the Copywriter was berated for arriving for work on the Monday and ‘stealing’ the idea so it could work for client, Wimpy. So… So what? He/she spotted the gap but most importantly liked the idea being communicated at the stand up show enough to want to script it. Congratulations to the comedian therein.
In a world where social networking is hot property communication tool number one, everything is transient and absolutely everything is viral. See a show, send a text, receive the text, tell your friend, friend writes script, script gets approved, ad is produced, ad is on television, ad is on YouTube, ad goes viral. So? Idea essentially went viral, yes? No default to the comedian and no snub directed at his intellectual property either. But he should never hope or expect that that would be contained within the walls of his performance venue. Wit is a fine talent for sure, but that said, it doesn’t take a genius to see the rhyming opportunity with Wimpy and Impi. So, just figure out how to leverage your 15 minutes mate. It’s not only going to happen between two third party arguers on a fourth party’s Facebook wall.
A prominent placement talent once told me that a candidate looking for a Copywriting role (and being considered for one at a small-ish agency) asked her what their awards budget was before his CV would be submitted. He never applied and who can say where he is now? Sure, you get into the industry and want recognition, but am I a hopeless romantic for thinking that such spotlight should be secondary to being effective, strategic and creative (at the same time) anyway? There’s a burning question that asks if award shows really care about strategy? If not, who – or what – are you appealing to?
Clients don’t like their money being spent for where awards will follow. Client wants bottom line effectiveness as payoff for the countless presentations by the people they see as weirdos with “fun” jobs. They reckon awards are just for the agency and don’t necessarily translate into a bottom line bulge. While on the pursuit of a statue, are strategy and creative speaking the same language? And while they are reaching for a dictionary to translate the other’s passion-pitch, the client throws their hands in the air and considers moving the account altogether, or worse still, running it in-house. Then again, there are brands like Nando’s and Kulula that thrive on conversations around their messaging and how this translates into actual income. But those brands and their bold recognition are few and far between. Can the same approach be taken with Johnson and Johnson? Clicks? Menshealth? Koo? So if you work on one of these – or similar – accounts, how do you earn your keep and satisfy your need for recognition? Start with a mantra. Drive home a message. Maybe win a medal. What do you think?