Agencies have taught Clients to expect that the Creative recommendation will often be the work that is edgiest, the one that causes what one of my old Clients called “sweaty palms”. They innocently expect the Client to walk away from something that is safe, for something that is risky. Furthermore, the rationale for this recommendation many times is because the Creative really, really believes in the work.
Agency people-are you listening to yourselves?
Think of the last important purchase you have made. And think as a person, not as an advertising professional
As a buyer, how many times have you walked away from a safe option for a risky one?
How often have you been willing to gamble when the seller is not sharing in the risk?
How many times have you taken the salesman’s recommendation because he really, really believes in the product?
How many times have you asked yourself if the salesman does not have a hidden agenda in pushing that specific Brand?
And after a bad outcome on a purchase, how many times have you told yourself that you will never make the same mistake again, and that you will never fall for the salesman’s pitch again?
This is exactly what is going through your Client’s head.
Before an Agency decides to recommend a specific creative direction, they need to ask themselves the following question and answer it truthfully.
If your own money were as risk, would you still recommend this approach?
If the answer is affirmative, then go ahead and recommend it. Better yet, put some money on the table and bet on the upside. Link part of your fee to the success of the work. Or find some other tangible way to bet on your work. Words are not enough.
Your Client will appreciate the fact that you are willing to have some skin in the game and will be more likely to approve the work
After all, it is easier for him to be brave when the Agency shows some real bravery as well.