Monday, October 20, 2014

Has The 'Ta-Da' Moment Had Its Day?

On another website, a Chief Marketing Officer was saying that he hates the 'ta-da' moment, when an agency does the big reveal of their new campaign.

So... why do we do it?

If we scrapped it, we would certainly save time and money. A 'big' presentation takes a day or two days of studio resource, plus the cost of the materials, which pretty much all ends up being wasted.

And it would save stress. There's always a late night or two putting that ta-da together. And the big build-up to the reveal can create big anxiety; if you haven't cracked it, it's a disaster.

I also wonder whether it's harder for clients to give honest feedback in that kind of session. The agency have clearly been to such a huge effort, and (hopefully) show such passion in presenting it, that human nature surely dictates at least a little positivity, even if none is warranted.

Yes, the passion and presenting skills of the agency can sometimes get a client excited, even over-excited. But is that necessarily a good thing? It's like when you go shopping - sometimes the pumping music and the gushing enthusiasm of the sales staff gets you buying something that you later realise doesn't suit you, and nobody wins.

So what's the alternative - emailing the work? We could theoretically give clients an email update every 24 hours.And the advantage of this method is that we wouldn't go for any longer than 24 hours on the wrong track.

But it seems a bit of a shame.

As a CD, I'm a buyer of ideas myself, and I know from experience I'm much more likely to respond positively to something if the team is there to bring it to life in front of me, rather than just sending it via email. Also an idea is much more likely to grow and evolve, in a face-to-face session.

So call me crazy, but how about if we deployed some technology to help? Like a Google Hangout?

I'm proposing what I modestly suggest we henceforward call the 'Veksner Triple-Screen Method'. You divide the screen into 3. On the left, the brief. On the right, the work. And in the middle, the face(s) of the people you are talking to. 

What do you think?

Or are you a fan of 'ta-da'? 


Thomas said...

There's too much risk in the ta-da moment. You've gone down the wrong track, the clients having a bad day etc. the ideas themselves are often multi-faceted that creates complexity in how to pitch. By all means have a big presentation, but preceded by strat-cepts/client lunches to generate input & consensus prior.

Old CD Guy said...

You've put your finger on an important point. The more hype involved in the presentation, the more likely the object of the ta-da is buying the salesmanship, not the work. It's important to separate the two. When I was in the CD role I occasionally got to the stage where I would prefer to just read the scripts or view the layouts of my creative teams and let the merits of the work shine through, rather than be subjected to the bright-eyed (but possibly misplaced) enthusiastic sales-pitch of those hoping I would recognise their ideas as a work of genius every time. Mind you, to do that requires the ability to imagine the work as it would be in its final, finished filmed form, and - and this is critical - not everybody has that ability. Particularly (and ironically), most clients, who can't just relax, imagine and enjoy the idea. They have so many other considerations whirling around their heads such as sales objectives, dealer considerations and their boss's reaction. So we're back to the ta-da for clients, but not creative directors possibly.

Nobody likes a salesman said...

Experience in Australia has taught me to never do the big 'Ta-Da' moment. Marketers hate that here.

It should be a series of informal sessions, the first which is buying into the broad brushstrokes of an idea. If they like that, then move it to the next stage. If they like that, then let's get down into scripts and the nitty gritty.

And always, always bring the client along on the journey. It's their money and they want to be just as much a part of designing the house they have to live in as you do.

Oh sorry, I thought I was on an architecture blog, where people have to live with their decisions for the rest of their lives, not an advertising blog, where people have to live with their decisions for a series of 30 second blips over a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

If it's a script your presenting, then it certainly helps to have a creative act it out as much as possible. This isn't some kind of 'cheat' it's actually giving a more accurate sense of the finished product.

Anonymous said...

When I was a CD I hated it when teams came in and tried to do a big introduction to their idea. Bring it to life, yes. But try to fucking sell it to me, fuck off. I've written ads. I know how they occur and it is not a rational process. And frankly I don't care how they occurred. Just show me the fucking ads.