Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are hard-working ads the right way to go?

I have spent all weekend concepting ad ideas for a client. And it occurs to me that there are two sides to the story here. There is one side from the person I am working with who says, hey, Laura, are these award-winning ads?

And the other side, which is me, business owner and creative, who says, Well, maybe not, but I think they will work really hard for the client.

Now, I like to win awards. Nothing feels like being awarded by your peers. And sometimes those ads actually work, too. But it isn't my motivation as much as it used to be.

Sure, I'd love to be able to have the time and money from clients to do the award-winning work that works. It doesn't always happen. Media isn't right. Client doesn't "get" the work. Strategy failed and so there is no way an awardable ad campaign will happen. We can't get to the big awardable ideas. The moon is not in Venus. Whatever.

Hmmm. Am I the only person with this dilema? Am I doing myself or my client a disservice by not demanding more time, more resources, better strategy? Should I push harder? Lose sleep? Work 80-hour weeks? What is the answer? When is good enough, good enough?

I think we OWE it to our clients to push. To push them. Push ourselves. Create work that works. And if it wins an award from some creative guru with a chip on his or her shoulder, then goody. If not, is there really anything that feels better than making the cash register ring for a client? NO WAY.

Am I therefore creating "ad pollution?" No. I don't do those kinds of ads. Ever. And neither should you. But you also can't always land on the big kahuna idea every time. So you know what? Do the best you can. Be proud of your work that works. Your clients sure as heck will.