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Guest vuzz

clients, final say, style, and what you wish you could do.

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Guest vuzz

I just finished reading the comments about picture-mill and it struck a nerve that I know we all have when dealing with clients.

 

What I'm talking about is what happens when a client asks for a design, we pump out a pitch and story-boards and in the end they always end up going with some idea they always had or a very conservative look.

 

Picture-mill has some really really nice work, is it cutting edge maybe not however the client has the last say and I have seen it happen so many times that with all the people that have to OK something by the time it gets to the last producer its a toned down version.

 

G-munk if a god of motion graphics but half the stuff on his reel looks like stuff he did for himself, and the same goes for MK12 and others. Good for them them, they have time to pump out personal works and let the sky be the limit. Am I jealous , hell ya, I envy them. I wish my studio would do the same and showcase it, it's a great promo tool.

 

Clients should trust us more and take the leap by lookink at he works that have been done before. Lets us guide them and not the other way around. I have worked with some that do have great ideas and let you be creative. But in the end style is one thing and satisfying the client is another.

 

ahhh now I feel better :)

 

 

>v<

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Guest parallax

I can see your point.

 

Many times, clients don't have an eye for design. But in the end, they pay your bills, so you better be able to adjust accordingly.

 

I find that lots of agency people also are talentless hacks that just happened to be in the right place, on the right time. Or have daddies with phat pockets :)

 

Just look at all the crap spots that are aired 24/7. Sometimes you can even see wich Media100 preset filter they used. When i see spots like these, i always hope it was the client that wanted it, not the company.

 

There are also lots of editors/designers that are talentless hacks, but who earn truckloads of $$ :|

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Guest firemind

Hmmm, this sort of reeks of this thread.

 

Anyway, my take on this is try to put as much of your own stuff into assigments as far as you can get away with while making sure the final thing communicates what needs to be communicated. Ideally clients hire you for your design/communication expertise, often it comes down to just hiring technical skill. If the situation is truly intolerable, move to another company, start freelancing, etc. Bitching about it isn't going to do much good. The apologetic 'we want to do really cool stuff, but our clients won't let us' story is getting a bit tiresome.

 

I'm long past the point of getting pissed at clients/project managers/etc. coming up with stupid revisions to my work, if they want 3x the amount of text, dropshadows or whatever, no prob, I'll cram it in there. That's cuz version 1 is for my portfolio, the final version is for the client ;-)

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Guest André Leroux

I could write up a whole chapter on this issue vuzz. All I will say however is, if the client puts on the creative director's hat and you can clearly see that the ideas are way off course, than more of a reason to push you're ideas & not give in just because they are paying you. This is a good way to earn respect & besides, if you do give in & the project flops, they will blame you.

I was fortunate enough to have had carte blanche on most projects with Bombardier, but that took years of trust, after consecutive successful campaigns.

 

The president of Cosette ( Montreal's biggest ad firm ) once said at an interview; That he just wished clients would trust them more.

 

You're right about Gmunk, MK12 & others. The clear difference is that what you see on their reel is non commercial, no holds bared creative stuff.

 

My suggestion to you vuzz would be exactly what I am doing to my reel, taking out the commercial crap. Create you're very own reel & let the sky be the limit like you say. Don't rely on your company for promo. Every firm is different, some good, some bad.

Check out one of my favorite Co. promo PSYOP anthem, I just love it.

 

Salut vuzz

 

André

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Guest vuzz

You are all right about sticking to your guns and letting the cards fall as they will. but man I have seen some times when we showed some kick ass storyboards and they flat out went for somthing lame. I try to push my ideas as much as possible, and it feels good when they get through.

 

Great design can bring so much to a project no matter how lame the content. I find myself being asked for more and more design work, but I am a compositor first. And it's nice to share ideas and and for me design becomes more fluid after sharing and reading some if the coments on this board. Even nicer when it gets on the screen.

 

V

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Guest vuzz

and I totally know what you mean firemind about keeping the your idea for the reel and handing over whatever they want. I am at that point right now.

 

 

On a lighter note, just got back from LOTR 3 and man what a flick, kick ass eye candy.

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Guest firemind

Gmunk and mk12 actually do that stuff for clients tho. But I'll agree their personal work got them attention and eventually clients.

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Guest eyetwist

in reference to this thread (and the similar one posted above), if people are so unhappy on the design vendor side of the business, why not move over to the agency / client side and have the creative control you're talking about? if so many of the agency creatives are hacks, i'm sure better talents would be appreciated and rewarded.

 

i'm not trying to start a flame war, just making the point that at the end of the day, its BUSINESS we're dealing with here. there are corporate needs to attract the largest audience possible for a product or service, and society as a whole is not always receptive to the latest razor's-edge of graphic design. if the creative idea is all that matters, go be a fine artist and sell your work in galleries.

 

i realize that there are people on the client/agency side of the business that are not the sharpest creative tools in the shed. the same argument could be made of the legions of people who go and learn photoshop, illustrator, flash & ae and then call themselves designers, charging $100+ an hour.

 

fwiw, my .02

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Guest timmy
i'm not trying to start a flame war, just making the point that at the end of the day, its BUSINESS we're dealing with here. there are corporate needs to attract the largest audience possible for a product or service, and society as a whole is not always receptive to the latest razor's-edge of graphic design. if the creative idea is all that matters, go be a fine artist and sell your work in galleries.

 

i don't think it's society as a whole that is not always receptive... they'll watch anything you set in front of them and if they don't like it, they'll turn the channel... and that's fine. and normal. and how it is.

 

so instead of switching sides, lets just kill off the ad agencies of the world. don't get me wrong. there are fine people in these agencies. i've had wonderful experiences working with some top notch creatives inside the ad world... and they are good and will always have jobs because they are smart and wise.

 

it's the other 95 percent of that ilk that i have a problem with. the ones that figured out in their senior year of college that they can't just live the phi cappa whatever house for all eternity and need some sort of job with their "business" degree and say, right on, i'm going to go and be creative with my business skills and get my hands dirty in the wonderful world of big business advertising and i'm gonna stay with this agency for 50 years, solidifying my job placement and justifying my existence and getting my 401k plan in gear.

 

really. the big ad agencies of today were small fish at one point. and maybe, just maybe, they had a lot of the creative juice-a-flowin. i know they have. but ya know, jordan had to retire at some point. and just think if stevie wonder quit making records after songs in the key of life.

 

my point is that some of these guys should get the fuck out because they 1) lost the love for the creative arts within a commercial setting or 2) they didn't know what the fuck they were doing then and they sure as hell don't know now.

 

take out the middle man. let the client talk to the creative.

 

it's not gonna solve all of these problems but it would sure help a lot.

 

at mk12, we have two rules. 1)stay debt free and 2) we don't take on any job that won't make it on the demo reel.

 

so we are choosey. so we don't have the greatest net profit at the end of the year because of it. who cares. i didn't get in this for the money. well, that's not entirely true. the client work is taken on to be able to to not take client work to do our own stuff.

 

i look at the client work as our part time job so at night, we can work on our own stuff.

 

i've derailed whatever point i was or was not trying to make.

 

oh well. so yeah. always keep at least a half of tank of gas in your auto during the winter.

 

timmy

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Guest govinda

so instead of switching sides, lets just kill off the ad agencies of the world.

[...]

it's the other 95 percent of that ilk that i have a problem with.

[...]

really. the big ad agencies of today were small fish at one point. and maybe, just maybe, they had a lot of the creative juice-a-flowin. i know they have.

[...]

take out the middle man. let the client talk to the creative.

timmy

 

Timmy, it's more like 99% that blow. I wasted years in shops 'creative' and 'not so,' so here's some spiel.

 

First take a look at the agencies that're any good anymore. This month the CA Ad Annual comes out, and if all holds true to form, about a quarter of the placements are gonna be fake. Which is to say they were done simply to win a CA placement, a Hatch, a Belding or a Gold Pencil.

 

(BTW, I can't put my finger on the reason why it's weak to do 'fake' ads and it seems to me okay to do 'reelwork' in motion graphics. Must be that we're not such award-grubbers.)

 

Almost no agencies started out small and creative within our lifetimes. Only a few in SF, Minneapolis, NYC, and your buddies at Core in St. Louis, who can be crazy good in their distressed-type way. The rest are there to do just enough good work to bait in some smart creatives (if that) while also giving potential clients something not-too-stale to laugh at during pitches--and you know how low client-laughter bar is set.

 

Agencies provide stuff that a small design shop just can't. Some of it is hand-holding, but there's real value to account planning, done the Goodby way, and a good media plan is rarely formed by freelancers. Some clients also want radio ads, god forbid. I wouldn't mind it if you guys did all the ads on TV, but if you cut off one head of the ad monster, another will replace it. Somene is gonna do a better job of cozying up. There's a part of every client that wants reassurance (and savvy) that only someone like Rick Boyko or Dave Lubars can provide.

 

Top-level creatives at good shops (like Lubars at Fallon) really know how to 'finish' their work. Good ideas are all over, but that final hard 'eye' really isn't. It's Darwinian how they reached the top level. They've proven they can handle the creative, but even moreso the process. They have reputations that lend some comfort to the people shelling out millions for two months of Erroll Morris's time.

 

That level is also where you'll find the vainest, film-maker wannabe people I've ever met. In fact, ad people make my skin crawl as a group more than any other field I've been in, even if there are almost no MBAs in advertising. From the juniors complaining about 'creative freedom' to the production babes angling for the director, I'd wish most of 'em to hell on attitude and trendy eyewear alone. What's worse is they know this about themselves, which adds cynicism to the mix. Ever seen those self-promo parodies that're so clever-clever about the ad world? I wish Psyop hadn't started doing that stuff too--it's all too reminiscent of that 'A quick uncomfortable drink with the client' video of three years ago.

 

They're always gonna be there, so here's one answer: treat them like friendly people who you happen to know have head lice. Burn all clothing after meetings with them, and avoid unneccessary contact.

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Guest timmy

i'm optimistic in my percentages...

 

sure sure. they are needed. but they don't have to be the way they are and they certainly can cut the fat to become better by evolving into something uselful and worthwhile.

 

which will eventually happen. whether it be inner turmoil turning into the destruction of the heirarchy or all abandon ship and build other, better ships

 

and yeah, the big gun corporations need their big ad agencies but they too could wake up to the idea of, fuck, hey, we could do this part of what the ad agency does internally and let the internal agency hire the creatives to create, saving millions of dollars.. i mean they have people designated to talk and work with the ad agency, why not just have an internal agency?

 

i find it more likely than not that this particular version of the "agency" role just gets in the way. so i would like it changed by the people inside that know and understand or i would like those people to walk away and start the new agency... and then hire us.

 

but what do i know... it's 5 in the morning.

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Guest parallax

 

That level is also where you'll find the vainest, film-maker wannabe people I've ever met. In fact, ad people make my skin crawl as a group more than any other field I've been in, even if there are almost no MBAs in advertising. From the juniors complaining about 'creative freedom' to the production babes angling for the director, I'd wish most of 'em to hell on attitude and trendy eyewear alone. :)

 

 

Lol :)

Nicely said.

 

As i put in my previous post, they still 'pay the bills' and unfortunately they 'make' the ad-world. I'm still in Uni though, so i'm not that knowledgable mind you,

But i very much agree on lots of points with Timmy and Govinda, the middle-man position of lots of agencies are there only for 1 reason: Money and self-indulgence. I know lots of these so-called creatives that wear glasses heavier then mount-freakin'-everest and who had 1 too many random hydrogen peroxide treatment.

But its like that in any field (except medicine i hope..). Why do you think so much crappy music is produced? Those 'artitsts' do sell records.

Still there are 'lots' of agency that DO know what they are doing.

There's lots of bucks to be made in the Ad-world for smooth-talking business graduates.

Maybe designers should be more business-savvy.

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Guest eyetwist
i'm optimistic in my percentages...

 

and yeah, the big gun corporations need their big ad agencies but they too could wake up to the idea of, fuck, hey, we could do this part of what the ad agency does internally and let the internal agency hire the creatives to create, saving millions of dollars.. i mean they have people designated to talk and work with the ad agency, why not just have an internal agency?

 

the reason that this doesn't happen nowadays is twofold:

 

1. headcount, headcount, heacount. corporations loathe the idea of adding long lists of people to the payroll these days. they'd rather spend more $ with an external agency than bring the overhead in-house.

 

2. fickle winds of business. most corporations like to think they would rather date than marry - why do you think so many many accounts go into review every year? if the guy and/or team who sold the higher-ups on a creative concept that was DOA, is in-house & on the job, it's a bit more difficult to have a creative sea-change.

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