How many times have we received this feedback<em>, "Tumhara layout hame pasand nahi aaya."? "Par sir, layouts are exactly as per the agreed brief and approved copy. Can you please pinpoint the issue?" "Arey, samaj jao na, nahi pasand aaya. Aur options batao."
I am sure every advertising professional has come across this standard and irritating feedback from their client once in a while. Being in advertising profession for more than 20 years now, I am still trying to understand the psychology of our clients and their feedback pattern. No, no...I am not undermining them in any way. They are the best when it comes to running a business and they are undoubtedly street smart.
However, the unfortunate part about the creatives you produce as an agency is, almost everyone on this earth can comment on it and has a point of view. Anyone and everyone from the Client's side and not to forget senior management's parents, spouse, son, daughter, sister, brother, jijaji, uncle, aunty, in-laws, friends, consultants, driver, office boy... possess a saintly power of rejecting your creative outright without giving any reason. They all individually think that they have more collective creativity, insights and strategic inputs then everyone at the agency put together.
"Hame pasand nahi aaya..." single-handedly evaporates your entire enthusiasm with which you started the creative assignment. And we unconditionally accept our defeat and grudgingly concur to their way of creativity.
Clients who know little English Language will advice you on the correct usage of words and syntax! They will, with some authority, let you know that plural of 'Crore' is definitely 'Crores'. They will tell you with amazing conviction that 'Focussed' is correct. They are the ones who will tell, "Do not touch the content, MD Sahabne khud likha hai. "Par Sir, it is grammatically incorrect." "No changes, MD Sahab gussa ho jayenge."
Very recently a client of mine needed a very classy and up-market logo for his brand that addressed the crème de la crème of the society. We did research of the corresponding brands internationally and nationally; we created the brand persona, we clearly defined the audiences and accordingly developed some very chic and appropriate logo options. Client responds by saying, "No" and he sends a few very grotesque looking logos of his preference. "Dekho, logo isse kehte hai." "Par Sir, these options do not even fit the class, the elegance and the persona of your brand by any figment of the imagination!" "Aap baat nahi samaj rahe ho, meine jo logo references diye hai ussi pe aur options do."
Suddenly, after presenting few very well-researched and apt concept options for a brochure, you receive this call, "Sir last week Thailand gaye they Wahan se ek Brochure laye hai. Kehte hain, hamari agency mein aisi creativity kyu nahi? Unko bolo ke aisa kuch banaye." "Par Sir, yeh to Thai Massage ka brochure hai. Usko aur hamare corporate brochure ko kya lena dena?" "No arguments, Sir gussa ho jayenge."
"Logo ka size bada kar do."
"Colour options do."
"Vastu ke hisaab se logo upward pointing <em>hona chahiye.
"Sahab ke bete ko kala colour pasand nahi hai."
"Yeh dekho, competition ki advertisement kitni achchi hai."
"Fonts do point se bada kar do, Sir ke pappa ko padhne mein dikkat aati hai."
"Mascot ko salwar kameez pehna do." "Sir, bra ke saath ya phir uske bina?"
"File CDR format mein hi chahiye." "Par Sir, aapko to pata hai, hum toh InDesign me kaam karte hai." "Bus humko CDR format hi chahiye."
"Arey Consumer Research ki kya zarurat hai? We have been in this industry since 20 years, we know everything."
"First option ka visual lo, second option ki copy aur third option ka colour."
"Sales nahi aaya aapki advertisement se. "Par Sir, advertisement se main ghode ko pani tak la sakta hu, pani to aapko pilana hai!" "Pata hai, par Sahab bahut gussa hai."
"No one reads an advertisement that has long copy. Sahab ne ek ya do line ka copy bola hai" "Par Sir, our product is too technical and new in the market; we won't be able to explain its USPs in 30-40 words!" "No arguments, Sir gussa ho jayenge."
Sir gussa ho jayenge. Sir gussa ho jayenge. Sir gussa ho jayenge. Aaaaaarrrrggghhhh....
You need nerves of steel to tide through these frustrations day in, day out. But that's the game and you have to keep playing it. With a ray of hope that one fine day clients will understand - WHY KEEP A DOG AND BARK YOURSELF.
So many times, it happens too fast, you trade your passion for glory... And here you trade your creativity for client.