Once upon a time, after days of banging my head against a brick wall on a client brief, I got that curious sense of elation, relief and pure nuclear exhilaration when I hit on an idea. It was simply beautiful and beautifully simple.
It was a game changer.
Everyone agreed. My boss, the suits, even the creatives who just wanted to get their layout pads and scribble.
So we presented the strategy to the client. It was a great presentation, you'd have liked it. The client did.
But he didn't want to go with it, because he didn't feel he could sell it to the board.
Because it was game changer. It wasn't what they were used to.
The evidence was compelling, the potential was thrilling.
But he said they didn't want business ideas, they wanted advertising.
We were crushed.
Then we decided to both ignored him and listened to him.
We pushed on, but thought how to address the board issue.
The main reason we got the business was because one of our account execs was friends with the CEO's daughter - who worked in the business. .
So, in a totally immoral play, we got this account exec involved in the project.
Who innocently talked to her friend about how excited she was about the new campaign.
The daughter told her Dad.
At the same time, we persuaded the client to let us present.
By making great ads to show.
With vox pops interviews showing what happened when his staff and customers (including the bosses daughter) saw them.
Because no one gets excited by strategy, they get excited by creative work.
Because everyone is scared of new ideas, the need permission to buy it.
So he wanted to present it now.
Especially when the CEO told him he wanted to see the work his beloved daughter was raving about.
So we presented with him, to the board.
The CEO was already pre-disposed to buy, and no-one would argue.
Because only a fool calls the CEO's daughter an idiot.
And by jingo,when everything got made it worked.
No one gets excited by thinking, they get excited by creative ideas - you don't have a great strategy until you have great work.
If you believe in something enough, there's a way to make it happen - creativity is not just about the work, it's also how you sell it.
It's not who you know, it's who you know.
Research can be weapon, as well as your enemy.