When it comes time to pitch, you’ll be amazed by how powerful your persuasion skills have become simply because you understand a little more about the field and what drives it.

Hegarty on Creativity by Sir John Hegaty of BBH

The advertising agency business has gotten terribly conglomeratized and consolidated, and I don’t think that’s doing the agency, the employees of the agencies, and the clients of the agencies’ business any favors.

Bullshit has become such a powerful weapon that it’s hard for us to stop ourselves from using it.

We use it on consumers.
We use it on our clients.
And we are now bullshitting ourselves.

A common mistake occurs when agencies and clients try to replicate (i.e. plagiarize) previously successful interactive (advertising) ideas.

The problem is that these ideas rarely compare with the original, brand-tailored concept.

Brand Jam by Marc Gobé

Learning to deal with failure is an essential skill for all creative people. Everyone has work rejected. But good ideas are good ideas, and what one client rejects might find acceptance with another, so we should never see failure as total.

However, the only way to deal with rejection is to accept responsibility for it. It’s only by doing this that we can turn rejection into success.

When titling your script, avoid the temptation to rush the title of your TV script. Titles may seem relatively trivial, but they can be important for various reasons:

1.) it gives the script an identity. Naturally, the title is what everyone will start referring to your idea by, so keep it short and avoid potentially annoying, stupid names.

2.) people naturally read or present the title before reading the script, so make sure it doesn’t give anything away, especially if there’s an unexpected twist at the end of the commercial.

3.) the title can actually help to sell a script. If the title can refer to the proposition in some way, it cleverly reinforces the fact that the idea is ‘on strategy.’ Or, give it a title that will appeal to the client.

Seconds before it went off to the client, my group creative director changed the title from ‘Bed’ to ‘Torture.’ It was a stroke of genius. Suddenly the product was the hero.

I’ve got this tiny pang of regret when I think of how much I have probably missed out on in the last few years because I was too scared to take a risk, or too shy to speak up, or too worried to be bold.

Jessi Kirby, Golden (via simply-quotes)

Interrogating clients is an essential part of being a designer. If we don’t learn to ask questions, we run the risk of never getting to the heart of what good design can be. No question is ever too dumb to ask, and if we are frightened of exposing our ignorance we will never understand anything.

At one time (generics) got up to 7% of sales, but now they have waned dramatically. Generics are now a very minor part of grocery sales, down around 2% or less.

Clients have a habit of failing to explain the stuff that to them is grindingly obvious. They are quick to accuse designers of failing to understand their business, yet they often make the mistake of not explaining what they understand implicitly. They just assume everyone knows what they know.

I once did some research and asked half a dozen clients what they looked for in a designer’s website: most of them said they went straight to a client list.

There’s a rough magic in the word ‘no’. Clients often react badly at first, but they usually end up respecting the designer who says ‘no’ to unpaid pitching more than the one who says ‘yes’.

Usually if our work is rejected it is our own fault: we have either presented our ideas badly, or we have not spent enough time preparing; occasionally it is because we have done a bad job.

I often look at the website and then meet the designers to look at their portfolios, and two things frequently strike me:

1) The first is that many designers don’t bother to maintain visual continuity across their printed and online portfolios. This is a fundamental flaw and indicates a designer who can’t maintain a stylistic voice.

2) The other thing I notice is that the featured work is the same online as it is in the physical portfolio.