Ever Seen A Baby Pigeon?

One of my friends in Cape Town hails from the mysterious luvvy infested world of advertising.  A place filled with murkiness I cannot fathom, she told me of an event last week with a English speaker.  He was a copy-writer from agency Young & Rubicon in London, who’d enjoyed success on famous last century campaigns for the likes of Heineken (refreshes the parts…) and Silk Cut.  A number of interesting points emerged, which can aid a sales campaign.

Focus On One Idea – Often when pitching a solution to a prospect, you want to get as many of your juicy benefits out as possible.  He suggested going with one at a time.  More usually confuses the issue.  And he gave the example of catching a tennis ball; throw me one and I’ll catch it, throw five at once, and I’ll drop the lot.

One Sheet Of Paper – Too often he’d seen ‘briefs’ that were the size of War And Peace.  If you cannot say it one a single sheet, you won’t get any results.  A lesson for any Proposal planning meeting here I fancy.

Let’s Not Do Lunch – When is a good idea good enough?  He bemoaned the fact that when a good idea crops up in a meeting, everyone stops and says that’s it (“let’s do lunch…”).  Yet in reality, what’s needed is actually a Great idea, so you should carry on, progress away from the simply ‘good’ idea, and try to nail a Great one.

Stay In The Box – And this is a real eye-opener, stemming from his frustration that clients all too frequently utter the immortal line ‘think outside the box for us please’.  His experience shows that all the best, and most creative ideas come from when the parameters of the ‘box’ are so tight, awesome creativity is needed to come up with something brilliant – in other words, the tighter the brief, the seemingly more constraining the parameters of the ‘box’, the better the resultant creativity.

(And then he also made some joke about baby pigeons 🙂

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