My recently retired partner, Gordon, had many expressions he used in business. But the one I‘ll always remember is “This is like being nibbled to death by ducks.” What he was referring to is how a really good, big idea gets eaten up — put to death, destroyed — by those who are afraid of big creative ideas. Or those who just feel a need, a compunction to put their hand print on the final creative product. Or those who feel they need to look like the others in their industry. Or those who fancy themselves an art director.
They come up with little improvements and tweaks to the creative idea that slowly chew it up and spit it out:
“there’s too much white space”
“let’s make the logo bigger”
“why did you choose that image instead of a photo of the product”
“make the product bigger”
“let’s take the people (ie humanity) out of the layout, I’m selling a product here you know”
“we need to provide sizes and all of the product specs”
“can we add two more product images”
“I don’t like the type font you’re using”
“I know those are the corporate colors, but I don’t like blue. . .”
“let’s take this part of concept A and meld it with part of concept B”
Once the client review process is complete, the big idea is often a mirror image of itself. Or worse. As Gordon was fond of saying – “It was like being nibbled to death by ducks.”
Now that he is retired, others here will need to shoulder the weight and be the champion for the big creative ideas that get presented to clients. I’m sure nibbling will continue. After all it’s the client’s prerogative. And we’ll have Gordon’s saying to help us through the process.
For those finding duck bites on your creative ideas, take a gander (pun intended) at the mobium e-Book “The Age of Engagement.” It discusses the role of creative impact in the world of business marketing. Perhaps you’ll find some anti-duck repellant.
Photo credit: Flickr: citrus.sunshine