Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three is the magic number.

Third time's a charm. Three's company. Three strikes?

I'm working with my client on their winter mailer. Twice, we thought we had a great concept, only to have it blow up in our faces for one reason or another. Observe:

The idea for this one was sparked during a brainstorming session, when one of the team said "When everything's working against you, we're working for you." That got me thinking about tug-of-war, and we ran with it from there. I wrote the copy while the art director searched for an image. Then we set about trying to think of a giveaway item to package with the mailer. My idea was to attach Chinese finger traps to them, but that was dismissed because it doesn't require teamwork to get out of them. Somebody came up with the idea of a carabiner keychain, which was a bit of a stretch but did incorporate rope and the idea of teamwork. Then the art director realized the picture was not only rights managed (meaning we could use it once) but would also cost $400. They couldn't justify that cost for a mailer that would only be going out to about 140 people.

Back to the drawing board.

We came up with this one by looking at a list of historical events that happened in January, of which Henry Ford's concept of the assembly line is one. I voiced a concern that problems in the auto industry are headline news, but we rationalized that we weren't really talking about cars--we were talking about unconventional thinking, and ways to make your product attainable. I wrote the copy, we found several great (and affordable) images, and toy cars are easy to come by. We thought we had it. But my earlier misgiving was raised again by the CEO, and this one was scrapped due to bad timing.

So now we're setting to work on attempt #3. Will it prove to be our lucky number? My thanks to the art director for injecting some lightheartedness and positivity into the situation with these images.


Angie Ledbetter said...

What a fascinating job! I've always wanted to be employed somewhere where brainstorming was a part of the process. Oh, the coming up with ideas, what a happy pleasure. Hope we get to see #3 and final version.

writtenexpressions said...

Short bouts of brainstorming can be fun and productive . . . but as is the case with any storm, too much of it just gets irritating. We did lay the foundation for #3, but I'm playing it safe this time and not writing copy until we get a little further along in the process.