Monday, April 6, 2009

Encourage the Inner MacGyver in Your Marketing

"Your radio ad on the weekend sucked. The chicken ad. Yeah, it sucked"
When the Big Cat from the Big Office rang and said that we were getting pasted by a competitor the sky was definitely falling in his world. Chicken sales were down.

Out to please Big Cat in such a life and death situation I could hear the Macgyver music playing in my head. Reactive ad here we come.

It's Friday
"It's Friiiidayyyy", whined Agency. "We have no copywriters, the booth is booked and the voice over guy is REALLY inflexible. You've got no spots and we won't get it loaded at the station for Friday drive-home radio."

"It's Friday" was not a response I could go back to the Big Cat with and certainly not something that His Royal Hotness Richard Dean Anderson would say.

"OK I will write the copy, we'll just do a 15 second ad, I'll send it through," said I, in my best Swiss Army knife voice.

"Tell your sound guy. We can bribe him with the leftover Moet from the catalogue photography..OK and the voice they're not mine to give away..yes you can have one too."

I could only find Christmas radio copy on my computer and gave it a real dirty haircut, lawnmower style. It kind of made sense. It was all about the price and our chickens being bigger. Surely as long as that gets through?

I knew it was bad. I didn't even listen to the recording when Agency played it back to me. Best not to be haunted by the sound. Approved. Lock and load. 20 minutes and three bottles of Moet.

'Sales were better than if we had done nothing'
Macgyver would have been proud of my amazing resourcefulness and commitment to task.
Pity no one else was. After two days of mockery I finally got the Big Cat to concede that 'sales were better than if we had done nothing'. Isn't that the whole point? What was I going to say next time Big Cat called? It's Friday?

My half-baked something is better than your perfect nothing
Encourage getting your messages live and to market. It's much better to tolerate a few typos and some clumsy wording than lose speed and agility. Speed to market is increasingly important and my half-baked something is better than your perfect nothing. Yes my chicken ad did suck, but it was better than nothing. Nitpicking and criticism without listening to the constraints of your team is demotivating.

"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way." Macgyver

Encourage the inner Macgyver.

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