Someday… Someday I know it’s not going to happen. I’ll go to that deep, dark recess of my mind, trying to come up with The New Thing and there will be nothing. The deadline will come closer and closer and nothing. I’ll have to make that painful perp-walk to the clients office to throw myself on the mercy of the court, asking for a quick and painless death because I’ve failed.
I couldn’t come up with The New Thing.
But it hasn’t happened yet.
Sure, I’ve come up with ideas that I thought were brilliant but the client didn’t see what I saw. It’s only happened a few times in my long career, but when it does I either scramble with new information and solve the problem, or we just agree to disagree and move on.
I had a close one last night.
Twenty pages of notes. Many interviews with stakeholders and clients. Mountains of great information but what was The New Thing. What was that one statement that brought all their brand promise to life. That one statement that could be grown into a thousand ideas, statements, articles and campaigns. It eluded me till around 2:00 AM.
Then it just happened and I knew it was right. I frantically drew up dozens of ideas. Web language, ads, taglines, subheads and banners. When those things come in for a landing, get out of the way and let it happen.
And sure enough, it worked. My client was having scheduling issues so I broke my normal operational plan and called him and ran him through The New Thing.
He loved it.
And when a three minute call becomes approval for marching orders, you know it works.
When you’re in this business, every job becomes the beginning and the end of the universe. There is so little room for failure that you have to stare down the cliff and jump off, hoping there will be someplace to land.
Assume you’re going to solve the problem and odds are in your favor. Assume you’ll park right up front and you might. Assume you can see through the noise and find a path, and it’ll end up under your feet.
And always assume there is something soft at the bottom of that cliff. There will be.