Tuesday, November 16, 2010

D&AD Sharp'ner, Truman Brewery, Thursday 11 November

Should I really be writing this at 9.25 with a 12.00 deadline?

Probably not. The thing is, part of the reason I want to write about this so much is BECAUSE of that 12.00 deadline.

John Simmons made an interesting point last Thursday. Actually he made a lot of interesting points but one in particular stuck in my mind.

He made the point that all too often copywriters are brought in at the last minute to 'fix' some work.

And then what happens?

At 6pm on Sunday evening I get a call from a client asking if I can come in the next day (and I'm assured it'll only take one day) to rescue a self-promotional brochure that's been rubbished by its own people.

And I just can't help but get slightly annoyed. Because this brochure's been cobbled together from a white paper and some thoughts from a couple of directors. And now they want to try to fix this Frankenstein's monster in a day.

Now I'm not saying it's not possible (and when I finish writing this I'm off to finish off writing that), but on Sunday night I couldn't help thinking of a car mechanic analogy.

Customer: "Hi there, my car's broken. But can you do me a favour? Can you just spend a day on it? Thanks."

Mechanic: "No problem. I'll do what I can in a day."

Does that sound right to you? Sounds a bit shaky to me. Then I started to think of a scenario where you might possibly 'just try to patch the car up' and I thought of an F1 car race, where a mechanic might now that the engine is going to blow up eventually but that for the next 27 laps, it might just be okay.

And then I thought how apt this new analogy was for business. And how everything always seems to be a race (usually against time).

But my question is this: is it really a race?

This brochure's clearly been 'not happening' for months. Why rush it now when you've got the copywriter in?


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