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‘We would like something; well, a little different!’

This is generally the comment we hear when reviewing, or possibly even pitching a new idea to a client. And, to be honest, who can blame them? With markets churning out fresh, new companies; competitors vying for the job, and really anyone who wants to take a chunk out of the hugely contested ‘market-share pie,’ who can blame clients and company owners?

So what does this mean for the creatives?

Back to the drawing board; wait, screw the drawing board, let’s burn it. Reinvent the wheel that isn’t needed and present something that is so far left-field that it needs its own user manual to explain the general concept. Wait, who needs a user manual, we will create a behind the scenes rationale narrated by Morgan Freeman and Samuel L Jackson!

That could be a possible solution, but at what point should the ‘crazy’ train leave the station? Hence the title of this blog: ‘When is it safe to go crazy?’

This is a pretty open-ended question. Let me just throw out this disclaimer: by no means am I an expert! I only speak from experience, so let’s make this a round-table discussion.

I believe that it is safe to throw methanol-fueled caution to the wind, from a marketing and advertising point of view, when your product or service is nearing perfection.

Let’s define ‘nearing-perfection:’

Well, here I mean that there aren’t any visible faults with your current product or service, including your internal and external systems, offices, people and/or processes.

Why perfection?

Well, this just means that you or the company/organisation/brand have done everything possible to produce the best-in-market product or service. No matter how you look at it, you cannot fault it, you can only criticise, but then those words are just based on your opinion, and what does it actually mean when you prefer the colour red over the colour blue?

But what about before then?

Is it acceptable to try to do something completely outrageous to convey a message to an audience who are not convinced that your product or service is the best one out there? In my humble (yet experienced) opinion, NO, it is not acceptable. At this point, it is the responsibility of the marketing agency to work with their clients to patch the exposed holes in their product or service while pushing and highlighting the obvious product USP (unique selling point).

The problem with running up the unicorn ladder of creative ideas with 1 or 2 USPs, but a product bucket full of holes, is that the consumers see straight through the smoke and mirrors and look directly at the faulty product.

So where do we start?

At the beginning! We review the foundations: remove, rework, patch, and build, and when the product base or service is finally bulletproof, only then do we start building skyscrapers in the shape of a tyrannosaurus rex.

Case in point…

Imagine sitting in the Audi boardroom and pitching the idea that you would like to use a T-Rex to push an Audi product?

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