A client wishlist for 2019 for their advertising agencies.
1. Get to know exactly what we do
We know you are creative and will come back with something clever based on the brief, but is it really enough? Let 2019 be the year you take the time to take an interest in what we do, what we care for, what worries us and what keeps us going. Visit that factory, try that product, use that service and use our competitor’s products. Really get to know our side of the story and surprise us with the insights you discover in the process!
2. Do not underestimate the briefing process
Most briefs are written by clients; some are written mutually (less formally). Once in a while, we may WhatsApp a brief ‘brief’ late at night. Regardless of how you receive it, you must get clarity, by hook or by crook. You must understand the objective and the audience BEFORE the strategy and planning stage. Chase us for the brief. Pin us down, hash it out. Ask questions. But don’t go to the drawing board without clarity.
3. Your creative content must never be dictated by our budget
We understand your motivation is high when the budget is fancy. Widespread media placements and global shoot locations. It’s only natural. But why does creativity have to be subjected to this? Share a great creative idea and if we really like it, we may just carve out a larger budget for it.
4. Hire a good proofreader
You will not be sorry. Not a single person in this business can say they haven’t been there – typos. Most of you proofread your work by passing it around from the copywriter to the creative head and then circle it back to us for the sign-off.
5. Hire creatives who think in Urdu
Don’t let the idea for an ad in Urdu be translated from an English concept. We love your catchy English phrases, crafty copywriting and metaphors. However, your creative team has very few thinkers who are comfortable in Urdu. Get the guys with a creative brain and an impressive Urdu vocabulary. Our brands need that voice!
6. Watch the trends
We love spontaneity that is flattering to our brand. We would love you to give us trend-based ideas. Imagine if you took the time to connect the dots of our business to a trending topic. In times like these, there can be no brief.
7. Print only when necessary
It seems insignificant, but if you check our office a few days after your presentation, there is a depressing amount of card and paper left around. For a full page ad or packaging that contains lots of fine print, a printout is handy. For most of the other stuff, we appreciate agencies that love trees and don’t feel the need to put on too much of a show. We get it!
8.Try TVCs without celebrities
In Urdu, we say idea ki jeet; let the idea win. Very often, a not-so-great campaign idea is transformed into a great one with the addition of one key ingredient: a celebrity (not that we have anything against Mahira Khan or Fawad Khan). We would love it if you presented ideas that make for a more diversified use of the budget; for example, make the TVC the precursor of a social activism campaign. Once in a while, tell us you have saved half of our budget so we can donate the amount to a worthy cause and let the brand benefit from a good deed!
Nagin Ansari is Group Head Marketing and Communication, Ithaca Capital.