Image from 2 Wheel Tuner
If you don’t already read the Small Agency Diary on AdAge, then have a look at this piece on the negativity of negativity…
Here’s a small excerpt:
“It’s really not any different for a business that succeeds or fails. The equivalent for an ad agency is someone saying, ”We can’t.“ There is no doubt in my mind that the reason for success at agencies like Fallon, Crispin Porter Bogusky and Goodby Silverstein is that the term ”no“ is not in their vocabulary. If ”no“ or its equivalent is a common statement at your agency don’t expect to become anything special. ”
I like this notion.
I always liked that Saatchi & Saatchi in London had “Nothing Is Impossible” etched into the stone steps of the building.
It’s part of why I liked working in California.
The problem is, it’s easy to say you agree with this, but still use the word all the time! Particularly in the field of advertising, where we’re often trying to judge new ideas when they’re still roughly formed.
So, I’ll add to Bart Cleveland’s thoughts with this…
Don’t just refuse to say No, refuse to say “I don’t think” and “We probably can’t” at the same time. Particularly if you’re second-guessing wither your client, your audience or your line manager. Make decisions that you’d be proud to tell your family or friends about. Not things that you’ll need to edit later. Be a bit bolder – take a risk or two. And see if it works – at least, this way, nobody can say that you didn’t try.
Because, more than just avoiding ‘No,“ I think great agencies do amazing work because people refuse to go the easy route or take the safe bet.
Oh, and the reason for the seemingly gratuitous image?
Get on a bike and corner quickly. Then look at it again – how much bottle would it take you to lean so far over that you can touch your knee to the ground? It’s the quickest way to corner a bike, but it just looks impossible.
(See, it almost has context!)