Van Monster vs my monsters. We have a winner!

Paul explains why sometimes you have to take the easy way out...

Firstly, let me say that this ISN’T a blog trumpeting the acquisition of a new client (even though it could be), nor is it a piece about the power of music in advertising (even though it’s massive – there’s even scientific proof to back it up). No, this is a piece about humility – and overcoming the filters we all employ around ideas.

We’d just finished a conference call to take our very first radio ad brief from Van Monster, and the ideas started flowing immediately.

When you take a brief, particularly from a new client, there’s always the weight of responsibility for coming up with ads that will work, but also reinforce the brand values your client has spent so much time and energy establishing. Even the smallest hint that you’re moving away from them, and you’re in trouble.

So, when your very first idea is as bold as a massive hit song with the main chorus line changed to include your client’s name – like ‘What’s that coming over the hill, Van Monster…Van Monster’ as per the song by The Automatic – your mind starts to race with the possible consequences.

‘It’s ridiculous! How many times must they have had that pitched to them? What are the chances of getting it licensed, re-recorded and on air in the time available?? How can we suggest something so bold, and how can it be so obvious??? We HAVE to go through hell and back to KNOW we’ve come up with the right idea – it’s not just the first bloody thing that comes into your head!!!!’.

You see, filtering ideas is the curse of the creative – it’s the first step towards complete Writer’s Block, and it slowly strangles any innovation. If an idea comes easily, it becomes even easier to discount it.

Luckily, I shared it with the team here, and they LOVED it – so with less than 2 days before we went back with initial thoughts, what followed was a whirlwind of activity. Publishers were called, a re-recording was set in motion hours before our Mr Music Mark went off on leave (after all, they’d have to HEAR the idea for it to work). Yes, we had a backup plan that answered the brief well – but our first idea was very much the main event.

The upshot is, the client LOVED it too, and is now on national radio with it – the feedback has been fantastic, and I hope it’s the start of a great relationship.

And to think that if I’d listened to myself it might never have happened.

Paul Carter