Creativity Tip #98: Stupidity and Weirdness – Beware

Dealing with clients on all levels can be daunting. Requests made by them can at times make us think twice (if not more) regarding whether or not they’re serious. Alas, more times than not, they are.

The Creativity Tip here is to be on your toes with clients at all times. Keep your guard up, and never underestimate the power of weirdness – especially when it’s down right stupid. There are some “discussions” you’re not going to win.

I am a member of the Creativepool Network on LinkedIn. Below is an excerpt from a recent discussion with various creatives around the land talking about first-hand experiences of weird client requests.

 Warning: While humorous, remember, they are true. Sigh!            

“Could you do an actual LOGO instead of a font?” It was once said to me by a creative director.

“You make the logo as big as you can. (Now then) can you make the logo bigger”?

“They won’t allow us any more space. Can you make it look bigger without increasing the size?”

Client, after being asked for a payment for a month: “I am so sorry you need money so badly. If I can help you in any way, please let me know. I do not want you to go hungry!”

“Why do you want to reverse the type out of the background? Nobody will be able to read it backwards.”

“Why don’t we broadcast this commercial in black and white? That ‘ll save us a lot of money.”

“We want more but sadly the budget has been cut.” This was like going into a car showroom and saying, can I have that R8, but I’ll pay you for a TT. I wonder what the sales person would say?

On set for a TV spot, the client asks, “How come she isn’t wearing a red sweater? In the storyboard, the woman was wearing a red sweater.” 
We eventually lost the “it was an artist’s sketch in the storyboard” conversation, and got the woman a red sweater.

Can you make her younger?”

VP of Marketing demanding that our ad copy go from gutter to the very edge of the pub: “All this blank space! If we’re paying for it, we’re going to damn well use it!” 
 (We say) Then you’re paying for an ad that bleeds. It will cost more. 
”Bleeds? Cost more? You people are all full of BS.” 
And this from a VP of marketing.

An oldie but a goodie: “I’ll know it when I see it.”

A restaurant client would not allow the use of the word “savory” because he said it made him think of “unsavory characters.”

“We need a few more used condoms, I think.”

Blue logo request: “Can it be more blue?”

Anyone who’s ever worked for Coca Cola or Pepsi will have learned that Coke’s ice is ALWAYS grey and Pepsi’s is ALWAYS blue. Chrysler was like that with their Pentastar; it was always a certain shade of blue. “You don’t f#*k with the Pentastar,” I was once informed.

A name-brand winery commenting on a bill for rented ice cubes in an ad for their champagne: “Why should I pay for something I can’t see?”

From a client who didn’t understand why a low res photo would not work at a larger size on a spread: “Can you use the picture now? I opened the picture in Photoshop and made it bigger, so now it is the resolution you need.”

Remember, no matter how weird or stupid, take a breath and live to fight another day.

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