March 8, 2019 Andrew MacFarlane

When clients get out of the way, marketing experts, marketing video & why won’t you let us do our job?


It’s not very often that a client doesn’t think they are marketing experts. In fact, the dirty secret of agencies, especially with their bigger clients, is that half the work they finalize is completely bastardized, watered down, filled with everything but the kitchen sink and not even in the actual suggested medium recommended in the first place. Too often we get asked for an idea. We pitch said idea. Client is blown away. Everything is awesome! Then it happens. They say fantastic… just change this. Oh, and this. Also can you add this, change that, and hold, because I’m sending to my sister’s cousin so they can give their feedback. They have seen this once before so they are experts…

Ok, now final changes… add this, change that, and instead of being a 4-page collateral piece, please make a 3 x 3 inch ad for the local paper, and remember everything has to fit from the original piece. DO NOT USE our URL. We can’t have them find us on the web that’s cheesy. Also why are my web numbers down?

Yup, poor me, the life of the tortured Creative Director. Why these people won’t let us actually do the job they came to us for in the first place is just beyond me. So we go thru the whole deal of, we can do that, we can do whatever you want, just know that what we sent were our recommendations based on experience, not just random thoughts.

Then inevitably the final e-mail comes in with approval that says, “This is ok for us, what do you think?” What do we think? We think it sucks and has now taken twice as long to produce and is at least half as effective as the piece we gave you at the start of this terrible process. Take this crap outta here, it’s embarrassing. But we can’t say that. We have already told them we suggested something else, but apparently they forgot already.

This happens with every industry on the planet. It seems more and more people hire people to do a specific job. Change the job half way through, and then bitch if there’s any change in price or perceived effectiveness of the job.

But every once in a while, ok maybe more often than it seems, we get a project that a client asks for and they completely get out of the way. Perfect it’s done. Let’s roll with it. God I love those, I live for them.

This was the case for the last video I worked on. They asked for a sales video for a trade show/conference they attend. Steve and I sat down, and Steve bangs out a great script. We create an alternate script just in case during the pitch they hate the first one. We can still go in another direction. Most of the other script was developed by me, and was a complete POS. Half way through the pitch they love the first script, which honestly surprised me. SO we never pitch the other script. Thank GOD! My ideas were extra terdy that day.

They basically say do the intro so we see if we like it with visuals added. We do, they love it, so we do the entire video, I shoot it, light it, direct it, and edit it, slam it together and everyone’s happy. That’s the way this shit’s supposed to go people.

Ask, get out of the way and receive greatness! Anyway, I’m sure you all missed my “expert views on things” so there you have it. Watch the video and let us know how much you hate it…


Andrew MacFarlane

Andrew Macfarlane is the mastermind behind the creative department, but call him Drew. With over twenty years of experience working with interactive media, art direction, television, multimedia, print, web and events, a true Renaissance man—and damn he’s pretty! I totally wrote this. Think I’ll get caught? Oh, and don’t call me Andy. Ever . . . for reals, don’t!Drew is responsible for overseeing all creative services that Momentum offers including the graphic design, web and multi-media and video segments of the business. Mr. MacFarlane, is an award-winning designer, he is responsible for managing projects from conceptual development to final output. It is Mr. MacFarlane’s role to balance creative ideas with the strategic needs of each campaign once the market research has been performed. Have I told you his name is Mr. MacFarlane? Could I have said that anymore times?