Had a quiet moment in the office (okay not necessarily quiet but Cabell was stuck working at his table and couldn't run from me) so I took the opportunity to ask him some more industry questions to get his perspective.
- What do you look for in a client?
A partner. Plain and simple. I don’t want to be a vendor to a client. I want to be a partner in the branding of their product. I look for someone who is smart. Someone who is passionate about their brand. Someone I can find a relationship of mutual respect. It’s fairly safe to assume, whatever product that client is looking to sell, they know that product forwards and backwards. We trust that knowledge. We know branding forwards and backward. It makes a world of difference if the client can trust our knowledge. But we’re not here to dish out ideas and commands. We want a partnership form the very start.
2) What is image advertising vs. product advertising?
Product advertising is highlighting a product’s benefit and point of difference in the category. This is advertising that has a more strategic and factual based focus. What do you have that your competitor does not? What separates your brand from others in that same category?
Image advertising highlights the feeling and personality of the product. It communicates to a different piece of your brain. What does the audience feel when they think of your brand? Image Advertising is useful with parity products. If, for example, you can not quickly identify some characteristic that helps your product stand out above all the others then you need to lean towards Image. Cola or beer is a great example here.
3) How have the agencies you’ve worked for differed from one another?
They have far more similarities than differences. That seems to be the overwhelming case even now. The most creative agencies share a creative principle that has done good work or is doing good work. This affects leadership and output for the better.
You can, unfortunately, be at the most creative agency and find a lot of crappy work and in turn, can be at a mediocre agency but find brilliant work that just doesn’t get to see the light of day due to a lack of strong leadership or a strong voice that can push that work through.
Most agencies today are over processed and will, unfortunately, stay that way as long as they have clients who are willing to pay for that kind of set up. And just as their set up becomes formulaic, unfortunately, so does their creative.
Until next time i.e. Cabell gets stuck having to answer my questions...