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Game of Groans

Now unless you’ve been living “north of the wall” it’s hard to ignore all of the Game of Thrones chatter at work, at home and online. The epic battle between the Lannisters and Starks (not to mention the hot blonde’s obsession with ruling the Seven Kingdoms) made us think about a similar battle that has been raging in our industry for quite some time. Creative vs. Media. In order to put forward a balanced view/practice what we preach, we have decided to write this blog collaboratively.

There’s a sure fire way to spark a dull client meeting. Casually ask, what’s more important, media or creative? Now watch as both parties draw their swords, unleash their dire wolves and re-enact a scene similar to the “Red Wedding”. Nek minnit…creative and media up for review.

It may come as a surprise that most clients would prefer a smooth collaborative process with an ok outcome over a bitchy awful process with an award winning outcome. How easily we forget that the client is the most important person in the room.

Hatin’ on each other’s profession stems from a lack of understanding and ultimately respect. Creatives think that media folk wheel and deal pre-negotiated bookings, go on lunches and crunch numbers while media people think creatives watch cartoons, throw around an “ideas ball” and take 3hr lunch breaks to find inspiration. Look no further than the first 4 posts here and vice versa. Everyone talks collaboration but there has to be a foundation for respect for it to actually happen.

For the sake of our clients and to shamelessly promote ourselves, we’ve decided to share our views on how to get the best outcome by working together….from the outset.

First of all, we all need to check our egos, titles and lordships at the door because at the end of the day, we are all problem solvers. Instead of arguing about what should come first, we need to come together as early as possible to discuss the strategy and approach from a creative and media point of view. If Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it’s that one cannot simply take the Iron Throne by themselves. You need allies and an entire army sworn to serve one banner – The House of Client.

Once a brand has put the word out that they plan to launch a new product or service, it makes sense for both the media and creative agencies to get involved at the same time. The logical process should involve the creative team producing initial concepts to which they then meet with the media team to present their ideas all with the client present. In response, the media team should put forward some suggestions on potential ideal media placements for the campaign.

Then both the media and creative teams should tweak their concepts/media plan based on the discussed feedback. Ideally, they should continue to meet, and reveal their refined concepts and media plan and again, make tweaks with the ultimate goal to find the best execution possible to put forward to the client.

By working collaboratively from the outset, both sides are able to work more efficiently and aren’t guarded by any restrictions from the other party. The outcome for the client is a great campaign with powerful ideas. But if all else fails, we guess it boils down to who has the dragons?

Keen to contribute to the discussion? Feel free to leave comments below or send a raven.

By Nikki Sulentic (VML) and Johnny Corpuz (MATCH Media)
Also published on Adnews.