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How to get the best work from your creative partner

April 7 2015

Shawn McConnell

The best work coming from most studios and agencies will never leave their doors. It’ll live in a flat file in a long forgotten hallway or on a nameless server somewhere. When clients and creatives work together, however, this fate can be avoided.

SKI_StairsToNowwhere
“The Stairs to Nowhere” is our place in the studio to recognize the one that got away. Work loved by creatives, but abandoned or altered beyond recognition by clients.

We celebrate this work because it represents our passions.

The greatest thrill for a creative is to stand toe-to-toe with a brief, beat it up, and then deliver the final blow that will knock the client out. It’s what we wake up for. It’s why we endured art school, internships, and shit jobs. We became code-cracking, problem solving, creative thinking machines for one specific purpose: to create the extraordinary.

Everything we do is for your audience. We learn their stories. Give them names. Fight for them. And by proxy – you and your brand.
When our creative vision is laid out before you, every aspect has been contemplated, critiqued, revised, and revisited by the creative team. But you have the most essential role to play: Gatekeeper. Only you can decide whether this creative lives to delight your audience or withers away on the Stairs to Nowhere.

We will devise a piece of creative that is on brand, on budget, and on target. From our perspective, there are a few things clients can do to make sure the best work lives to see the light of day.

1. BE BOLD

One of the quickest ways to end up on the Stairs to Nowhere is to doubt your own instincts. Sometimes concepts loved during the pitch are deemed too smart, too silly, too strong, too subtle, or too creative when decision time comes. Don’t be afraid to take on the competition, sell the idea higher up, or try something new. If the creative matches the brief, trust your gut. It’s telling you we’re on to something big.

2. BE SPECIFIC

It’s possible we’re not going to get it right from the get-go, but how we handle revisions is hugely important. Instead of getting prescriptive, let’s talk about your concerns. Explain why something isn’t right and we’ll put our creativity to work to come up with a solution that solves the problem and betters the creative.

3. BE DISTANT

This seems obvious, but it’s hard to keep in mind: Our creative is designed for your audience. Not you. It’s human nature to want to leave your mark. This is not the place for it. Grinding down the sharp corners or “tweaking things a bit” to suit your personal taste may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but it almost certainly undermines something that is working for your audience.

The Stairs to Nowhere may be a popular stop when clients and guests come to visit, but we’d much rather your work ends up out in the world – grabbing hold of your desired audience. Let’s make it happen.

Dare mighty things.