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expanding on the idea killer: the creative client October 1, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences, Observations.
Tags: , , , , ,

This is the second post that expands upon a series of idea killer images I posted on September 28.

I’ve had a lot of so-called creative clients in my time. Unfortunately, they are rarely creative, which poses a huge problem for me and my co-workers.


The best of all possible worlds is when the client retains an advertising agency to bother with every little detail, and then the agency provides the creative to the web developer or the ad trafficker. Unfortunately, a lot of agencies make their money by building really awesome projects.

So you deal with the creative clients. All of them.

  • The Wise Client. This is the one who comes to the meeting, brings you everything you ask for, sits with you for an hour, and at the end you know what he wants. Then you give it to him and, except for some minor tweaks, he’s happy.
  • The Wicked Client. These are pretty bad, but they’re not the worst, unfortunately. First they tell you what they want, and you either don’t offer it or aren’t capable of doing it. Then they change their minds halfway through, and again halfway through the next four or five iterations. They’re never fully happy, so no matter what you do, you’re going to be frustrated because you can’t give the client what he wants, and it’s going to be reflected upon you the next time you have a review.
  • The Simple Client. Y’know all that awesome stuff you guys can do? He doesn’t want it. He just wants you to do exactly what he’s laid out in the simplest, cheapest way possible. You’ll do the job right, but you’ll be completely unsatisfied.
  • The Client Who Doesn’t Know What He Wants. I hate these so much. Usually these are people whose bosses retained your agency because it’s the best, or because they saw something you did and want the exact same thing, except in a slightly different way. So you give them what you can, to the best of your abilities, and it’s never quite right. It sounds like the wicked client, but it’s really not because these guys keep apologizing and being so nice about everything. In the end, no one is happy, but on the bright side if you give these guys your best they’ll be your clients for life.

Unfortunately, we need clients of all stripes to pay our bills. I just wish more of them were of the wise variety.

And yes, I totally ripped the four clients off the Four Sons in the story of Passover.

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