The 32 Habits of Highly Creative Marketers

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Be able to define the "object-objective" very, very, very clearly, and THEN be willing to accept the "subjective-objective" with an open mind. Good example: Michael McCadden and Jackie Stern, [Lupinacci's former clients at]. They clearly defined the non-negotiable information (the objective-objective) that needed to be communicated in the ads. When I came back to them with the concept of William Shatner singing in a folk band (the subjective-objective), they didn't blink. OK, they blinked a little, but they realized that he was delivering the information that needed to be delivered, regardless of how bizarre the scenario seemed at the time.

Always remember that fortune favors the bold.

Encourage people to succeed. Don't beg-or worse-warn them not to fail.

Don't be the client that only recognizes great work when it is on other brand's reels. NOW everyone wants an iPod campaign, but how many marketers would have bought that concept if they had seen only an animatic? (Also, accept that there is NO product shot in the iPod commercials. Yes, it is depicted graphically, but there is never a cutaway to a beautifully photographed product.)

Don't ask for brand work and then say, "Where's the product?"

Embrace the fact that if you focus-grouped the best loved work, consumers would most likely say that the work was either "funny" or "cool." They certainly wouldn't parrot back a litany of brand values and product attributes. So clearly, it makes more sense for your brand to be "liked" rather than "understood."

Accept that you can't do "breakthrough work" that looks just like something else.

What makes the "really great work" really great is that it is consistently unprecedented, not that it is consistently consistent. The great brands create the opportunity to do "the next great thing" as opposed to merely doing "the last great thing over and over."

When you go on production, don't behave like a client, behave like another one of the crew. Production is demanding and it is distracting when a client literally diverts the production company and the agency's resources because they want a specific room at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Fear is a terrible form of motivation.

"I'll know it when I see it" is not very helpful feedback. My brother-in-law will "know it when he sees it."

"I just don't like it" is not very helpful feedback, unless the brand's entire target market is you.

WANT the work to make you nervous.

BUY the work that makes you nervous.

The best work in the world is usually the hardest to sell-the agency is counting on you to be the champion of the work and sell it to your colleagues.

If your agency is doing great work for all of its clients BUT you, the universe might be trying to tell you something.

Don't say things like "Brand X can do that kind of work because they're Brand X." Brand X IS Brand X BECAUSE they do that kind of work.

Understand that it is NEVER too soon to buy and run a great idea; never tell an agency that a concept would be perfect "two years from now."

Spend the money, get the talent, move the air date-the creative process is a messy process. Advertising isn't an exact science, it literally is the "art of persuasion."

There is no such thing as a "15-second cutdown"; an ad ain't baby back ribs, you can't always just get a "half order."

Don't use "Got Milk?" as a precedent; those are ads for an entire category, not a brand.

Don't ask "Why can't we just do what Target does?" unless you have millions and millions and millions of dollars in media.

Ask yourself if the brief is credible.

The longer you can wait to see the rough cut, the better it will look.

The sooner the agency can start working with the production company, the better.

If focus groups worked, there would be no bad ads on television.

When it comes to casting, give in to the director and the photographer. They're probably right.

You may not like or understand the idea, but you may not be the target market.

Exploit the power of the internet (but stop asking for your version of Subservient Chicken).

Throw out the rules. Imagine the possibilities.

If you can get Pytka, get Pytka.

If you can't say Yes, who can?

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