Saturday, April 12, 2008

How to get Capone.

Fairly early in “The Untouchables” Sean Connery’s character, Officer Jim Malone, challenges Kevin Costner/Elliot Ness, demanding to know if Ness is willing to do “whatever is necessary” to get Al Capone.

And here’s how I think this relates to advertising. “Whatever is necessary” for the agency folk might mean anything from recognizing when somebody else's idea is better than yours to working the weekend or a late night just to Get It Right. It might mean finding a way to make a good idea out of a client mandate, rather than just bitching about what buffoons they all are.

For a client, it could mean actually listening to agency's ideas and thoughts about your product or programming, and involving them in something more than just "the advertising". It might mean pulling your pants up tight and taking a creative risk in search of big rewards. It might even mean telling the boss that his cousin/golfing buddy/brother/college pal’s agency just really isn’t Getting it Done.

But maybe for everybody it first means deciding whether we’re actually willing to do “whatever it takes” to succeed.

Or not.

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