As many of you know, on my blog post The VCK’s Picks, I have given more than a hundred peer reviews on Doritos videos. Most of them are a good ‘give and take’ of the strengths and weaknesses of that producers work. Occasionally there are also creatives who resist accepting points of critique that would otherwise be obvious to them if the video in question was not their own.
I thought about this for the last several days and tried to come up with a better way to explain why it is imperative to be objective about our creative shortcomings, especially ‘the production details’.
In a past life, I enjoyed a 17 yr. career as a full time wedding photographer. When I die, if our maker asks me the one thing I learned/understood most in my time here on earth, my single word response would be, “Brides“.
When I thought of Doritos in the context of a ‘bride’, it all made sense. I think the female readers/creatives will especially appreciate my analogy.
The Wedding Dress
So you are a commercial producer…but for a minute…imagine you are a wedding dress maker. Someone hands you a picture of a bride and asks if you can make a dress for her just by looking at the photo and getting some sizes. Because you are a skilled dress maker you accept the challenge.
Now, you didn’t interview her friends and family to determine her likes and dislikes. You didn’t ask to see samples of her daily wardrobe (beyond the clothes in the photo). You didn’t ask what she likes to do in her spare time, and the type of crowd she hangs out with, where she goes and what she likes to eat. You just looked at her snapshot and knowing you have command over your dress making tools, you commit to making the perfect dress.
We all know that pulling this off would be a long shot. Even with the requisite (brand) research, it will still be a tall order knowing there were 4,000 dressmakers in line waiting to show this bride their dress. OK, realistically only about 5% of these seamstress’s have any shot at nailing the assignment. Which means, you are still up against 200 capable professionals.
But only those creatives who do the research and marry it with top notch skills have a shot.
A common thread (pun intended) I discovered among these dressmakers (video producers) is the tendency to rationalize short-comings of their design. I have had producers say things like:
1. “What does it matter if a clip is two seconds long instead of three”.
2. “So what if I transitioned using a fade instead of quick cut”.
3. “So what if I didn’t have that one great laugh, I had 3 decent ones and that’s good enough”.
4. “Yeah, I know I wrote an action based story but what’s wrong with having only 15 clips of footage to tell the story?”
5. “I don’t have to include that prop, the audience should get the sight gag without it”.
6. “I was going for the guerilla/amateur look”.
7. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Anyone who has ever worked with brides knows just how picky they can be. Close ….is not good enough when it comes to providing service to a bride. And rightfully so, after all, this is her big day in the sun. We have to be right on the money if we want to please her. Could you imagine telling a discriminating bride:
1. “I know the dress hangs a little and drags the floor, but it’s only one inch….can’t you live with a one inch discrepancy?”
2. “I know you prefer sleeveless but I just love the way this sleeve hooks over your middle finger”.
3. “I know you wanted simple elegance but just look at how these sequins shimmer in the sunlight”.
I think you are getting the picture here.
The walk down the aisle
Doritos the Bride, is preparing to walk down the aisle of the Crystal Cathedral that is the SuperBowl. The advertising elite, sitting in the best pews with the rest of us (the world) up in the nosebleeds but still with a clear view of the spectacle. Each of us gawking, gazing, admiring, scrutinizing.
Doritios understands the expectations. No seam, stitch,bustle, bustline,veil, trane, or sequin will be out of place. Of this you can be sure.
Whew….I’m excited now. I wonder if they’ll let me try and catch the bouquet!