Tag it and bag it
May 28, 2012 at 4:56pm by Bobby Hoult
Sometimes advertising seems like life and death; an epic battle waged over pitches, processes and production schedules. You’d think we’re solving world hunger, or curing cancer. And so we whip ourselves into a froth of stress and panic over every bootlug and banner ad that crosses our desks. It’s an unfortunate delusion that rarely ends well for anyone involved.
But, as long as we’re all happily (or unhappily) deluding ourselves, let’s make use of that battlefield analogy and apply the colour-coded rules of combat triage as a filter to help make our jobs a little easier.
Hat tip to Angel Anderson, U/X Director at CP+B, who presented this idea at SXSWi 2012.
I’ll give you something to cry about! Yeah, he’s been hurt, but he’ll likely do just fine on his own.
These are the low impact (but not necessarily low importance) projects. Banner ads. SEM. That sort of thing. You can afford to pay less attention to them, because they’ll get by with only minor involvement. It’s OK; go home early. Like, at 7:00.
Hang tight, soldier. He can last a few hours while you deal with the guys who are really hurt.
These are the “hurry up and wait” projects. They’re high priority, but you’re waiting on that P.O., or that approval from legal, or that client who’s just doing some final tweaking for the 3rd time to the brand insight on that re-brief. You’ve sent 5 follow-up Emails? Chill.
If you don’t do something right now, that soldier’s going to die right there on your new boots.
All that attention you’ve been saving on your Greens and Yellows? It goes here. If you don’t intervene in a serious way, this project will spectacularly fail. Have whatever meetings and send whatever Emails you need to get everyone on the same page, the work on brief and the deliverables out the door on time. Order in lunch. Hell, order in dinner.
Ouch. Well, he had a good run. Here comes the 21-gun salute.
This is the toughest category. Sometimes projects are so critically flawed that no amount of effort can salvage them. You need to be able to stand back, examine the situation with clinical detachment, and put a merciful bullet in that highway billboard with a QR code that drives to a non-mobile-friendly website. It’s just better for everyone that way.
Easier said than done? Of course. But if you don’t control your work, your work will control you.
Look after your projects, look after yourself, and you might end up with enough spare time to cure cancer.