Calf, Calf, Calf, Cow

(Or how to prevent an ad from becoming gradually bad)


By Rob Baiocco, CCO/Co-Founder The BAM Connection, Brooklyn

Any piece of communication is the sum of all the decisions made against that piece. The typeface chosen, the exact headline wording, the illustration style, the photo, the photographer, the amount of copy, the color palette, the layout of the elements. If it’s a video: the director, the music, the voiceover, the color correct, the sound effects. There is an endless series of choices to be made (many more than I have listed here), and the fact is great creatives make way more right choices along the way, knowing that each one affects the whole.

Equally, they understand a little typeface change here, a slight rewording of a headline there, all those tiny compromises, those subtle little changes over and over against 20 different choices, which feel like nothing at the time, ultimately bring the ad down.

Milo of Croton, a legendary Greek wrestling champion from the Ancient Olympic games in 540 BC is a good parable for this dynamic. As the story goes, every day he picked up a calf, pretty soon he was picking up a cow. The tiny gradual weight change each day was so minimal, he didn’t notice it. For him it was a good thing. For any of us who create for a living, it is a bad thing…a very bad thing.

So, give every decision the attention it deserves. Fight each little battle, within reason. Beware of all the daily changes, too gradual to notice, that suddenly add up to a mess. This way, at the very end of the process, right when your darling piece of creative is going out to the highly judgmental public, you won’t end up asking yourself, how did my cute, little calf become a big, clumsy heifer?

#TheBamThinks #26