And therein lies the most frustrating paradox in this business. The normal progression of a creative assignment is: Strategy --> Concepts --> Copy & L/O --> Final Creative --> Production. Naturally, with vetting at each stage.
The squeaky — just a loose sketch with a hand-lettered headline — was considered a Concept. The client could evaluate the basic ideas or core messages without being distracted by color preferences, photo details or — gawd help us — the size of the f'n logo! Once a concept was chosen, design and writing could commence.
These days, a tight electronic L/O with full copy in place is the "concept". So once a winner is chosen, and the creative undergoes the natural changes that development almost always drives, the client, who has been seduced by what looked liked a finished piece, freaks out because it's become what s/he thinks is something different than what was approved! Ugh!
Yep. FedEx and the Mac have effectively destroyed our industry, IMO. The ability to quickly destroy an otherwise sound concept on the computer and ship color proofs/approvals overnight have turned us into a "vendor" instead of a "partner."
With those two putting us in a 6-foot hole in the ground, the Internet is effectively throwing dirt on top with the ability to allow clients to seek out and hire a hot-dog stand worker to be their "ad agency" simply because they have a copy of PowerPoint and an image editing app.
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