Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stop Right Now, Thank You Very Much

On a monthly basis, I work on two multi-advertiser promotional programs. One that appears in the magazine and one e-mail blast. Each one typically features anywhere from three to thirty advertisers.

Long story short: advertisers send their materials (images and copy) and I, or the art department rather, design the promotion. Once it's designed, I send it to back to the advertiser or their media agency for approval. Simple, right? Oh, how I wish it were! Instead of e-mails saying "Looks Great, WG1. It's approved!" I get e-mails saying:

"The client would like to change the copy and the image."
"The font color needs to be changed. Can we pick our font?"
"WG1, we understand that you need approval by Friday. However, the client it out of the office until two weeks from Friday, can we get you approval then?"
"Where is the listing on the page? Our product cannot be next to any food advertisers or technology advertisers. Also, can you be sure that our listing is the largest on the page?"
"We really love the overall style of the page, but we'd like to change the font, colors, size and send new images."

I'll make (most of) the requested changes and send the listing back to advertiser. Then, they come back with more changes. I send the listing, they send more changes and it just keeps going until I finally tell them the page is going to print or the email blast is going out to our database.

I simply don't understand how the advertiser can send me the materials on the due date and a week later change absolutely everything about the listing. These programs are only the beginning. With bigger, more detailed programs the requests are more and more outrageous. Kind of like this:


(Writers note: I tried to embed a video here and it wasn't working on some web browsers and it seemed screw up the whole blog. Since I'm not computer savvy at all, here is the link to the video: http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2008/07/23)

Yes, this is a little extreme. Ok, a lot extreme. But sometimes it truly feels like I am dealing with the people in this video. They are crazy, they don't know what they want, random people pop out of nowhere with their comments and I'm left sitting at my desk and pulling out my hair.

16 comments:

that girl said...

oh no! i work on the agency side and i know exactly what you're talking about, i'm totally picturing a client right now ... during these types of projects, i seriously cringe everytime i have to send the millionth request to a company like yours knowing that the person on the other end is totally cussing me out thinking i'm completely psycho, but at the same time crossing my fingers that they realize it's not me who's psycho, but my crazy client. i HATE the back and forth as much as you do!

kk said...

i've totally seen this and it cracks me up...and it is EXACTLY what I go through every day. I forwarded to everyone I know with a note saying, "when you ask what I do all day? THIS is what I do all day."

SO frustrating!!!

(my favorite line: "The firefighters OWN red."

Hilarious.

Alexandreena said...

Yep. Been there, done that, still drink way too much a a consequence.

Jade said...

I get it girl...

I work at an advertising/graphic design agency and I deal with shit like that everyday. The changes that piss me off are the ones like this: "Oh, could you please change it to xyz." (Changes made and resent) "Hmmm...let's go back to what we had 6 changes ago, then it's good, I think."

Ahhh...to the moon Alice, to the moon!

Holly said...

This is the story of my life.

Pam said...

That video was HILARIOUS. As a copywriter, that is exactly what I deal with on every single project. We have good ideas and then after every one steps in with their comments, it ends up looking completely different and totally messed up...the headlines change 37 times, as do the call outs, images, etc. It's nuts. And the smiling people comment? So true.

I literally just sat here laughing out loud at work. Thanks for posting that! Where did you find that video anyway?

Elizabeth said...

I know exactly how you feel hun.

The Rambling Redhead said...

LOL! I may not be working in the design industry, but I certainly experince this type of mentality sometimes when I'm working on press releases (especially if they are joint ones). By the time everyone signs off on a story and a zillion additions or changes are made, we've passed the point of relevance. I makes me want to tear my hair out!

J-Diggety said...

That vid was awesome! Forwarded it to all my design chums...

Robin L Greenslade said...

I work for a web design company, and we go through the same shitola too! It is amazing that a simple, clean and crisp to the point idea can be turned into a conveluted mess of crap. Most days we just sit back and laugh. It's better than crying!

Cahya said...

A beautiful blog.

Stacey said...

Hey WG1. I feel your pain. I am an editor and my clients (internal and exteranal) are constantly asking for edits...after the deadline and after their own approval. I love when I apply their changes only to have them change it back to the original. Re-work rocks! (Seeing as I have nothing better to do with my time anyway!)

**City Girl said...

i forwarded the video to everybody i work with and it made all of our days! we go through this everyday with each and every one of our clients, so ridiculous! as always, great post!!

simply scott said...

brilliant video!!! i think i would have to kill myself. i teach adults, and the curriculum manager and his/my boss cater to their whims rather than just make decisions; it just makes me cringe every time. i keep telling them to make a decision and just tell the students. oh well. i think i have it much easier because i do what i think is best anyway.

Mio said...

When I worked in an office not to long ago, even though I was a receptionist I was asked to do many tasks... one was an advert for an upcoming course. The headaches I had because the person running the courses wanted a billion, trillion things changed every day. Ugh.

A Dilettante's Perspective said...

The know exactly what they want then they wonder why you can't magically pull that out of their imagination. I've stopped putting any kind of heart or soul into my work, because it's going to get changed so much it isn't what I started with, and ends up being something I'd never confess to creating. I work for a TV network thats stuck in 1985.