Suck It Up and Throw It Out

Banking & Financial
Customer & Brand

An Actionable Idea Marketing Blog for Banks & Credit Unions by Sharon Klocek-Ibbotson

We have all had one of those marketing projects that just failed. It may have had all the right people, and parts, and ideas… but the result? Well, it just sucks. Sometimes it is SO hard to say that out loud. Everyone around you has invested in this idea. It may have been yours! <laughs self-consciously to self> No one wants to waste their time. So how do you convince yourself, your team and your boss to throw out this marketing snafu and start again?

It sounds too simple but you start by doing a group review. Everyone gets a say what does and does not work about it out loud. You talk honestly. You listen and consider. Can it be fixed without throwing out the source material? What would we change if we started over? What is to be gained from a total redo?

In my case, it was a marketing video for our web site. It WAS my idea. “Let’s make a video for our website featuring our people and key offerings,” I said. Of course, I was elected to go first. We were working on a budget so we shot it at my house in a not quite big enough room. The backdrop we agreed on ended up very dark and wrinkled and no amount of kick light, back light or steam iron could fix it before we had to roll cameras. We thought we could do this as an interview style discussion, but this required me to keep way more facts in my challenged brain than could reemerge for a good take. Everyone on set was frustrated and pushing to “get through it.”

We group-reviewed the final cut with the entire team and our president, and yes, it sucked. I thought maybe we were stuck with it. So, I was VERY proud that after 45 minutes of team discussion, we all agreed we should throw it out and push that big red redo button.

What we learned was: Sharon needs a Teleprompter, we needed a bigger space without natural light interference, we needed to take time up front and agree on the framing in camera and make sure our background was clean and popped visually, and most importantly we needed to keep fun and humor a part of the shoot so we could get that energy into the video and a smile on the talent.

The second shoot was fun. Our director, Steve reminded us about keeping positive energy, so I asked for a joke to start us off. Greg delivered the perfect laugh and kept them coming by making every scene slate funny (yes we had a clapper!) with a different voice, language or play on words. I would smile before every take as that slate clapper came over my face – potentially taking my nose off. We ALL took turns doing something that made us laugh. The result? We felt like rock stars by the end of the shoot. We checked our work twice before we broke down because we knew we had something much better in the can. We can’t wait for the final cut.

So don’t be afraid to suck it up and throw it out. You just might make something wonderful happen when you “Begin Again”.*

* an awesome song by one of my favorite bands, Purity Ring.

One Comment

I cannot wait to see the final product. Great advice on beginning again with a clean slate, 2nd time can be a charm!


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