Why Giving Time Gets You Time
Researching, thinking and creating aren't production-line processes. Nonetheless, every project has to be carried out within a time-frame. Sometimes an idea can be formed in minutes, at other times, it might take days. But this isn't the 'time' I'm talking about.
If a project is estimated at a cost relative to five days' work, and five days is given to complete the project, then it's done and delivered to the exacting standard that matches that fee. But if it's given a five-day fee and 10 days to deliver the project, then it reaches a level far beyond the worth of the five-day fee and it doesn't cost the client a penny more.
Taking a Bath and The Eureka Moment
Once a brief has been taken and researched by the Creative, the best thing that can happen is that they stop consciously thinking about it. But the brain doesn't stop working. That's why eureka moments happen in the strangest places.
That can only happen without the pressure of an immediate deadline. With an immediate deadline the idea's got to be forced out, extracted with pliers if necessary - because it's got to be done - there's a deadline. Tight deadlines are good for producing dead ideas. No good creative's ever going to give you a dead idea, so they end up working into the night, to make sure their work's worth the fee, but it's rarely worth more than the fee.
To assume at least one counter argument, "if I give them 10 days to do a five day job, they won't start working on it until the eighth day!" Often true, though providing the brief and research has been digested in the first couple of days, it's probable that the job will be even better. The longer the unfettered thinking time, the more brilliant the solution. Because it doesn't matter how long is spent crafting an idea, if the idea's weak in the first place, the job won't be any better.
A great idea's priceless.
Give a little longer, get a lot more, and pay no more. Now that's added value.
I agree with you wholeheartedly. But...my clients never have that time to give me. They always call at the very last minute because they haven't managed their side of the process. Crisis management. So I fly in with my pants over my tights and do the best I can with what they give me. It's a job, but it bears little or no job satisfaction. Because they see me working efficiently they think the job is easy.Just a mouse click here and a keyboard shortcut there, and there you are! As if my magic a really good looking document. Just like that! Oh if only I had the time, then they would really see my true CMYKs!
Posted by Jane Massey
Nice post. I want to emphasize "Once a brief has been taken and researched by the Creative". I try to research the heck out of the subject in different ways to really make sure my brain's going to have enough substance for it to do its thing. "It's thing" being subconsciously connecting dots, making parallels, noticing details and similarities. And I agree; deadlines kill creative.
Posted by Doland Ruiz
Time is precious use it well I say. If you have a client who can not schedule and piles on more and more work the quality goes out the window. They just want to move on to the next seasonal reminder.
Posted by Colin Young
I couldn't agree more with all of these comments...
Posted by Michael Tumelty
Well I disagree. I think it's disrespect that kills creativity; everyone who can hold a pen thinks they can write? It's not more time that's needed it's an ability to work TOGETHER within the time frame. Bill Bernbach had the luxury of telling his creatives to put their ideas away for two weeks, but we don't live in a world where we dress like January Jones and drink like John Hamm.
Posted by Seonaid Ford McGill