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A Bright Spot?

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  • A Bright Spot?

    I had a client whose company makes windows.
    He told me he needed a creative and provocative advert designed for some newspaper advertising.
    They turned this down in favour of some boring corporate looking ad.
    So much for being provocative. Was our design too creative for an ad, you reckon ?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    It kind of looks like an ad for anti-depressants. I wouldn't have guessed that it was an ad for windows.
    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot


    • #3
      It looks like he's peeing.


      • #4
        >>Was our design too creative for an ad, you reckon ?<<

        I wouldn't use that term. Too risky? Yes. Why? People don't buy very expensive windows to add colour to an otherwise dreary existence, they just want good, dependable windows.

        Your solution says nothing about the value of a particular brand or feature of that brand, or even price or performance specs. Instead it spends its space on convincing the reader that a wall with a window is better than one without. That's not something most people need explained to them.


        • #5
          The tone is all wrong. That illustration is depressing as all get out. His house is a piece of crap, his punk of a son doesn't respect him, his daughter is sad and withdrawn cowering in the corner, he's trapped in a loveless marriage with a woman that might lay open his skull with a rolling pin at any moment. And to top it off, just to make life suck just that little bit more, the goddamn cat has lost the sides of its face again!

          OK I exaggerate, but it doesn't put me in mind of buying windows. I can understand your line of thinking underlying the idea, but I get bigger dose of depression out of it than humor. That's just me though.


          • #6
            Okay... where to start.
            essentially this house has leaking pipes and is all dark and dank, but the window is good?
            That makes no sense, a good window LIGHTS your house up. Not making it dark and dank.
            I have to agree it's a fail to me as well. It just doesn't promote lights, looks more like it promotes getting outside.
            I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain


            • #7
              *grabs the razorblade from his avatar*

              this makes me want to slit my wrists. There's just nothing saying "Hey, buy our windows! They're fantastic". It's more "hey, theres a big beautiful world out there, and look at the shithole your stuck in. Isn't life just peachy?"

              Sorry dude, but it's just to depressing.
              Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time.
              | Karl Marx |

              A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.
              | Guy Fawkes |

              | flickr |


              • #8
                I can see this in a mid-life crisis ad...

                In this case the grass IS greener on the dude run ! Break the window and get out !
                sigpickeep it simple or simply keep it


                • #9
                  It's a good drawing, but it wouldn't sell windows or make me want to buy windows, and certainly not the windows in the advert.

                  It looks more like a comic strip than anything else. And there's way too much black for a newsprint, I think. You could potentially lose a lot of the white lines on press, or misregistration would make the drawings horrible.

                  As it being "too creative", I don't think it's executed very well. It's more like a drawing/artistic than design, and art gives a different message to everyone, whereas design communicates the same message to everyone.

                  "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by drawingguy View Post
                    It looks like he's peeing.
                    I thought he was peeing out the window as well!
                    Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.


                    • #11
                      Window doesn't look like a window at all. More like a painting. And it's crooked and I can't even open it. I would not buy windows from them if they look like that.


                      • #12
                        I have to admit I thought he was peeing.


                        • #13
                          ^ ditto on the peeing


                          • #14
                            This is a good example of an all-too-common problem with a lot of design rejection and for that I'm glad that the OP put this up.

                            Let's look closer at the client's rejection. The brief (as much as we've been told) was to come up with something creative and provocative to advertise manufactured windows.

                            To me, the key word here is 'provocative'. Is a guy surrounded by depressed and gloomy looking surroundings (perhaps) peeing out a brightly coloured window provocative? Why sure it is. As was the choice to go to a very crude, line drawing approach for the illustration. Heck, even choosing to use illustration in this context is provocative. But it still got rejected. Why?

                            Because the designer did not do the homework.

                            So much of the REAL work in design is defining the real objective in detail that both the designer and the client can absolutely agree on.

                            When a client says 'provocative' you have to map out what that actually means. Now 'creative'? That 'goal' is a mulligan. I mean, who doesn't want creative? (Or perhaps more poignantly, who'd want to pay for its opposite?) But not everyone wants provocative. So what DOES that mean?

                            Well, first, you simply discuss it with the client to see what their idea of provocative really is. And it will come out most probably that they were NOT thinking about illustration styles. Or editorial and/or social commentary. They may be willing to adapt something from those areas if it really served to deliver the message better and deeper into the reader's head -- but unless the benefits of that kind of solution far outweigh the risk taken in using them (it's funny how most of the situations which do fit this criteria, are humour-based), than you are risking too much.

                            What you really have to try and get to know the context of the product's sales market, and try to discover and connect to a real insight on just what it is that the customer is looking for, or annoyed, or avoiding -- and show that you understand. In most cases, this is just a guess mind you, a manufacturer thinks principally that the product itself is all that's needed to do this. Not true, in most cases.

                            See, the problem is that the client (the manufacturer) falls into this thinking behavior trap called 'tapper/nodder'. If I ask someone to think of a tune that everyone should know and to tap the beat on a table, their expectation rate that the person listening to that tapped beat could identify the tune is about 50%. The reality is closer to 12%. Why the gap? Because the person tapping is 'hearing' the song in their head and it's our nature to project that expectation onto everyone else. Same with a business owner, exec, or many other ''expert' type roles. They get so steeped in everything surrounding and supporting the existence of their product, service, project, skillset, whatever--that they soon start assuming that everyone else MUST also posess a higher level of understanding than reality warrants. That's also true of designers.

                            So the trick is to study (if available) the market research, or find some way to map out some approaches that match reality. It could be that 'provocative' might be a short simple phrase or message and nothing to do with a visual solution. Maybe it's a myth buster.

                            Take the head: "The odds are that you're paying too much for premium windows" as an off-top-of-my-head example. If you're shopping for windows, would that grab you? Maybe.

                            What about "Window shopper? Just looking for the lowest possible prices in premium windows? Please don't shop here."

                            Man, now that would provoke me into reading further. And maybe the lead paragraph after might go something like: "After 35 years in the windows business, Windozers understands that it takes more than a sticker price to make a good deal. It's the quality of our expert consulting in choosing the perfect model for the space, the skill and quality of our installation technicians, it's our extensive and fully-backed warranties, and most importantly it's the fact that we understand that the true value of a job well done is a fully satisfied customer. Like Joe Schmoe from Plipsnick who wrote: " and so on.

                            Again, top-of-my-head, only one approach. But it illustrates that provocation takes many forms, and that when you're selling a basic but relatively expensive need, you need to help the customer understand that you understand what they're going through. This is not a minor purchase for most people. The price range and the long-term value of this purchase decision can be quite complex and technical. You show them that you understand this struggle and you will gain trust. Because ultimately, that's what you are selling. It's all anybody really sells if they're in it for the long haul. Including, and more than ever, graphic designers.

                            One more thing-- to the OP -- you said they chose someone else? Can I safely assume that you produced what you showed us under contract and received an appropriate kill fee? Or... ???






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