As we begin steering away from the C word (actually, we are right in the center of it but you know... hope is a good thing), looking forward to more travels, more hugs, more togetherness, we realize that nobody could have anticipated the unprecedented storm that was 2020. There’s no 2 ways about it. 2020 was a rollercoaster! It was a storm to be weathered and we saw the blue skies behind it. It made us pause and reconsider. For us, one thing became clear... that business is never “just” business. It’s beyond that; it’s personal.
We plan, we do, we don’t, we fall, we rise, we move (on). It’s all part of life. But this thing, this new normal was like uncharted waters. So, we adapted. Adapted patiently and waited. We took care of our gardens, our houses, our safe havens. We grew herbs, vegetables, flowers, we baked bread. We discovered Zoom-ing, Team-ing, Skype-ing and all the digital -ings that enabled us to continue our work.
We home-schooled our kids amid teleconferences, worksheets, phone calls, alongside everything else we had to juggle while working from home. Taking work home took on a whole new meaning. Some of us stayed behind at the office, holding the line; the phone line, the online and offline coordination of the team. We did what we had to do to get through the tough times.
Online businesses flourished this past year, nearly rendering physical presence obsolete. On the other hand, a lot of businesses struggled to stay afloat. Business owners, managers, leaders... They all scratched their heads wondering whether there was an opportunity somewhere to be grabbed.
Besides the obvious change, was there a lesson? Challenging situations can force us to pause and reconsider; to open our eyes to the bigger picture, to redefine what’s important. In this sense, 2020 was a catalyst. For us, one thing that became apparent was this: business is not just business. It’s personal; deeply personal.
When Don Corleone proclaimed “It’s not personal; it’s strictly business,” he implied a clear division between what one has to do, and the person one has to do it for (or to). In our case, however, much like most other cases (barring the case of Don Corleone), business and interpersonal relationships are intertwined. What makes a great partner is the ability to take all the right things personally.
In our line of work, it's never "just business". It's invariably more than that. We hold on to what matters with might and main. We make it about us. With a stubborn flair and zealous devotion, from start to finish, every time - whether that’s animating a web banner or setting up a six-month-long campaign from scratch. We are that partner, and we want great things for you. We won’t settle for anything short of exceptional, and neither should you.
We see unimpressive campaigns way too often. Too many slogans that sound a little too familiar. Re-heated and re-served artwork, making no impact whatsoever, yet someone pays for it. Someone puts their hard-earned money behind an illegible billboard or a valueless banner. It’s perplexing!
It is called artwork, but really, it’s not just art. It’s science. The choice of colors that may support or cancel each other out, the background which can end up pulling the ad out of the clutter or throwing it straight in it, the typeface, the font size, the number of fonts, the size of the product, the angle, but most importantly... The idea. Is there one? Next time you look at an ad, think about it. Is there an idea (let alone an original idea) somewhere in there? Did those creators come up with something new? Or did they treat it as just another job?
We don’t claim to be better than anybody. All we’re saying is we take things personally.