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It’s not easy being a Suit

The over-simplified version of it is that we’re middle(wo)men: at the end of the day we’re liaisons- the messengers between the creative department and the client. We receive a brief, assess it, rewrite it to suit the creative minds, brief it in, get the work back and present it. Job done.

Not quite.

The true version is: We’re Shapeshifters. Depending on the situation, we side with our creative team or our clients. We argue with both, we fight, we kick back, we push back on deadlines or quality of work, we make sure that our clients understand and receive the value we add to their team, and we make sure our creative teams know how to show that in the simplest and most effective way. Not all Agency suits function that way, but we do, or aim to.

The tricky part is knowing when to side with whom.

Be a SuitI came across the below article in Adweek and it felt like it were a person at Tonic who had written it.

Jae Goodman explains the 12 Rules of Advertising, which more or less explains The Life of a Suit.

What I loved most about it was that it challenged the usual “yes sir!” attitude agencies have with clients. 2 Rules stuck out the most for me:

Rule 3: The client is not always right. It’s a lot easier to give the client what they want. “You asked for a radio ad that fits in 15 seconds- here”. But agreeing with them sometimes does them more harm than good. This is when we push back if we see that a radio ad is not going to be as efficient as a print ad to answer their brief.

Rule 8: Great work comes from truth. There’s a term I often use when clients just want something that attracts attention and creates a buzz: Glitter Monkey. No base. Off-brand. No strategic thought to hold the campaign or stunt together- just a lot of googley eyes that the public will most probably forget in a day or two, if they’re lucky. A universal truth or deep insight that anchors the target audience into the campaign would have a much more sustainable and memorable impact.


Submitted by Reem Al Shak’a