Tom McFarlane, M&C Saatchi Regional Creative Director Asia Pacific & the US replies to a recent opinion piece about the CommBank Can campaign in the Australian Financial Review.
You may have read the AFR this week (Monday 6 August). If you did you may have noticed an opinion piece by retired Creative Director Rowan Dean. He was opining on the Can campaign for the second time in 4 months. In round one of his serialized critiques he loved the campaign. Round two less so.
This time Rowan haughtily pontificates on what makes an idea an idea.
And via some remarkable act of clairvoyance he seems to have developed a superior understanding of this idea than the author.
It’s his opinion and he’s free to express it.
I’d just like to touch on my support role in his diatribe. Apparently I said (somewhere) that the Can concept was not always M&C Saatchi’s preferred choice during the pitch process. Then, highlighted in quotes came the words “we tortured ourselves and went back to it”.
For the record Can was so ‘preferred’ it was the only idea we presented. Which is unusual for M&C Saatchi and perhaps the most powerful demonstration of our conviction and belief in this idea.
Of course I looked at other concepts. That’s hardly a revelation.
It’s what Creative Directors do. Everyday we interrogate work, mull over it, and then let it go.
In this instance we had a full complement of creative teams working on the brief.
Can was the first of many ideas that came across the table. Of course there were others. Lots of others that fleetingly romanced us.
But we never fell out of love with Can.
Because it was more than an idea, it was an ethos for the entire bank.
We tortured ourselves, not with indecision but with a desire to make it work across all aspects of the banking conversation – not the least internally.
Can was a perfect response to the brief and while still in its infancy is realizing everything we set out to achieve according to all the diagnostics.
Agonising over ideas is what we do in this agency and our clients, I’m sure, would be disappointed if we didn’t.