Ever run into those clients who want to micromanage the advertising execution and plans?  What agency person hasn’t?

These clients want to tell you what colours to use, whether an accent line is too wide or thin, what words to add to the copy, what fonts they want and even what stock photos to use.

They are sure they can do the copy and art direction themselves.  And after making all the little decisions to “help give the right direction,” they don’t like the overall look and feel, and as a matter of fact, “it just doesn’t look right.”

Maybe they took a writing course in college, or even a desk top publishing course at night school, just enough to learn some of the terminology and have some sense of what is needed.

In Greek, these are called sophomores from two words, sophos meaning wise and moros meaning foolish or dull.  It is like buying a dog and then barking yourself.  Knowing enough to fool yourself into believing you know something.

When someone tries to design an ad, in part, what is left can be out of balance.  It takes a lot of experience to see the whole of the message correctly.

Many times we have been asked by clients to “emphasize” a particular element.  And then add more emphasis to another element.  By the time they are through, when everything is emphasized…. Nothing is left emphasized.

In my experience, over thousands of ads, a few revisions can be okay.  However, at a certain point the more revisions that happen, the less effectiveness of the ad starts to be.  It becomes a paste up of a whole bunch of parts with no central idea.

Micromanaging anyone else’s task is a losing proposition and not likely to produce success.  One of the hardest things for managers to do is to trust the person that has responsibility for the task.  Manager’s role is to make sure you have the right person in place and then give them the right direction to achieve the goal the manager has set.

Once  a manager starts to manipulate the task, your employee no longer has ownership and responsibility.  No one does.  And no one is terribly motivated to make it better.  It becomes an orphan with no one championing its success.

So after insisting on a lot of little changes that you are certain you would like, you may more likely be left with … well, something that you don’t like.

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