There’s an old saying in our business that dictates everything we do. It has ruled our world since the dawn of the ad agency business. It puts the lie to any notion that we are in control of our own fate.
Do you know this saying? I bet you do. It makes liars of us all. Anyone who has ever claimed “We have to get this out by Monday” knows that Tuesday is not the beginning of a life sentence.
Anyone who claims that the work was due yesterday or there’ll be hell to pay knows hell had to take a number.
This adage proves that we never plan ahead to do anything—devise a strategy, understand our brand well enough to describe it even to a kid, write a creative brief.
This adage demonstrates that running around looking busy, acting as if the world will come to an end if we don’t do this now, now, now, is a sad farce. We collectively accept that it has us on its leash and we’ll be damned if we’re going to address it.
We’re addicted to the words of this short and pithy saying, and treat them like a mantra. We repeat them, over and over, as an excuse. They amount to a “get out of jail free” card because everyone bemoans the truth of these words even though we’ll do nothing about them.
Have you heard this saying before? It is a two-part adage.
Until we address the first part, the second part will lord over us forever. The first part is a myth, a conspiracy theory, the Mother of All Misinformation. The second part is our master.
Unless we give the hard work of strategy and creative brief writing what the first part claims we never get, the creative work will suffer the “Groundhog Day” tyranny of the second part.
We embrace this adage because we do not merely accept the definition of insanity, we live it.
There’s never time to do it right. There’s always time to do it over.