Remembering SWATCH

Filed in Advertising by on March 1, 2009 0 Comments

Remember SWATCH watch? I do, but for a different reason.

wave-of-time-800It's because we pitched them back in the day as a little creative shop that could - but in the end we did not (there's a very short story and a lesson at the end ;-). So, we we're doing work for a retailer in Downtown Pittsburgh who knew a Regional Guy at SWATCH who told us if we did work he liked he'd let us pitch to the forces that be. We put our best "heads" together to look at the brand that was the rage in the day. Remember, everyone had at least on SWATCH watch, right? Back to the story. So we developed this work that was thinky enough for the the fashion elite, deep enough for the true surf market, and stylish enough to contribute towards the expected creative SWATCH had brought via the product design. We worked on the visuals internally and finally decided on using a flatbed scanner propped with hands and baubles. On its side, we looked like a Mamogram in action with the sweeping light bar. Lessons learned: Think of the different ways you can get a stunning visual. Remember you're a creative. Remember how to experiment.


So we finish the work, drop in the type and start getting a little psyched because it was different than what we had seen (hey, this was in the mid-90's - jacking a scanner on its side for a photo? who was doing that ;-) and we're thinking this could go osomewhere. We cant wait to pitch! So we waited. And we waited. Then we waited some more. Then I got pissed. Everyone else incrementally got disappointed. The guy made up excuse after excuse and we ultimately realized the guy was stroking us to look cool in front of his contact. We put time and hope into someone for an opportunity without understanding the business situation and not validating the players. Lessons learned: Don't do work on spec. Don't believe everything you hear. Make sure you get compensated, in one way or another, every time you obring value to a situation. Lessons learned ;-)

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Kevin Popović is a communications expert, featured speaker, and author of '20YEARS Communications: 20 Leaders, 20 Questions, 100's of Lessons.' After more than 30 years of professional experience, he helps business leaders make smart decisions about communications. In 2010, "KP" was ranked #43 in Fast Company's The Influence Project measuring the "most influential people online." In 2014 he was ranked as one of the "Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing" by the Online Marketing Institute.

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