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Kraft

K

Interviewee

51 Generic Creative

Team Advantages

Team Disadvantages

Project Outcome

Unsuccessful

Industry

Food

Location

Chicago

Team Risk Tolerance

Low

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_Turnaround

Company

Kraft


That one was mostly ... It had gotten to the point where I think the relationship had gotten so bad that ... I've spent a lot of time in my time here as kind of a fireman on a lot of projects, where me and my partner would come in when stuff was at the danger stage and things were really, really bad. Then that's when they would call us in because we could usually figure out what the client was saying that nobody was understanding because if you can't get their tone right in the end, it doesn't matter if you're putting all their right words in there. [3751]
If you can't figure out what tone they're looking for, you're never going to get something by them. And we're pretty good about finding that, but with Philly the relationship had just gotten so bad that we were having to take a lot of dictates from the client to preserve the relationship. We were getting told from the account team a lot what we needed to do because the client requested it. It wasn't fun. [3753],[3755],[3754],[3752]
. And if a request was completely heinous or didn't make sense or something, we'd throw it up to the people, whoever was above us and say ... [3760]
It was a lot of doing things where you would do what you knew would be creatively acceptable and try to give them options based off of what they asked for to try to surprise them within that, but it was usually very difficult because if they asked you for something, they really just wanted literally what they were asking for, so they would never take our alternate options. And if a request was completely heinous or didn't make sense or something, we'd throw it up to the people, whoever was above us and say ... [3758],[3759],[3757],[3756]
We'd tell the account guys when they came in, it's like, "Okay. That's the line that I won't do that unless you get somebody above me to tell me to do that so I'm not responsible for that." They would go talk to them. We'd get a phone call saying, "Can you just please do this for us?" Okay. And let it go. You just make sure that you're not responsible for the stuff that you know is terrible because you can only ... When you're underneath people, you can only go so far as to say, "I won't do this to a certain point." [3810],[3808],[3761],[3809],[3762]
I mean there's a point where you're not helping the agency either and it's like you don't want to be that. But there was a lot of dictation in that. In the end, I felt like our account guys got so scared of the client because they were so high maintenance that the client got away with a lot of stuff. It wasn't a relationship anymore. It was more just we're filling orders and they were trying to encroach on other people's tasks. Like I had one of them call wrap on one of my television students. [3811],[3812],[3764],[3763]
The client called wrap, and the account guy let them. And I totally read the account guy the riot act about it, but at the time she thought it was completely okay because the client is paying for it. I said, "No, the client is paying to have the commercial made, and I've shot everything they've asked me to, but we're shooting this shot for me because I think this shot is better and I would like to show them something better." [3770],[3765],[3768],[3767],[3769],[3766]
And she's like, "Well, we've got what they want, and they're happy, so we're letting them wrap." And I was like, "That's just simply not okay," but the producer was a freelance producer, so she let the account person call wrap. I ended up getting my shot because the director heard and shot it once the client left the set, but it shouldn't be that. It should never be that. I have pretty good relationships with the clients usually. I always talk to the clients, tell them what's going on. [3813],[3772],[3814],[3771],[3773],[3776],[3775],[3815],[3774]
I talked to the client, and she was just, "Oh, this is going to cost us more money," and stuff like that. It's like, "Don't sign the overage then. If for some reason we go over and you don't like what we did, don't sign the overage. Then you don't have to pay for it. It's really simple." I'm kind of drifting all over the place, but basically where it doesn't work is when it breaks down so much that the client doesn't trust you enough to come up with the ideas and to believe in the ideas that you do have. [3777]
If you don't even have that amount of trust or the amount of trust to let you drive a few blocks, you can't make something good. [3816]
If you don't even have that amount of trust or the amount of trust to let you drive a few blocks, you can't make something good. It's not possible because in the end some of what we do is still basically voodoo to the clients. It's magic, which that's why I like animation better than live action because live action, everybody thinks that, because of iMovie and stuff like that and "Oh, I've edited my home movies," they think they basically understand the way things are supposed to work. [3778],[3779]
Animation is still complete voodoo to clients. They don't know the way that it works, so it's like you have a lot more leeway and they have to trust you because they have to trust that you know what's ... "Oh. Well, they seem to understand that it's all going to look right in the end." That's what makes it great. It forces the trust, which is good. But if you can't engender that amount of trust, you can't get any good work out of it. [3780]
That one was a lot more. I'd say we were probably ... The average meeting of people on the client side of the table was about eight people that got to talk, and sometimes it went ... And there was always at least two levels that we had to go through. Sometimes they'd all be in the big meeting. Sometimes they wouldn't. And it could go to as many as three levels. You'd only get the one meeting though. If they weren't in the meeting when you were talking, you didn't get to talk to them, which definitely affected things. [3783],[3781],[3782]
They didn't have risk tolerance. They thought that testing could tell you everything that you could possibly need to know, so if you didn't follow literally what they believed their test had told them ... Their test was a bible and if you didn't follow it, then you weren't following the words from above. [3786],[3817],[3784],[3787],[3785],[3818]
It was qualitative and quantitative, but we had run into multiple instances where the company that was running the tests, their interpretation of the data was pretty loose and we would actually ... Our planners here would challenge the data, and they'd have to acknowledge that we were correct on a lot of the interpretations of the data, but in the end that didn't make any difference because, unfortunately, we'd be attacking the premise, but the result was still on paper somewhere. It's like even though you change the premise, then the result has to be different, it's a deck and they read the results and they didn't care if we changed the premise. [3790],[3791],[3789],[3788]
We would bring in stuff, and they would ... We would come in to talk about things, and their strategy would be like five words, and you'd go, "Oh, that's not a bad one thing." Then you'd find out that each one of those five words meant something in that same sort of aspect, and you'd go, "Hey, that's insane. That's a five thing. Why didn't you just write that paragraph and then we could talk about the fact that this isn't going to be good before we start?" [3793],[3792]
Only if they didn't like the work. If they didn't like the work, then they would refit the brief to try to make us go where they already have their head. That's where I come back to that whole thing about knowing their tone and knowing who you're talking to. It gave me good training for listening to the client because you really had to read in between the lines and figure out what they wanted because that's really ... [3819],[3795],[3794]
If you didn't get exactly what they were thinking tonally or basically the ballpark of what they liked executionally, then they figured their strategy must be wrong, so they'd rewrite the strategy and make you go at it again rather than just send you back to the drawing board because it meant that they must have briefed you wrong. It's like, "No, it's not that they briefed us wrong. It's that the strategy doesn't make sense." [3820],[3821],[3798],[3797],[3822],[3796]
Budget could be. They got to a point where, because stuff wasn't working and they were spending so much on research, trying to find a magic bullet, that they started trying to figure out ways to do cheaper things. Like they were talked to us about shooting on video. Not HD, but video to bring stuff in. And they were looking for like a $60,000 commercial, and it's like, "Well, you can't have that." That just doesn't exist in the world that we have with contracts. It's like, "Even with talent and stuff, we can't get you that." But they didn't understand that at the time. They were just frustrated. [3801],[3799],[3800]
Like they were talked to us about shooting on video. Not HD, but video to bring stuff in. And they were looking for like a $60,000 commercial, and it's like, "Well, you can't have that." That just doesn't exist in the world that we have with contracts. It's like, "Even with talent and stuff, we can't get you that." But they didn't understand that at the time. They were just frustrated. [3823],[3824]
Mostly it was ... I mean if you mean what inspired the final work? It was what was the best thing we could get out of what we were being forced to do and just try to make it as best we could and never be happy with what we did, but never give up on it either. I never quit on a brief, never quit on a project and said, "Oh, this is going to suck." You could be unhappy with things that you had to put into it, but in the end it's like that's what you've got, is the last thing you did, so it's like you've got to try to make it as good as you can. [3802]
You just have to also know that ... You'd go in knowing on some of these that it wasn't going to work, it wasn't going to do what they wanted it to, and you could [tell it 00:48:19] and you'd make everybody on your side of the fence, on the agency side of the fence know that you thought that and hope that somebody could maybe miraculously change the client's mind. All you can do is say what your opinion is and say you're going to make it the best you can, but if they don't change it, then you can't. [3803]
You'd go in knowing on some of these that it wasn't going to work, it wasn't going to do what they wanted it to, and you could [tell it 00:48:19] and you'd make everybody on your side of the fence, on the agency side of the fence know that you thought that and hope that somebody could maybe miraculously change the client's mind. All you can do is say what your opinion is and say you're going to make it the best you can, but if they don't change it, then you can't. [3825]
From my aspect, pretty bad. At the time I think the people would've said that they were fine and it was just a difficult client, but I don't think we had the level of trust that we needed to make things work right. [3826],[3804]
The creative side was all pretty well locked together. The planners I think knew what the situation was, and I was pretty much on the same playing field as the planners. At the time I think with account it was just a matter of making ... It was a little rough, but it was only because there got to be a point where you could tell when somebody was looking for the path of least resistance and as a creative you just need to make sure that everybody knows that you're not it. [3805]
So it's like you just make sure that they're aware that you're not the path of least resistance, the path of least resistance is elsewhere, so that would cause tension at some points [3827],[3828]
So it's like you just make sure that they're aware that you're not the path of least resistance, the path of least resistance is elsewhere, so that would cause tension at some points, but in the end if my bosses said we needed to do something, there was never a fight and I made it very clear to the account guys going into that. It's like, "Listen, if you got my boss to tell me to do this, I will do it. You won't hear me complain about it. But I'm just not going to do that on my own volition," and it usually would work out. [3806],[3807]
Reference Tags
[3751] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3753] Forceful conflict about ideas,[3755] Insufficient Feedback,[3754] Micromanaging,[3752] Reactance,[3760] Lack of organizational encouragement,[3758] Forceful conflict about ideas,[3759] Micromanaging,[3757] Reactance,[3756] Yielding conflict about ideas,[3810] Forceful conflict about relationships,[3808] Lack of challenging work,[3761] Lack of organizational encouragement,[3809] Micromanaging,[3762] Yielding conflict about ideas,[3811] Alignment,[3812] Dismissive,[3764] Lack of organizational encouragement,[3763] Yielding conflict about ideas,[3770] Insufficient Feedback,[3765] Lack of organizational encouragement,[3768] Man blaming woman,[3767] Reactance,[3769] Resilience,[3766] Yielding conflict about ideas,[3813] Alignment,[3772] Communication issues,[3814] Forceful conflict about relationships,[3771] Lack of organizational encouragement,[3773] Man blaming woman,[3776] Reactance,[3775] Resilience,[3815] Unresolved relationship conflict,[3774] Yielding conflict about ideas,[3777] Trust,[3816] Trust,[3778] Overconfidence bias,[3779] Trust,[3780] Trust,[3783] Indecisive leadership,[3781] Insufficient Feedback,[3782] Vague roles,[3786] Anchoring,[3817] Conservatism,[3784] Forceful conflict about ideas,[3787] Law of the instrument,[3785] Risk compensation,[3818] Status quo bias,[3790] Anchoring,[3791] Confirmation bias,[3789] Law of the instrument,[3788] Scope creep,[3793] Communication issues,[3792] Vague goals,[3819] Empathetic disposition,[3795] Scope creep,[3794] Vague goals,[3820] Alignment,[3821] Communication issues,[3798] Communication issues,[3797] Micromanaging,[3822] Vague goals,[3796] Vague goals,[3801] Inexperience,[3799] Lack of resources,[3800] Trust,[3823] Alignment,[3824] Communication issues,[3802] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3803] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3825] Alignment,[3826] Trust,[3804] Trust,[3805] Lack of organizational encouragement,[3827] Alignment,[3828] Communication issues,[3806] Compromising conflict about ideas,[3807] Lack of organizational encouragement

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MADISON BARNETT
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