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Smirnoff

S

Interviewee

11 Creative

Team Advantages

Team Disadvantages

0, 2

Project Outcome

Unsuccessful

Industry

Alcohol

Location

New York

Team Risk Tolerance

Low

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_Dismissive

Company

Smirnoff


Okay. So our very first project we worked on was for Smirnoff. Smirnoff cocktails. And it was a brief that had been swimming around for something like three months before we got there, and then the client had declined several ideas and finally got to us. We had an idea that we were happy, it checked off all their boxes, and then slowly, over about four months, just became diluted. Very diluted, and got squeezed until it was nothing. It was because of the ineptitude of the client, and just them pushing and on their side, way too many layers to go through. There was about six, five layers ... Probably five layers, all with the ability to kill and put their two cents in, but none with the ability to say "Yes, do this." So it was just an arduous process, going back and forth, which just pretty much drained any creativity out of it whatsoever. [993],[992],[995],[996],[994],[997]
There was about six, five layers ... Probably five layers, all with the ability to kill and put their two cents in, but none with the ability to say "Yes, do this." So it was just an arduous process, going back and forth, which just pretty much drained any creativity out of it whatsoever. [1014]
We had an idea that we were happy, it checked off all their boxes, and then slowly, over about four months, just became diluted. Very diluted, and got squeezed until it was nothing. It was because of the ineptitude of the client, and just them pushing and on their side, way too many layers to go through. [1013]
Too many to count. Upwards of 30 plus. [998],[999]
I remember it was trying to say about seven things. Seven different messages. Too many messages all jammed into this one little brief, one print ad. [1002],[1015],[1001]
Social aspect of it, the ease of use, the great taste. It's introducing new, make sure they know it's new. Make sure the beautiful bottle is highlighted. Did I already say the aspect of occasions? It's enjoyed in social settings. That's what I can remember off the top of my head [1003]
Budget was not an issue. [1006]
Timing, actually, initially no. But again, when it came to revisions, the client would come back and things would have to be changed in a very short amount of time. [1004],[1005]
I mean, it didn't cause any angst between us two. I guess, if anything, we would just bitch to each other. [1007]
Yeah, frighteningly obvious. But just, we ended up with a concept about ... It was so easy, the drink is perfect, you need to only master your pour. It was kind of ... What's it called? Bartenders flash, you know when they flip the bottle around and catch it and pour a drink. [1016],[1009],[1008]
I guess it'd be the same two or three, but it would always be different ones and they'd have different opinions. Some were okay, some ... no one could make ... It was horrible. [1017],[1010],[1018],[1011]
And at some point, the client went above his head and that just turned into a mess for him, for us. So with our specific account guy who was initially on the project, it was kind of like he was always the bearer of bad news. If anyone had to deliver it, he was the best to do it. But once it went over his head, it was just a nightmare. [1019],[1021]
But once it went over his head, it was just a nightmare. [1020]
We had, luckily, one of the best account guys worked with, who's no longer here, who was just as frustrated as we were, if not more so. Because he had to deal with the client every day. And at some point, the client went above his head and that just turned into a mess for him, for us. So with our specific account guy who was initially on the project, it was kind of like he was always the bearer of bad news. If anyone had to deliver it, he was the best to do it. But once it went over his head, it was just a nightmare. [1012]
Terrible project? Well, Smirnoff. It's the first thing we did when we got here, and we came up with this concept. It's funny, we just got briefed again to do the TV for it, which we're trying to do differently, but it just wouldn't die. We came up with this concept for, it's these pretty mixed drinks. It's like mojitos and cocktails and whatever, and so the whole idea was the mix is already perfected, so you just work on the pour or whatever. We had all these ambient ideas on how to do it, like Times Square board where we had this bottle and it would bounce off of another billboard. We make a fake fashion, like a girl with an umbrella, and it would bounce off the umbrella and into something else, and then finally land on this other billboard that's way down here, talking about the perfect pour or mastering your pour. We had all these non-traditional flip out things and we're like cool, these are awesome. [938]
We go in and they present it and they're like oh yeah, we love all this, and then this started a six month time period of slowly just chopping away until okay, there's no ambient, okay, let's dumb this down. Can you make that more obvious, can we get the logo bigger, can we do this, can we do that to it, until it was basically just a glorified product shot. It was just like, and it was just aggravating. There was nothing creative left to it. [961],[962],[963]
We go in and they present it and they're like oh yeah, we love all this, and then this started a six month time period of slowly just chopping away until okay, there's no ambient, okay, let's dumb this down. Can you make that more obvious, can we get the logo bigger, can we do this, can we do that to it, until it was basically just a glorified product shot. It was just like, and it was just aggravating. There was nothing creative left to it. They just, bit by bit, in the slow process, they just took every bit of creativity out of it, and made it the bane of our existence. It just wouldn't go away. Even after we got done with it, just constantly, now this has to run in this newspaper, can you look at these spreads or whatever, and change this, bring this up, da da da, take it up to the studio, they don't do it. No, bring this, so it's ongoing, then finally I was like, I'm not doing it myself. Every time, I ended up doing it myself. It was just horrible, it was terrible. I'm hoping that the TV, I just got briefed on it yesterday. Hopefully we'll redeem ourselves. [940],[939],[941]
Five on the client side, and then it changed in between. It started out with we were answering to Jeremy, and then transferred over to Matt and Damian, who they just got it. They don't really care about it, because they just got it handed to them. They just wanted to get it out of the way. We wanted to get it out of the way, we wanted it to be done. In fact, there'd be emails coming back and forth, like we need this, we need this. Okay, can we put this to bed now? We'd be typing this reply all, thank god it's done. Yeah, there's quite a bit on Diageo side quite a bit of bureaucracy, start off with three nice people, turned into five, and then had to go answer to global. It was a global brand, they were taking that concept and using it in Italy, they're going to use it in France, and it stopped in France. There's all these people that had to answer. It's ridiculous, and I just shut out to that after a while. Do whatever, I don't care anymore. [942],[943]
There's all these people that had to answer. It's ridiculous, and I just shut out to that after a while. Do whatever, I don't care anymore. [964],[965]
Well, we had to answer to our CD, and then we take that to the client, and we met with three clients, and they all talked about it, and then all of a sudden, towards the end, two more jumped in, so there was five on the client side. Yeah, I think that's it. Five on the client side, and then it changed in between. It started out with we were answering to Jeremy, and then transferred over to Matt and Damian, who they just got it [966]
Well, we had to answer to our CD, and then we take that to the client, and we met with three clients, and they all talked about it, and then all of a sudden, towards the end, two more jumped in, so there was five on the client side. Yeah, I think that's it. Five on the client side, and then it changed in between. It started out with we were answering to Jeremy, and then transferred over to Matt and Damian, who they just got it. They don't really care about it, because they just got it handed to them. They just wanted to get it out of the way. We wanted to get it out of the way, we wanted it to be done. In fact, there'd be emails coming back and forth, like we need this, we need this. Okay, can we put this to bed now? We'd be typing this reply all, thank god it's done. Yeah, there's quite a bit on Diageo side quite a bit of bureaucracy, start off with three nice people, turned into five, and then had to go answer to global. It was a global brand, they were taking that concept and using it in Italy, they're going to use it in France, and it stopped in France. There's all these people that had to answer. It's ridiculous, and I just shut out to that after a while. Do whatever, I don't care anymore. [947],[944],[946],[945]
I don't know. It was hard because it was my first project, and I think I probably could have pushed harder and I just didn't know. I didn't realize, I just went with it and said okay, okay. Maybe I could have done better work, maybe I could have got them to take more of a risk. I'm definitely going to push them now and see, especially since we have a new client. I think, I'm going to say low. I'm going to say very low, actually, because they did kill all the ambient stuff. Yeah. In fact, yeah, it turned into, low, very low. [948],[949],[950]
It was with doing the ambient stuff. That's what they'll go to, that's the go-to thing is no money, no money. If an idea's good enough, they'll find money, they just don't want to do it. Yeah, I mean, there was enough budget to do all the print ads and basic stuff, but when it came to doing anything different, there was no budget for it. I don't know if that helps. [951]
Time was okay, it went pretty quickly, actually. We started in January on it, and then I think we were shooting, we shot it in February or March. I think February, it went pretty quickly. No, my family was up by then, so yeah, it was shot in March. It was in magazines by June. Then now the Times Square just went up by December, a December launch. [952]
In fact, we got introduced to some of the new account person, and I guess she thought I was mean or something. I was, because she was like, it was her first day or whatever, and she was briefing us or wanting us to do something. I just wanted to know, okay, what does this really mean? I just wanted to know, don't sugarcoat it, what does it really mean? I don't know, I guess I was mean. [956],[954]
n fact, we got introduced to some of the new account person, and I guess she thought I was mean or something. I was, because she was like, it was her first day or whatever, and she was briefing us or wanting us to do something. I just wanted to know, okay, what does this really mean? I just wanted to know, don't sugarcoat it, what does it really mean? I don't know, I guess I was mean. [955]
With worked with Stu, that got fired. [inaudible 00:51:21], he was the best account dude ever. He'd fight for you, he fought, you know? He was just a blast to work with. The project manager on it, who also quit, was great. I loved working with her. [971],[970],[969],[967]
With worked with Stu, that got fired. [inaudible 00:51:21], he was the best account dude ever. He'd fight for you, he fought, you know? He was just a blast to work with. The project manager on it, who also quit, was great. I loved working with her. J [968]
With worked with Stu, that got fired. [inaudible 00:51:21], he was the best account dude ever. He'd fight for you, he fought, you know? He was just a blast to work with. The project manager on it, who also quit, was great. I loved working with her. Josh and I were excited just to work, you know? We got a job, we were excited. It went from excitement to definitely jaded, pissy, not liking it at all. [953]
People are sensitive. I mean, you can't be. I wanted her to be honest. I wasn't giving her a hard time or anything. I got jaded from it, yeah. The mood went sour. [957]
There was this one dude that came in towards the end that I didn't like. He was like ooh, I didn't like that. He had another [inaudible 00:53:21]. I swear, it's the most global company ever. [958]
Yeah, but we're bitching to each other. It's like, we're in it together. It's like, it's not his fault, it's not my fault, we're blaming everybody else together, you know what I mean, how it is. You got a little compadre. [959]
That was a lot of agency involvement. That was the complete opposite. We were getting stuff printed upstairs, we were using the recording studios for me to do voiceovers. We were, all the account people, planners, everybody would be in the meetings, we would talk about, blah blah blah, that was a big ordeal. Everyone was involved. We got called in, New York got called in to help Detroit, so it was a big deal. It was a big agency. [972],[960]
Reference Tags
[993] Dismissive,[992] Forceful conflict about ideas,[995] Insufficient Feedback,[996] Internal changes/challenges,[994] Micromanaging,[997] Reactance,[1014] Indecisive leadership,[1013] Alignment,[998] Indecisive leadership,[999] Vague roles,[1002] Communication issues,[1015] Vague goals,[1001] Vague goals,[1003] Lack of real innovation mandate,[1006] Appropriate resources,[1004] Insufficient Feedback,[1005] Planning fallacy,[1007] Resilience,[1016] Creative Confidence,[1009] Lack of challenging work,[1008] Yielding conflict about ideas,[1017] Indecisive leadership,[1010] Insufficient Feedback,[1018] Internal changes/challenges,[1011] Vague roles,[1019] Communication issues,[1021] Lack of trust,[1020] Irreconcilable differences,[1012] Organizational encouragement,[938] Effort justification,[961] Alignment,[962] Indecisive leadership,[963] Vague goals,[940] Forceful conflict about ideas,[939] Insufficient Feedback,[941] Negativity bias,[942] Halo effect,[943] Lack of organizational encouragement,[964] Dismissive,[965] Indecisive leadership,[966] Lack of resources,[947] Forceful conflict about ideas,[944] Indecisive leadership,[946] Insufficient Feedback,[945] Vague roles,[948] Authority bias,[949] Inexperience,[950] Yielding conflict about ideas,[951] Insufficient Feedback,[952] Balanced workload pressure,[956] Empathetic disposition,[954] Man blaming woman,[955] Unresolved relationship conflict,[971] Believes one has a hopeful path,[970] Believes one has high agency,[969] Organizing effectively,[967] Trust,[968] Appropriate resources,[953] Organizational encouragement,[957] Empathy gap,[958] Man blaming man,[959] Organizing effectively,[972] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[960] Organizational encouragement

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