What’s the difference between regular projects and those that go on to win awards? Here’s what we came up with.
1. Take time to listen
We’re experienced and enthusiastic, so we’re always keen to jump straight in with our ideas on how things could be better. However, we hold back, listen to the people who know the places inside-out and talk to locals who live & breath the location. This approach is proven to deliver more and better ideas.
Ask: Who knows this better than me?
2. Be useful
‘Almost Artists’ could be an excellent agency name. We’re all definitely obsessed with creating beautiful things. And, to be fair, when your creations are seen by thousands of people on a 60 foot billboard, it’s important they look great. However, they have to do more than look good. Award-winning ideas have to make people’s lives better; whether that’s delivering results for the client or improving the experience for the customer.
Ask: How does this make things better?
3. If it’s hard, keep going
We’ve found that our best projects have also been some of our hardest. Sometimes it was because clients’ visions felt unconquerable or because global pandemics made the everyday seem impossible. But being difficult doesn’t stop something being important. In fact, we’ve found that the most important stuff is the most difficult. That’s why you should keep persevering, even when the going gets tough.
Ask: Is the hard work worth the return?
4. Make sure you’re ideas are understood
One of the things that makes work award-winning is when it’s innovative & ground-breaking. But when something is new, it comes with a big problem; it’s so new that no-one knows how to talk about it. If something is easy to talk about, then it’s probably familiar ground. People won’t always ‘get it’ straight away; because it’s new, it may feel unfamiliar. It’s important to take some extra time to make sure your ideas are easily understood.
Ask: Will everyone understand this?
5. Don’t keep secrets (it’s not a magic trick)
Agencies like ‘the reveal’. They want to pull back the curtain and see clients gasp and marvel at the creative ideas. But this isn’t how award-winning work (or even good work) is done. In contrast to the big-reveal, great work is done when clients and agencies collaborate through regular meetings and transparent processes. This prevents time being wasted and introduces new and better thinking when it’s needed not when it’s too late.
Ask: Is everyone on the same journey?