In August of 2012, Burpee Home Gardens asked my team and I at Bader Rutter to do an ad for early 2013 introducing new flowers to consumers. Our target: women aged 35-55 who enjoyed flowers but didn’t consider themselves adept gardeners. Burpee Home Gardens’ flowers are bred to be easy to grow and tough to kill. Perfect for the target.
But I didn’t want to just do a print ad. Because our target was online, researching plants and gardening tips, I wanted to reach them through Burpee Home Gardens’ social channels — channels managed by another agency.
I recommended we create and shoot easy, do-it-yourself, inspirational garden projects and, from the print ad, point our target to the Burpee Home Gardens Pinterest page where they’d see the videos and get more tips. Then I recommended we use social media to drive even more people to the content. The idea was blessed and off we went to execute — my role was creative director and art director. We shot, we cut, we wrote, we made the comp and shared everything with our client. Smiles all around. A few days later, we got the call.
The un-retouched comp and videos. You can see more of the videos here.
“I just got out of a meeting with my boss and he doesn’t want to run this ad. He wants a more retail-focused ad. And guys, he made it clear, there is no push-back on this.”
When you’ve been in the business a while you learn to get a thick skin. I’ve had more stuff killed than approved but I’d never had approved creative killed. With three weeks before a publication deadline, no less. Our client fought the good fight to keep the campaign alive but her boss didn’t buy into the social strategy. So we rallied and I quickly came up with the headline, layout and design of the ad that did run — barely making the publication date.
The print ad that ran.
There was a time in my career when, in a situation like that, I’d have thrown a hissy fit and taken my ball and gone home. But I’ve mellowed and have learned to keep my ego in check. For me, it’s never fun having work killed. But it’s always fun, no matter the assignment, creating the work.
Got a graveyard yourself? I'd love to hear about it.