When Jim Lea’s mother-in-law advised him to write a Xmas song, the bass player from Slade politely informed her that it was a terrible idea. But then she said something that changed his mind – Christmas doesn’t happen once, it happens every single year.
Seeing the financial potential, he started thinking, and a few days later came up with the riff while taking a shower. Lea shared the melody with the rest of the band and so began the start to one of the most successful Christmas songs in all of Christendom. So successful in fact, it purportedly brings in over £500, 000 a year in royalties – 45 years after its release.
As we all strive to do the very best work imaginable, it’s natural to only want to work on the very best briefs. But sometimes it’s the less glamorous opportunities that can lead to the gold. For a start, the competition should be pretty low because no one else will want to touch it.
Another reason certain briefs have no takers is due to the media not being deemed interesting enough. But that’s another reason to grab it with both hands. If the quality of the work in that particular media category is consistently lousy, then come awards night, your work should stand a better chance of picking up.
It’s in our nature to be a quick judge, but sometimes it’s worth pondering a little on the potential of every brief – there may be an angle that could make the brand and yourself get noticed.
Everyone’s career, advertising or otherwise, is just a series of opportunities. The really smart ones just have a knack of seeing possibilities where others just see problems. Merry Xmas everybody.