Know Your Ray

Peter Jackson’s mesmeric Beatles documentary ‘Get Back’ gave fans for the first time a ringside seat into the creative process of The Fab Four. But it was a fifth gentleman who played a pivotal role in The Beatles’ musical finale who also caught my eye. A twenty-five-year-old policeman by the name of Ray Dagg. For it was his knuckles that wrapped firmly on the door of Apple HQ on the afternoon of January 30th, 1969 to investigate the noise (a whopping 22 complaints he mutters). His actions inevitably stopped the roof-top concert, putting a premature end to The Beatles’ last ever public performance. Way to go Ray.

At some point in the journey, every brave act of creativity will be met by opposition. And in advertising, the problems can spring up anywhere – client meetings, research groups, creative reviews, corridors, you name it. That’s why at any moment throughout the process, you need to be primed and ready to protect the work.

When The Beatles’ crew were preparing for the one-off concert, all their efforts were pointed towards the roof, not the front door. So when the fun-police came knocking, all they could really do was stall them for a short time. But if they’d thought about everything that could possibly go wrong, perhaps they would have had a smarter answer for PC Dagg.

That’s why, whenever you go into a meeting with your work, from pitch to playout, it’s essential you’re prepared for every question, problem and curveball that could be thrown your way.

In The Beatles’ case, the problem was noise, but for your idea, it could be a thousand things. By pre-empting problems with solutions your work has a much greater chance of getting away unscathed. So when you’ve got something worth protecting, think of all the Rays you will meet along the way. And make sure you have an answer that will keep them happy and your idea intact.

Don’t Let Me Down, The Beatles, Apple HQ ’69.

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