A few days ago, my company met with a business-to-business client that had hired us to help position its firm as a leader in a category it had recently entered. We presented a handful of concepts that were different, compelling, and that would stand out among all the bland ads in their targeted trade publications. Usually, when an ad agency is presenting new ideas, you can pretty much tell how the meeting is going by the looks on the clients' faces. This one wasn't going so well.
When we finished our presentation, the room was uncomfortably silent until one of the representatives of the client team spoke up. He was the one who gave us the assignment, and he could see how the campaign would accomplish the objectives set out for us. He thought it was different. He thought it was breakthrough. He thought it was smart.