The teacher put him in a corner
She said.. It’s for your own good..
And you won’t come out ’til you get it right
And are responding like you should
Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said.. and he said
Flowers are red, green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen
–From Harry Chapin’s "Flowers Are Red"
We had to kill all the really good ideas before clients even got to see them. It always happened that way in advertising, no matter how solid our defense of our ideas, because at the end of the day, people just wanted to keep their jobs. They wanted to present ideas that pushed ever so slightly but still fell within a safety zone. And I’m sure that clients everywhere feel bored instead of dazzled, they want you to push it, they say things like "out of the box," but I wonder, what if you give them a few steps beyond their safety zone? Do they really want what they say they want, or do they deep down just want what’s safe and easy. Clearly, I’m not just talking advertising anymore. When should you fight, and when should you just shrug and give ’em what they want?