Not every idea is a good idea

Client: The Effie Awards

Agency: The VIA Agency, Portland, Maine

One frustrating thing about being in the ad business is that every other living soul on earth thinks they can do your job—and probably do it better than you. This is typically made clear by friends and family telling you their ideas for ads—ideas of such clear and utter brilliance that clearly they’re doing you a huge favor just by mentioning them. The subtext—that you obviously haven’t come up with anything this great, or they’d have heard about it—is unspoken but implied.

Of course, without fail, their ideas are idiotic, impractical or both. But this is little solace. All that says is they wouldn’t know a good idea if it ran them over—making your chances of doing something that actually impresses them, for the right reasons, basically nil.

The moments are cringeworthy indeed, but at least someone feels your pain.

The Effie Awards just released their 2016 call for entries—seven videos from The VIA Agency that will be painfully, comically familiar to any creative who’s had to field a pitch from a loved one who’s dreaming of Cannes.

The theme is, “Not every idea is a good idea.” Check out the spots here:

The spots will run on YouTube and Facebook, on the Effies site and in email blasts.

“With director Chris Bean leading the charge, we were able to find the right balance of performance and reality for our cast,” says Mary Hanifin, VIA’s executive director of production. “We worked with many of the talented folks at UCB [Upright Citizens Brigade] as well as equally talented non-actors in and around our business. Most notably, one of our favorite real pitchmen—Vinny, the superintendent at 411 Lafayette in the elevator scene.”

“One of the few perks of working in the ad business are the unsolicited ideas we get from people,” adds executive creative director Amos Goss. “For me, it’s my accountant and father-in-law. Their ideas are sometimes funny, sometimes insane, usually completely oblivious of all logistics … but they’re always entertaining as hell.”

“Everyone who works in this business has been ‘pitched’ ideas by friends and family,” says senior copywriter Kristen Kriisa. “It’s not that they’re bad ideas necessarily. They just wouldn’t stand up to the realities we deal with on a day to day basis.”

“Coming up with an idea is easy. But,crafting that idea into something powerful, impactful and effective is a different challenge altogether,” says group creative director Jake Benjamin. “That’s why the Effies is such an important show. It celebrates work that actually achieves what it set out to do.”