You know when you’ve got something really big to do?
And you don’t know how you’re going to do it?
Maybe it’s a repitch on a big account.
Maybe you’ve got until the end of the week to come up with a new strategy, a new positioning, and new campaign that runs across all media.
And it’s an account that you’ve already done about 5 different campaigns on.
And none of them have been right.
So there’s all this great work, all these terrific routes, that the client’s seen already so you can’t re-present them.
And now they want something new.
All the great work’s been done, and you haven’t got anymore left.
And they want something new. By Monday.
I think the best advice I ever heard was from Rafa Bentitez, manager of Liverpool.
It was the European Cup final.
That’s the two best teams in all of Europe.
Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, France, all the great footballing nations.
And the very best of all the teams in Europe was AC Milan.
And had the most expensive player in the world on their team: Andre Shevchenko.
That’s who Liverpool were playing in the European Cup final.
And at the end of the first half Liverpool were 3-0 down.
3-0 down to the best team in Europe.
Michel Platini, the ex-captain of the French national team, left his seat at half time.
He laughed and said to the Liverpool chairman, “Looks like you will be lucky to keep the final score below 6-0.”
Of course, all the players in the Liverpool changing room were massively depressed.
Next door they could hear the AC Milan team celebrating already.
3-0 down to the best team in Europe?
There’s no way back from that.
Then Benitez said, “Don’t think about the final result.
Just score one goal, and see how the game can change.
Just score one goal. That’s all.”
Well, the team thought, maybe they couldn’t beat AC Milan, but they could probably score one goal.
So they went out for the second half.
And AC Milan were relaxed and over-confident.
And Liverpool scored one goal.
AC Milan began to wobble, this shouldn’t be happening.
Liverpool’s confidence began to grow.
AC Milan began to panic, they made mistakes.
Liverpool scored another goal.
AC Milan were on the ropes, what was happening?
Liverpool threw everything at them.
They scored again.
At full time the score was AC Milan 3, Liverpool 3.
It had to be decided on penalties.
But AC Milan were finished now, they couldn’t believe they’d thrown it away.
While Liverpool were buzzing, it was their night.
Liverpool won the European Cup on penalties.
And Michel Platini had to apologise to the Liverpool chairman.
So whenever you’ve got a really big problem, and there’s no way you’re going to be able to get it all done.
Don’t concentrate on thinking about the end result.
Just get one idea.
See how that changes things.
Maybe that one idea that could become 2 or 3 or 4 ads.
Maybe it could work at point of sale.
Even as ambient.
Suddenly you can see it working online.
You’ve got the beginnings of a campaign and everything doesn’t look so black.
Now you’ve got more energy and you’re having fun.
Suddenly it all looks do-able.
Just score one goal.