Opinions are like…well, you know

Everybody’s got one.

And when it comes to the College of Western Idaho these days, there’s certainly no shortage.

The Idaho Business Review, and their 60+ comments, leave very little to wonder about where they stand.

TechBoise has an opinion, with more insight and intelligent conversation than what I saw happening on the Idaho Business Review’s site.

Even The Idaho Statesman has an opinion.

So let’s take a look at how this all got started. Much of what has been written centers around the television spots created for the College. For those who may not have seen them, here are the three spots, courtesy of CWI’s YouTube Channel:

So, now that you’ve seen them, we can begin.

Whether you think the ads are good or bad is almost beside the point. Advertising, and particularly the creative that comes out as a result, is subjective. What one person calls “good” the next calls “bad.”

The real question is, have these spots, and other portions of the enrollment campaign, been effective in generating adequate awareness of, interest in, and ultimately enrollment at the College of Western Idaho? Time will tell.

A couple of thoughts to leave with, however:

It escapes me who said it, but in any client/agency relationship, the agency deserves no more than 50% of the praise for the success, or 50% of the blame for the failure. That concept is true in this case as well. CWI is as responsible for these spots as those on the agency side who produced them.

As agencies, and agency folks, it is our responsibility to advise, guide, and direct clients on the best course of action as much as possible. That means proper planning, research and insight into the client’s business or industry. Without that, we become nothing more than order takers, reacting at the client’s whim.

Success takes time, and will certainly be the case here.

For those who were involved, I’d encourage you to take this opportunity to learn from what went right, and wrong, and come back with something even better next time. For those who are watching from the sidelines, this is another case where there’s a lesson to be learned here.

Are you willing to learn it?

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16 Replies to “Opinions are like…well, you know”

  1. Copycat wannabe ads for a copycat wannabe college. If I want an average education that’s slightly behind the rest of the world, I know where to go.

  2. I have to respectfully disagree with the comment regarding IBR. In the interest of disclosure, I’m a paid blogger for the pub, although I didn’t write the particular blog you reference.

    I thought Tomlin’s blog raised some thought provoking issues, and while you state that IBR left no room for doubt on where it stood, what I read in the more than 30 comments was a variety of opinions, pro and con, regarding not just the advertising of the school but larger (and more important) issues related to how we consumers and taxpayers should judge its success.

    And while I feel slightly tacky bringing this up, does Idaho Ad Agencies have a vested interested in this discussion? If so, some disclosure on your part may also be appropriate, in the interest of a balanced discussion.

    Otherwise, great observations. As part of the new team at TechBoise, I also have to thank you for the kudos in your post. Keep up the good work!

    Michael Boss

  3. Sometimes one person’s “bad” really is bad. The whole campaign, from logo to tv spots, looks like a high school project. One that got a C- for a grade. Aping a popular Apple ad is a foolish concept that should have been shot down immediately. 50/50 blame (or credit) between agency and client – where did that figure come from? Could be that the client demanded what we now see, and the agency really tried to fight it. Or could be the other way around. I think enrollment will happen in spite of this campaign, certainly not because of it.

  4. Good job welcoming Kevin Richert to the party, Brian, and also for actually reviewing the evidence at hand.

  5. Don’t taxpayers have a right to know who produced this work? I don’t see anyone knocking themselves out to take credit for it. They must be hiding under their desks.

  6. I think it’s really funny that an anonymous commenter is calling for people to come out from under their desks and take credit for the work. There’s some irony there I think.

  7. I think we should start using this blog site to bash ads and call out all of the agencies in town if in one’s subjective opinion we don’t like an ad campaign. I personally could list off about 10 (locally produced) ads that are out there right now in one form or another that I think totally stink way, way more than the CWI ads. Is that constructive no? And, according to the paper today (which appartenly ad/pr people who use this site don’t read) the CWI campaign ended last week. That’s what made Kevin R’s column earlier in the week so stupid. The campaign is apparently over and he didn’t have a clue. Nice reporting, Kevin. A woman from Red Sky (who had to be on top of her desk not under it) was quoted. I also don’t think any agency has 100% success, but apparently the agency people on this site do. What a bunch of jerks. I’m embarrassed to be among the ad professionals in this market. Apparently we like to chow down on our own. And, who really has the numbers to prove whether the CWI campaign is successful or not? Again, according to the news they are making their numbers and have had great response. Maybe Mr. “Anoymous” has all the answers? Most likely he won’t be able to provide any facts because he is busy eating off the leg of his competitor next door.

  8. We should always tell everyone their work is good. There are no wrong answers. Never hurt anyone’s feelings. No one should ever be held accountable for anything whatsoever. I didn’t say I have all the answers, just my own big fat opinion. If I produce high-profile bad work, I will expect to be lambasted over it, and deservedly so. I’m sure no one else agrees with me and everyone thinks this campaign is the cat’s meow.

    BTW, I prefer “Captain Anonymous,” but I will accept “Mr.”

  9. Captian, could you list out all of your major campaigns for the last year? Let’s put it out there. Then we can all give you our opinion. Sounds fair to me.

  10. Well, that pops my bubble of superiority. Listing my work would indeed blow my cover of anonymity. I give in. I love the CWI logo and ads now. You win!

  11. Oh, Lordy Captain. You missed the whole point. It’s not about the CWI ads. It’s about being constructive, collegial and civil. Being nasty lessons the credibility of this blog site. Let’s call it even and try to have a nice weekend.

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