I was delighted to see in a recent presentation from Valeria Maltoni a slide stating that to be a successful advertising agency, you had to be able to handle the truth.
I’m not sure if Valeria meant ‘handle the criticism’, but I took my own meaning from her suggestion – that the truth is the only solid ground we can ever walk on as we develop strategies and ideas for our clients.
When we named our company Persuasion Arts & Sciences, it was done with this point front and center.
Too often, we confine our search for the truth to our own narrow areas of concern. In the creative department, that often means looking only at the challenges within communications – how to create and sell the edgiest, funniest, newest idea possible.
Our dream at Persuasion is to bring creativity much closer to the ultimate truths of a business - how that business makes money, how the individuals running the business reach consensus and move forward, how customers and customers-to-be truly navigate their way through the world.
In practice, this means our creative people spend a lot of time pouring over raw data, research, financials etc – the sort of stuff one would think would bring out hives in the average writer or art director.
To us, the truth is most plainly represented by facts. And creativity is well suited to uncovering the surprising truths within those facts. Truth is not just something well worth handling, it is something that must be pursued, embraced and championed.