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Swing for the middle outfield

1 September 2010 No Comment

Everyone dreams of hitting the big game-winning home run. You picture it: Cameras are flashing all throughout the stadium. The crowd is ready to burst with excitement. Every player on both teams is fighting to conceal the mounting pressure they are feeling.

You swing, and send the ball deep, deep, deep over the second basemen’s head. You arrive comfortably at first base with a single. The air goes out of the stadium for a second, but then it builds again as the next player comes up to bat.

This isn’t how the dream is supposed to go. But is it a nightmare? Hardly.

The same is true for advertising. Everyone wants the Grand Lions winning campaign that blows the competition out of the water and propels the client into the next stratosphere.

But 99.99999999999999% of the work we produce fails to reach this goal. So should we deem it a failure? Judging by the healthy egos I encounter on a daily basis, I don’t think we do.

And that’s good news. Yes, we are all striving to do great work. But a bloop single can be as magical as a 450-foot home run. It can be the beginning of a 5-run inning. Or it can keep a late-game rally going.

So, perhaps that ad you created that didn’t even get a sniff from the award shows was like a bloop single. It started the client on the path to even better work. Or it helped them keep pace with a stronger competitor during a tough economic period.

You kept the rally alive.

The lesson here? Not everyone can be a ball-crushing stud like Albert Pujols.

Some of us have to settle for being Derek Jeter.

- TJ Bennett

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