Where were the paid pessimists?

About a decade ago, I stopped getting invites to brand marketing and promotions brainstorms.  I suppose there’s concern that I’ll dump a bucket of cold water over any creative idea before it’s fully blossomed when that germ of an idea could lead to reputation damage for a client.  

“There’s no such thing as a bad idea in a branstorm,” the old saw goes.  Okay.  But what of the bad ideas that come out of a brainstorm?  A recent example:  

Source: AFP

Parachuting donkey advertisers face jail 


Then there was this attention-grabbing idea from 2007: 

Two held after ad campaign triggers Boston bomb scare 


Or this record-breaking attempt from 2005: 

Bryan Smith / Zuma Press

Disaster on a stick:  Snapple’s attempt at popsicle world record turns into gooey fiasco   


Or this timeless video from a well-known radio station in Cincinnati:    



The point is:  some well-applied, imaginative pessimism could have prevented these situations.  If marketing and promotions teams aren’t going to see the world through crisis-management glasses, then they need to invite the “paid pessimists” to the process to avoid such calamities.  

For the record, I’ve learned to reserve my wet blanket for the conclusion of the brainstorm, so I don’t interrupt the creative process.  To paraphrase Les Nessman – for the sake of humanity, please invite me back!

One thought on “Where were the paid pessimists?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *