Things change. And there’s usually very little that you can do to stop it.

Often, change is good. Sometimes change is only possible when together we collectively respond to a problem or challenge.

And with charities, change is possible because of a collective response: one donation is never enough, but a lot of donations collected together can make a really big difference. Sometimes to one person, most often to more.

But it’s hard to effect change. And with charities, it’s that much harder. We, collectively as recipients of direct mail and requests for donations, tend to ignore them. It’s easy to do. Actually, it’s extremely easy.

And for those who spend time doing ‘advertising’ for charities, having an effect on change can be one of the hardest challenges there is. Because any number of things can cause a donation drive to fall short: clients not wanting to upset the status quo; brief asking the wrong questions; creatives with tight deadlines. It can also be a combination.

But when it’s the client that’s derailing a good idea, it takes a brave agency to say, ‘NO!’. To be firm with their standpoint. Because if the agency believes in the idea, that generally means it’s a good one.

This is actually a scenario at the agency I work at. I wasn’t directly involved, but I did hear about the issue before the work was complete. And I had an opportunity to chat about how to overcome curve balls from clients. This one was about a font. You’d think that was unimportant. But to this project, the choice of typeface was paramount to its success.

Because a piece of powerful work like this, the details deserve to be right.

If the type on the cover had been produced with the corporate font, I don’t think it would have had the effect it does. It was meant to look homemade. That’s what gave it impact.

So, congrats to the agency that fought for that. And congrats to the client for accepting the agency’s argument. Because I think it’s produced something that is quite beyond what I would expect from a piece of direct mail.

And the change didn’t stop there. The two creatives who conceived this work have since moved on. Moved on to bigger and (some would say) better things. And I think they will continue to change the outcomes of clients. Because they believe in change.

Best of luck to Carl and Becky.

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