Our motto at Johnny Lightning Strikes Again is “do right,” and it is founded on three things that we believe to be true:
1) The purpose of creative has to be to help a business achieve their ultimate goal.
2) To do this, the work can’t just be good — it has to be right (and there is a huge difference).
3) The biggest enemy of doing the right work is making strategic decisions prematurely.
This is the foundation of our philosophy and it affects almost everything we do. The most noticeable impact, however, is found in the process we go through from the moment a project with a new or existing client is being considered to its completion. It works in three steps.
Our only qualifier for accepting a project is knowing that if done right, we can help that business take a step toward their ultimate goal. We know this once we’ve confirmed that there is a problem that needs to be solved, there are achievable results that make the problem worth solving, and there is an appropriate budget. What is an appropriate budget? One that is sensible for the client, provides us with adequate options for addressing the problem, and is low enough for there to be a meaningful return on investment if the results are achieved. Our project evaluation is designed to determine if we can help by working through these criteria.
Now that we know we can help, it’s time to figure out how. This is when the project begins, which is different from the many agencies that begin with a list of requirements and a quote — strategic decisions that have been made before being properly considered (which, as we said, is the biggest enemy of doing the right work). For us, the project begins with a problem to solve and a budget for solving it. During the strategy step, we explore every question whose answer is going to impact the effectiveness of the solution — the scope of work, the art direction, the key marketing message, and more. In the same way that you don’t start building a house until there is a blueprint, we don’t start executing on a project until there is a plan that details how that work can address the problem we’re solving.
The most creative ideas and the most brilliant strategies are worth very little if they are not executed properly. Execution is when we take the blueprint and we build the house. If the strategy calls for a website that features videos, we develop the site and produce the videos. If it calls for a humorous radio campaign, we write the script and record the spot — as a full-service creative agency, our options are unlimited. Since we’ve made all the high-level decisions during strategy, we are able to execute the work as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
The process repeats
This process is a cycle. Once each project is finished we monitor the results and then repeat the steps — each cycle representing another step forward in helping our clients achieve their ultimate goal as a business.