My original "Fa La La La Lifetime" Seasonal Branding.
For the past two holiday seasons Lifetime Television has used the Christmas Seasonal Branding I created to promote with. They keep using my art to promote because it's proven to be marketing gold and a ratings winner each year. Awesome!
Lifetime Lovers' Lame.
In our industry a marketing person falls into one of two categories IMO:
A Good Marketing Person: They understand and appreciate the role a designer plays in a project. They communicate well with creatives and equip them to produce appropriate solutions by providing a coherent marketing strategy. They avoid playing art director, and let the designer steer the design. They desire well conceived and executed design and artwork just as much as the designer does. And they know that when combined with common sense marketing the end result will be far more effective and compelling in the end. In other words the recipe for success is founded upon a solid creative process and a mutual respect relationship between creative and marketing.
A Bad Marketing Person: They don't care to understand nor appreciate the role a designer plays in a project. Their opinion is paramount. They think they communicate well with everyone, until someone questions their opinion. Their idea of an appropriate solution doesn't come about from a coherent marketing strategy, but rather based off of what they see someone else doing. Cloaking it in their own psycho-babble, they sell it as an original idea they came up with. They love to play art director, and can often be heard saying "I took art class in college." or "Can you make the logo bigger?" They desire to just get the job done, because designers are too picky and no one will notice or care about that anyway. They think the creative process is a derived formula, so re-heating borrowed ideas is their recipe for success. If it fails they blame the designer, if it succeeds they take all the credit and further feed their self-deception.
When I first worked on the Christmas Seasonal Branding for Lifetime I worked with a good marketing person. The end result was a very successful campaign using nice artwork.
Back in February a designer friend emailed me and asked if I'd done a "Valentines" project for Lifetime because she saw something on the channel that looked like my work but wasn't sure. I dialed in and discovered the above "Lifetime Lovers' Lane" being used to promote another seasonal campaign that was clearly derived from my original artwork. Someone at Lifetime had hacked together the words they needed and crudely Frankensteined a design worthy of flaming torches and pitch forks.
My first thought was "That looks like complete crap!" followed by "Why didn't they hire me to do something fresh?" It didn't make sense, this marketing person (Good) knew better than to do this so I contacted him and he was as surprised as I was. He had moved on to another division and a new marketing person (Bad) was running the show now. He agreed they should have hired me to do it and apologized. He passed my name on to the new marketing weasel...uh...person and that was the end of that.
Mother #$@! Lifetime.
It's now May and one thing is for sure, Lifetime wouldn't know good design if it sat in their lap and called them Mama.
The bad marketing person is playing art director again. A new type of Frankensteined design has been birthed to promote "Mothers Day." I wonder what the next bastardized incarnation will be?
Years ago me and former co-worker coined a phrase to define this type of marketing genius. We referred to them as "Serial Design Killers." This bad marketing person is headed for a Lifetime of design crime and the body count now stands at two.