EVERYBODY LIKES A YES MAN
Innovative, groundbreaking, forward-thinking, ahead of the curve are all buzzwords we hear all the time on any given industry but it's specially true for the marketing/creative ones. From job listings to meeting rooms, those words are thrown here and there to describe all sorts of products and efforts; everyday. But truth is, no one actually want to have a truly innovative result. People have are afraid of the new. People hate change.
When it comes to advertising, for example, decision makers want some kind of certainty that there will be a ROI at the end of their marketing budgets and that certainty can be based only on the measurable performance of the tried and true. Trying something new means you're taking the risk of an unexpected outcome, so one as a creative has always a terrible hard time trying to convince a client to accept ideas that are what they said they wanted on the first place: forward-thinking, innovative solves to their problems. Their response to your truly creative thinking is always resistance. At that point, they will make reference to another brands and products out there whom they want you to emulate on your clients behalf. This is the differentiating moment between true innovators and the rest of us. The moment where you stand the ground of your innovative idea and keep pushing against the resistance, or you too fall back to the certainty of the know and become a bobble-headed Yes man, in order to keep your client happy and the revenue coming. Most of us have to do the later.
But every now and then there's a rebel who decides he had enough and goes out there to create something truly innovative. Only so the rest of us, the yes-men, can emulate them on our clients behalf. Because clients (and we're all the client at some point) love a yes-man.