An example I often use in my teaching and consulting
practice is the experience I had as Print Production Manager for
Quaker Oats in-house ad agency, Adcom in the early 1970's.
The agency no longer exists but I believe that the case problem I cite is
Quaker Oats had a practice of hiring its new Brand Managers
directly out of graduate school. These
newly minted MBA’s were well versed in standard business practices and held
overseeing the expenditure of significant sums of money used to support brand advertising. My job was to
produce the “separation materials” printers used to publish that message.
The process of print production to this day remains
complex. It involves the creative
talents of professional writers, artists, photographers, and vendor
graphic art specialists. Implicit
is the need f
New brand managers typically had insignificant educational
exposure to the complexity of print production.
They periodically requested changes in layout and design late in the
production process. The basis f
I concluded that a rational approach to solving this
on-going problem was to educate brand managers about the print production
process. I was given permission by
the agency to document all stages of advertising production (from the initial
inception of an ad by a writer/artist team to the final printing of a magazine
at the printing plant). This project
involved gaining the cooperation of a number of businesses and photographing
each stage of the production process in their respective plants.
I then converted the material into a comprehensive presentation.
Over three years I periodically presented my “Print Production Seminar” to new Quaker Oats brand managers and we worked together to decrease needless conflict over changed advertising art. I was also invited to present this same seminar to fine art students at the Art Institute of Chicago. This experience has led to a recurring practice in my consulting business to provide answers to client problems with customized presentations delineating complex processes.