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Playing it safe is a risky business


I  recently decided to buy some new office necessities. And by necessities, I mean silly stuff that serve absolutely no purpose. I bought some vintage boxing gloves to hang on the wall, some more Funko Pop!s to add to my ridiculous collection, a Kramer vinyl figure and, well, other nerdy stuff. To make room for it, I sold older Funko Pop!s and some Lucha Libre masks. I had no idea but some of the Funkos were worth a little bit of money. I paid around £8 each for them and ended up profiting by a decent amount (enough to replace all I sold and to buy a bean-to-cup coffee machine, a sound system and still have some change left over).

So, why did I bother telling you that? Because it made me think of one of the choices that our clients often make:

“Let’s play it safe and not venture too far from the beaten path” 

The Funko Pop!s I sold were worth more than I thought because it turned out that they were rare. The less there is of something, the more it’s worth (especially if you’re selling to the right people). I often pitch an experimental or less common style to a client for a new project. Almost every time, the client will either dial it back to ‘safe’ or else shoot it down and go with what they or their competitors have already done. If you want to increase the value of the video we create for you, it’s probably better to be rare (or unique) than to blend in.

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.

Cecil Beaton

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