The follow-up is hard. Ask The Stone Roses. Their eponymous first lp released in 1989 was hailed by critics as an instant classic. It was a major force in the Madchester music scene that engulfed the U.K. and even made a splash in the U.S. in the early 90’s. So when they got ready to release their second record nearly five years later, anticipation was high. And the pressure was on. When it finally came out, it was almost universally panned by critics and ignored by the public. You could say they were asking for it by calling the record Second Coming. The band broke up two years later and all the promise was gone.
Following up great creative execution is hard, too. In a world where you’re only as good as your last whatever (TV spot, blog post, SXSW panel discussion), there is immense pressure to replicate the success of the last effort. And how do you do that? Change as little as possible and hope there’s still interest? Go in a completely different direction and risk alienation? Or the dreaded “c” word – compromise. What’s a top creative agency to do? Continue reading