Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

I am spending roughly fifty percent of my time interviewing people at the moment – and not just Planners (though God knows, most of the ones that I have seen are stupefyingly bad), but Account Directors too – and I absolutely detest it.

I’m a terrible interviewee myself. Veering wildly between unwelcome familiarity and the sort of icy, withdrawn demeanour that is such a striking element of portraits of Dante, I have attracted, over the years, such an exciting variety of feedback that it remains something of a shock that I have managed to remain profitably employed over the last fifteen years. With that in mind, perhaps I should have been a little bit more forgiving of the last candidate that I saw.

She was from a big, famous agency (not creatively scintillating, perhaps – but everyone has to pay the mortgage) and had been in advertising for twelve years or so. And yet…

And yet, she managed to talk about advertising without once referring to ideas or creativity. I asked her (a self-described “Strategic Suit”) what the difference was between what she did strategically, and what I (as a Strategic Strategist) did – her answer was that I had more time on my hands to do strategy, as I didn’t have to engage in the business of writing timing plans. That was it for me: the idea that one “does” strategy is all I needed to hear to convince me that she thought that what I had time for was to “do” charts – and my thoughts on that are documented elsewhere.

So, I have just given my judgement (“I couldn’t see what aspect of the job she might be any good at”, if you’re interested) to 80s Throwback Account Guy who seems to be handling the Headhunters, and I look forward to meeting someone who interviews better than I do in the very near future.

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Oh I am having a lovely Planner-y time at the moment! I am having to ensure that I don’t usher Dame Pretention into the parlour and settle her down with a piping hot cup of ludicrousness, but I think (at the moment) that I am managing to steer the course right between “My word, that’s so TRUE!” and “Oh fuck off back to University, you pretentious twat!” – but time (24 hours, in fact) will tell…

I’m thinking about the concept of “Beauty” – its archetypes, its myths, its stories and its rules and I am as happy as a Planning Pig in Planning Shit. Of course this has involved a trawl through the annals of film (with a particularly happy two hours spent with Cocteau’s “La Belle et La Bete”, and a particularly sickening four hundred seeming hours spent with that insult to humanity that is “Pretty Woman”) as well as a re-read of the magnificent “The Uses of Enchantment”…

The presentation is tomorrow, and I think that it is what might be called a cerebral trouser arouser. Whatever happens, it is clearly more rewarding than the meeting that Sofa Gonk has had in Istanbul, that I was originally “slated” for, which sounds like the sort of “Is it crunchy crispy, or is it crispy crunchy” sort of thing that makes me want to self-harm.

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Sunday, 16th March 2008

The week ahead fills me with a sort of dread, almost entirely down to the fact that Very Big Pitch is on Thursday – or at least the strategic component (i.e.: the bit that I am I alone can either fuck up or triumph on) is.

On the plus side, I am seeing Best Friend on Thursday evening – so even if the day hasn’t gone well, the evening is going to be one of unalloyed brilliance. I haven’t seen her in ages (but then again, neither has Award-Winning Creative Director, her husband) because she has been working on a new campaign that has (at last) been bought – so she has suggested a night out that will “make Amy Winehouse look like a Mormon” to quote her (and the sort of phrase that makes me love her).

So: ups and downs, heighs and hos – at least Easter and the holiday is looming large.

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