Posts Tagged ‘Unspeakably Chic Creative Director’

Tuesday, 28th August 2007

Oh, the meeting that never ends!

My GOD, but today managed the double whammy of being both unspeakably tedious and unspeakably infuriating. I was with So Gallic It’s Laughable Account Guy and Unspeakably Chic Creative Guy, and twelve or so people from around the world. And two people from Another Agency. Now: I have thought for a long time that this other Agency was doing shit work – and today was further evidence of that. So bad was their work, both strategically and creatively that I was reminded of a true story (that I hope I haven’t already committed to these pages), but which remains my professional Shibboleth and fear…

In a previous Agency,  a Very Important Planner was asked to define the “essence” of Nescafe: the one, instantly understandable and exciting definition of what that famous international coffee brand stood for and defined. After a couple of months, and a LOT of money spent, he came back with his answer: with due process, ceremony and drama he unveiled what the great coffee brand stood for. “Coffee-ness”. No word of a lie, this is what that great, lauded man came up with. And even worse, no-one stood up and shouted “Coffee-ness? Get FUCKED!” Nor did they do that when (and I swear I’m not joking), at the same agency, when asked to define the essence of the Bacardi Rum brand (maybe now you’re beginning to get a picture of what my job is like…) he presented, with solemn sagacity the answer “Bacardi-ness”.

I almost admired his chutzpah – but then I realised that it was purely and simply shit, and it made me really embarrassed to work in the same business. 

And that is (more or less) how felt about the two jokers I watched today: ashamed to be working in the same industry as them (albeit at an agency that has beaten theirs on every measure since I’ve joined it). But – as with the story above – no-one called them on it. No-one said: your strategy is a litany of obviousness and your creative work feels like it was created by children with a couple of hours off from doing hand-painting. When I think of how hard I (and the people I work with) work on making things watertight and interesting and exciting, I feel both baffled and angry that the same Client who accepts and praises our work, admits Another Agency’s work with a similar level of approval and appetite. 

So: the disillusionment with half the job grows…

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Thursday, 18th October 2007

Oh, the volcanic, vituperative rage I was in at the beginning of the week! I think it is because I have now spent a year at my current agency, and in that time I have done some of my best work – but NOW it is at the stage where I just want to see the back of it and get onto something new.

While my clients are (in the main) extremely smart, they are also prone to WAY too much titting around with the minutiae, rather than working in broad, bold strokes.

I appreciate that when you’re investing at the level that they are, everything needs to be right, but that’s why we do so much with the people who actually BUY the stuff, rather than the marketers who spend (literally) thousands times as much time thinking about those brands as consumers do.

I am spending so much of my time saying “It doesn’t MATTER. That DOESN’T mater!” that they must think that I don’t care about the brands. In fact, I care about them deeper, but I have seen so much Analysis Paralysis that I KNOW the most important thing is just to get on and take a risk. 

Ludicrously Suave Creative Director gave a presentation at Cannes that was sensational (the organisers had, apparently, more requests for copies of that speech than anything else) – and he makes a lengthy analogy, at one point, between the creative process and Golf. His point? “Just hit the ball. Hit it somewhere. Anywhere. But hit it – and then go from there.”


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Saturday, 29th March 2008

Well, obviously I have changed my mind entirely about the whole pitch thing: it is now the air that I breath, the wine that I drink, the sun that warms me. It’s The National Gallery, it’s Garbo’s salary, it’s Cellophane.

As ever with me, this startling volte-face is due entirely to the fact that I’ve just had a very good experience: Impossibly Chic Creative Director, Not Gay Gay Lucifer Creative Director, Sofa Gonk and I did the final stage (Creative, PR, Events) of The Big Pitch yesterday – and knocked it out of the park..

I knew it was going to go well. because when I reviewed the work, I got tears in my eyes: I was so relieved and so impressed that they had done brilliant work that NAILED the strategy. And the Client had the same reaction. They had seen the incumbent (established but floundering agency) that morning, and the other contender (good pitch performance with very poor creative agency) and it was apparent that what we had done was the answer to their prayers: because they said as much.

We now have to prepare the stimulus for research in Russia, France and Mexico (in which Wife and Daughter are going to appear!) and we should know within two weeks if we have, in fact, won it. I am not a natural optimist (though I am a natural enthusiast) but I would be staggered if we don’t win this, and thereby transform the fortunes of the agency. Again.

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