Thursday, 25 April 2013

Laugh your way to the top

Friends and fellow marketing professionals. I want to tell you a joke.

There are two nuns in a bath. One says, 'Where's the soap?'

The other says, 'Yes, it does, doesn't it?'

Once someone had explained this joke to me, I realised it was the funniest joke I'd heard since the one about George Michael, the pot of yoghurt, the door-to-door salesman, the blindfold, the horrified cat and the 30-man team of contract cleaners.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is this: jokes make you laugh.

And laughing, my friends, can be Exocet Numero Uno in your Ground-To-Air Arsenal of Career Advancement Weaponry.

'Laughing, Dave?' you say, eyes quizzical and vulnerable, like a young boy who's just realised that his father isn't coming back - a boy who isn't called Dave, okay, and wasn't wearing a t-shirt with 'My Dad Rules OK!' on it, just in case you were fucking wondering.

Yes. Laughing. Laughing can be the mortar that bonds you to the other bricks in the Management Wall - the egg, if you will, in The Board Level Success & Bacon Quiche.  

Of course, it's not just as simple as laughing. You can't just spend your day laughing like a drain at everything. People will think you're fucking bipolar, or on a hen night.

There are different kinds of laugh you need to master as you progress through your career. So don't be a massive cunt like usual - read and learn.

The Executive Laugh

It's your first job, you're an exec - possibly junior - and you're surrounded by senior people who appear to think that they're funny. I know, I know - they're not funny. They're as funny as smears of effluent left on the crusted slacks of a particularly lazy colostomy patient. I agree.

(Incidentally, you wouldn't think that if you worked for me. I really am funny. Last week, I told one of my team she could lose weight by sucking my wanger because it's got zero calories. I mean, that is funny shit.)

To advance along your professional goal-path, you need to give these unfunny senior people the impression that they are funny senior people.

That's where the Executive Laugh comes in. It's simple. When they say something you think is meant to be funny, simply laugh as naturally as possible and end with the phrase, '...oooh, you are so funny!' 

I guarantee it will work, especially if you're a woman.

The Manager Laugh

Now you're a manager, you've got a team, you've got senior people above you - you're in the middle. That's why you need two laughs.

Manager Laugh One is for your minions...I mean, valued team members. One of them has made a joke, but you can't give them the impression it's funnier than your jokes, so you need a laugh that acknowledges without praising. Just let out two polite aha ha's, then say '...aaanywaaaay' and move on. Job done. They've been noticed and belittled at the same time.

Manager Laugh Two is for your seniors. Obviously, they need to think they're seriously fucking funny even though it's a proven fact that the more senior the person, the worse their sense of humour. This is a Knockles Fact (though it doesn't apply to me, obvs). So, when one of them makes a joke that's as funny as a penile tumour, just laugh nice and long and loud - but throw your head right back as you do it. Laugh at the ceiling, thus drawing attention to the laugh and the fact that you're laughing it. If other people try the same move, throw your head further back. Even if you end up laughing up your own shit-chute, DO IT.

The Board Level Laugh

You've made it. You're on the board. Like I am. Yes, me. I'm on the board. Sorry, the Board. Anyway, this is where shit gets real. And laughing shit gets seriously real. What you need here is a fucking BIG laugh. You need a laugh that will wake the dead on other planets, like Oldham or Somerset. You need a booming laugh that will pop your natty new corporate braces and startle wildlife. Don't be subtle, don't be coy - when someone senior to you on the board (and ONLY someone senior to you) cracks a funny, you laugh like you need that laugh to be heard in a faraway galaxy by the only people who can save your dying civilization, defeating the alien monsters who are about to slice your childrens' heads off.


There are two reasons for this. One, it honours the joke-teller and shows you to be a like-minded individual. Two, it needs to be heard by all the dross - sorry, I've done it again - all the valued team members outside the boardroom, who will hear you inside guffawing like a herd of pissed buffalo and realise that you inhabit a different world, a world they are not allowed to visit.

Think of your BIG, BIG LAUGH as your passport to that world.

So there you are. Gold-plated advice from a man who's been at the top of your game for decades. If you don't take it, that's fine - you can just Hootie And The Blowyourself. I couldn't give a flying turd.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Advertising needs an injection of balls

My fellow marketing professionals, it's been too long since I last blogged. It's been a very, very long time. The last time I launched a Truth Missile from my Insight Bunker here at IATC, cars only came in black and Martin Sorrell wasn't a money-grubbing Dickensian factory owner.

Or something. I don't fucking know. It was ages ago. Look at the date of the last post if it's that fucking important to you, dickspot. Jesus! What IS your fucking problem?

Anyway, I thought I'd break my silence to share a speech I recently gave at a marketing conference in Bogata.

Or was it Prague?

No! Wait. It was Leicester.

No matter - this is what I said at the crowd, many of whom came not knowing how to solve the problems of the advertising world. They certainly didn't leave in any doubt, however.


A vision, by David Knockles, Marketing Director.

My friends, fellow marketing professionals, colleagues, esteemed guests and, I suppose, people from agencies - I have something to say.


Remember when  advertising had huge, swollen, pendulous balls? Like a couple of watermelons in a carrier bag, yeah? Hanging proud, full, engorged with the frothing seed of inspiration?

Those days have gone. The days of the Smash robots, 'Follow the bear' and 'Um-Bongo, Um-Bongo, they drink it in the Congo', it pains me to say, are no more.

(Incidentally, you'll notice I left out the Guinness 'horses' ad from my roll-call of genius. It's widely accepted that it's the best ad of all time. It isn't. It's a pile of donkey spunk. Horses, as everyone knows, don't like water - and they certainly don't like Guinness, as I found out on a trip to Ireland in 2001 that ended in a brief jail sentence and a mandatory contribution to an equine welfare charity.)

The days when an agency would develop an idea based on little more than a week's sustained drinking and a jingle written by a failed composer and part-time drag act, we have to admit, are OVER. They are gone.



Data is a giant, swinging scythe, tearing into advertising's once massive danglebag, shearing off the mighty power-knackers that made things like this possible.

Data is the red hot button topic of the moment. It's the mot du jour. (That means 'dish of the day'.)

But what is 'data', in this context?

We know that 'Data' is / was a character in a Star Trek thing. He had a very white face and no emotions, so he was sort of like a KKK Spock.

I'm not talking about that Data.

In advertising, 'data' means information that your computer or mobile device sends back to Google, where the internet lives, about how much porn you watch, how much Viagra you order at a very reasonable price from a bloke in Turkey and how many times you look at the Facebook page of a woman YOU ARE NOT FUCKING OBSESSED WITH, OKAY, BUT WHY DID SHE LEAVE?

Google, who own the internet, takes all this data and makes a spreadsheet. It's the world's biggest spreadsheet because it has every living person's name on it, and every single piece of digital information associated with each one - so the thing must be fucking gargantuan. Like, probably, you'd need to print it out on A3 or something. It's fucking GIANT.

Obviously, this information is highly valuable. With it, advertisers can target their audience with extreme accuracy. For instance, I'm served with a lot of ads for haemorrhoid treatment.

But what has been left out of the advertising in this data-age of data is advertising's scrobble-haired meat-plums.

The advertising itself might be targeted at the right people, but it's about as interesting and dangerous as Michael fucking Buble. What advertising needs is a massive injection of balls.

How do we administer an injection of balls? Simple. STOP THINKING ABOUT EVERYTHING SO MUCH.

Don't 'research'. Don't 'consider'. Just do it, as Adidas would say. Do you think anybody actually thought about the Bisto family? Of course they fucking didn't - THEY WERE A BUNCH OF TEDIOUS CUNT-SHOTS. Which is why the nation loved them, of course.

Did anyone really think about Coca Cola ads? No! They just did them! Same goes for every single beer commecial made before 1993 (when the internet was invented). Think about it? They were too busy interrogating the product until they couldn't walk. They'd sit in the office drinking gallons of product until one of them would say, 'Why don't we say something like, 'Probably the best beer ever or whatever'? Then someone like me would step in and refine it until it became 'Carlsberg. Probably the best beer in the world.'

No thinking. Just advertising. No brains. Just balls.

Think about it.

Only don't.

Thank you.

I hope you've learned something. Because if you haven't, there's no fucking hope for you. Now stop thinking and start advertising - just like me. I don't think about a single fucking thing.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday in adland

My friends, I want you to look out of the window. Look out there, across the world, across whatever seething metropolis or bucolic vale or craggy urban pisspot you can now see, and imagine.

Imagine the people of adland as Friday, their day, begins to irresistibly gather momentum towards its triumphant zenith, sometime around 3.30am on Saturday morning.

See down there, in the subsidised bar of a UK top-5 agency, where an account director named Giles is ordering another round of Cosmos for the exec girls to reward 'the bloody good job' they all did during the week, taking calls and...all the other stuff I'm sure they do. Can we imagine which of those execs, come midnight, will be hoiked over the broken bog in some Soho boozer basement as Giles manfully bends his curiously angular wang in and out, all the time singing the old school song in his head and trying not to picture his mother's rueful face?

And look over there, at the brand new digital start-up in Shoreditch. Why, they're having Friday cocktails served in jam jars! It's so cool, this brand-new digital start-up; they have a bold mission statement, a fuck-it attitude, an agency ferret called Berners-Lee, a broken leather barber's chair and an in-house barista! Let's focus on all that and try to ignore the gargantuan elephant in the room - a creature that is getting harder to ignore now that the words WE HAVE NO CLIENTS have been written across its leathery hide in letters five feet high.

Across town, we can see four people in four different agencies reading an email just sent by an agency intermediary. Three of the people read the email, hopefully at first. Then they do the slump, the we-lost-the-pitch slump, and they close the email before picking up their mobile and walking as though through molasses into an empty meeting room where they make a call that will ruin their boss's weekend, will earn an unearned bollocking, will hasten the eager journey to Wankered Parkway. But for one of the four, the victor, the scene is different. Fists are clenched, fists are bumped, whoops are whooped, champagne is decorked and the ecstatic-yet-bitter battle for credit begins. It was definitely my idea that won it, says ABSOLUTELY FUCKING EVERYONE.

What's that noise we hear now? Clatter, clatter, clatter - it's a thousand agency toilet doors slamming shut, shielding the occupants as they break out great blizzards of cocaine and chop fat, generous, adland lines - all of them hoovered with a feeling that it's fucking well deserved. But we thought that kind of thing didn't go on anymore! How wrong we were!

Now then - who's that fellow, shouting and shouting and throwing and shouting? Ah, it's The Creative Director Who Promised Awards. He's just seen another set of award nominations that aren't graced by his name and, by George, he's going to let his creatives know that it's by no means his fault and, what's more, if they weren't all such useless cunt-patches, such fucking awful crumbs of grandad's cock-crust, then life would be so much better and he'd get the recognition he shitting well deserved.

Look all over town now - watch as offices are deserted, as bars begin to fill, as the insider talk grows indiscreet, as egos are burnished, as brave plans are made, as innovations are innovated, as new digital platforms are born and die within the space of a conversation, as another award-winning idea is nubbed into the back of a napkin with all the others, as young ladies do what young men want them to do but not vice versa, as adlife hits the adweekend in adland.

Fuck it. I'm going to join them. They're all going to buy me a drink, after all.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Talk Like A Client

My dear, dear friends. My fellow marketing professionals. My countrymen from The Republic of Upturned Revenues. Today I would like to give you some advice.

Not advice like, you know, marry a woman with small hands or never, EVER pay a Thai hooker until after you’ve wiped your donk on the curtains.

No, I mean this advice:

Talk Like A Client.

I realise that I may have just blown your minds with the simple, distilled genius of that sentence, so let me explain by way of an advertising anecdote – an advertdote, if you will. (Or even if you won’t – I couldn’t give two halves of fuck-all.)

Yesterday, I  burst through the doors of my agency like Hurricane Sandy, threw my briefcase on one of the luxurious white sofas (Oops! Sorry miss! It’ll stop bleeding soon – and it can’t make you any uglier!) and leaned in close, close, close to my favourite receptionista.

“I’m here for my nine-fifteen - but I could probably squeeze in a sixty-nine,” I purred. “With you,” I added, because I just can’t help communicate with clarity and relevance, like a great ad.

As usual, she pretended to need to leave very immediately, so I just strode manfully for the elevator. Once inside, I proceeded to Talk Like A Client.

“FUCKING LIFTS!” I roared at everyone inside. “NOBODY FART!”

Then I farted.

(Do you see what I was doing? I was Talking Like A Client.  I’m about to do it some more.)

I turned left as I left the lift, then heading right at the right rate – not too fast, not too quick – and headed into the meeting room.

Turns out I was three hours late for my nine-fifteen, and someone else was using the meeting room. Did I let that stop me? No. I just Talked Like A Client.



“He’s one of our other clients,” replied the planner who, I noted, was talking through a slide entitled De-Saville Your Brand: Removing toxic social halos in the post-Twitter age’. (Yes – we are now POST-Twitter. Who knew?)

“WELL, FUCK HIM! I’M ME!” I replied. See? I was Talking Like A Client.

Trouble was, the other client started Talking Like A Client too. It got quite abusive and loud, and basically looked like two fat, drunk toddlers standing in a swimming pool of shit throwing handfuls of it at each other from point blank range.

But that’s not the point. The point is, we were Talking Like Clients. And when you Talk Like A Client, you Feel Like A Client. And when you Feel Like A Client, you Become The Client. Do you see? DO YOU SEE?

Here are some other ways of Talking Like A Client:


“That’s shit. Not shit, like,  shit. I mean shit, like, super, SUPER shit.”

“This invoice. It’s just not going to happen.”

“I spotted a double space in the copy. I think it’s time to bend over and take a Knockles.” (Use your own name for this one, obviously. Or not. I don't mind my name being permanently associated with fisting a discount out of an agency.)

“Can you make the whole ad a bit more like the ad I imagined?”

Hopefully, you can now see what Talking Like A Client is, what it means, how it works and what it can do for you. If you can’t, then go fuck yourself to death. I haven’t got time to spoon-feed my genius to brainless fanny-mops like you.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Motherfucker List


My friends, once again the International Motherfucker Panel has gathered to publish its latest findings. Remember, these aren’t just opinions. These are scientifically-assessed statements of fact. Those listed below ARE motherfuckers,whether they like it or not.


Have you heard about this place? It’s a furniture megashop on a ring road just outside Satan’s a-pipe. The furniture is made of a material that, I think, is a 50-50 mix of butterfly farts and wet napkins. You have to design it yourself, build it yourself, deliver it yourself – you even have to find it yourself in a warehouse that looks like the final scene in Raiders Of The Lost Motherfucking Ark. It’s an amazing concept. You go there on a Saturday with every other person in the world, and get sluiced along an ever-moving river of human disappointment, past room sets from a house nobody could ever live in.

At the end, you get to eat the world’s foulest meatballs (covered with optional gravy glue made from cow bile and the drainings of the NHS colostomy lake) in a fourteen-acre canteen, bashing elbows with dead-eyed empty-nesters trying to make the back bedroom look ‘funky’ now that their last spunk-sponge daughter has married a cunt called Baz and moved round the corner to a half-bedroomed flat over a slaughterhouse.

Motherfuckers! Or, in Ikea, modderfkkrs.

Tapas-style dining

What’s that, you say? You want me to order two or three very, very tiny dishes that add up to one small dinner but cost the same as three large ones?

Why would you want me to do that? I mean, you can’t be doing it because it helps each primpy spoonful of malignant drool you serve wring another precious few quid out of your punters. That would be wrong.

Oh! It’s because it’s ‘lighter’ and ‘healthier’ and ‘modern eating’.

Listen, you cowcunt – if I wanted something lighter, healthier and modern, I’d  eat a fucking low-energy lightbulb. I go to restaurants to eat massive amounts of things drenched in gallons and gallons of cream, butter, balti sauce, booze and dead baby animals. I want to be brought a plate so big it blocks out the fucking sun and then I want you to fuck off until a) I ask for more b) it looks like I’m having a coronary embolism at my table.

The Spanish might enjoy tapas-style eating, but that’s because they’re hot and randy. I’m not. I’m cold and randy and I want a fucking good feed, you money-grubbing MOTHERFUCKER.

Meeting sandwiches

Leave out of the egg mayonnaise, eh? NOBODY eats them, you stupid MOTHERFUCKERS. And who ordered the ones with just salad? A right motherfucker, that’s who.


Introducing this month’s slag word. The word that will do anything with anyone, anywhere. It’ll go with any old dirty self-abuser, wanging its legs open like a wannabe WAG, getting used and abused and reused until it’s bunged in the gutter and forgotten. Imagine Cheryl when the offers dry up. That sort of thing.

Well, ‘artisanal’ is that word.

Coffee is artisanal. Bread is artisanal. Chocololate is artisanal. Fudge is artisanal. Cushions are artisanal. Sofas are artisanal. Glasses are artisanal. Chairs are artisanal. Last weekend, my dinner was artisanal. Sausages are artisanal. Ties are artisanal. Shirts are artisanal. Conservatories are artisanal. Badger culls are fucking artisanal. For all I know, David Cameron is artisanal.

If you want to try making something special, make it fucking special. Don’t prefix it with the word ‘artisanal’ and assume we’ll all go misty-eyed as we imagine a gnarled old grandpa with deft hands working proudly in a dusty workshop as light streams through the window and a wooden boy looks on. We know that whatever you sell, it was clumpily slapped together in a 24-hour torture shop somewhere in a country we’ve never heard of by people who’d rather be doing many things, like, for instance, sticking hot, spiky turds in their eyes while gargling Simon Cowell’s fuckslop.

Artisanal? You cheeky MOTHERFUCKERS.

So, there you have it. A load of motherfuckers.

Naturally, I'm not on the list.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Agency case studies translated

My friends, it is time to reveal agency secrets. Hidden mysteries that, up to now, have been shrouded in mist and history and the sands of Dave Trott’s egg timer.

Agency case studies, for instance.

These are examples of an agency’s previous work, neatly packaged to tell the story of how they achieved success against a particular brief.

That's not how agencies think of them, however.

Agencies think of them as truth handed down from God that proves beyond the merest whiff of doubt that they are the most effective, most creative, most groundbreaking, most incredible agency in the history of human existence. No matter how improbable the results they yank from fuck-knows-where, no matter how embarrassingly irrelevant the gnat-turd of a budget was, no matter how inconsequential the work was to a campaign's final outcome, a great fug of self-delusion and blind optimism descends as the agency of version of What Really Happened is chiseled onto stone tablets ready to hand down to clients.

Here’s how they usually go:
In late 2011, Craggy Dog Chods & Pesticides came to us with a problem.

‘We’re number two in the market,’ they said. ‘We want to be number one.’

‘Cool,’ we said.

Then we went to work. Starting with our unique Mindologism Planning Tool architecting ‘unknowable truths’, we began our proprietary Garden Of Impact 4-Step Ideation Process: 1) Mulch 2) Nurture 3) Blossom 4) Harvest.

We devised a creative positioning that didn’t just result in an increase of 1,977% unprompted awareness amongst our target audience.

It increased sales by 15,354% and had a direct impact on the election of Barack Obama, the ending of the banking crisis and the death of Osama Bin Laden - and it made the population of the world 65% happier.
For Craggy Dog Chods & Pesticides, it was a history-making piece of thinking.
For Grayson Fanjita Hogg-Balls 360 Environ / Unmitigated, it was just another day.

Here’s the truth. The agency did some work. This work  had the same negligible / unmeasurable effect as every other piece of work the agency has pompously excreted since the day it was formed by four expensively-shod over-privileged cuntslaps – work which has tripled in price since it was bought out by a daddy-funded 'communications stable' looking to buy in some credibility by throwing a bucket of loot at the flavour of the month. Burp. That's it.

Don't be fooled by it. I'm fucking not.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I'm sorry

My fellow marketing professionals. My friends. My special, special  soulmates.

I have neglected you of late. No, no – I admit it. I have. I couldn’t have treated you worse if I’d totally diddled you in the a-slot without asking first.

But I have my reasons. Mainly, like, reasons of not really being bothered and shit and whatnot.

But also reasons of a deeply personal nature.

Let me explain.

Some months ago, I was squiring a young lady called…something or other. I’ll never forget her. Beautiful, tall, inexplicably angry a lot of the time (just like my dear old ma!) – she ticked all the boxes. (Coincidentally, she trimmed her own jardin du foof in the shape of a Nike swoosh – so she really did tick every box.)

After an expensive dinner for two, a moonlit walk along the river and what felt like endless soft clouds of whispered intimacies, it came to the point in the evening when, in time-honoured fashion, I was about to bang her a new growler.

Now, I’m no slouch in the Department of Fadge.

If sex was The Apprentice, I’d get taken by Alan Sugar every time.

(Hang on. That doesn’t sound right. Can’t work out why.)

Whatever, I’ve never had any complaints, apart from the ones you’ll find in the records of the police and HR and the Mormon Church.

But this piece of work. Holy mother of balls.

‘Stick it in there! Harder! Not there, there! Pull on that! Twist this! Spit on those! I want to punch you in that! Faster! Again! Lick it! Hit it! Talk to it! More! Less! Down! Up! To the left! To the right! Smear it on! Wipe it off!'

It was like screwing a Sergeant Major with tits.

All that aggression would have been fine, mind you, were it not for the fact that SHE GAVE ME A FUCKING SCORECARD AFTERWARDS.

'I like to give my lovers some tips for next time,' she said breezily as she called my cab.

First, 'lovers'? Bleurgh. What are you, some moneyed high society bike from 1962?


Especially not in a fucking 24-page bound document.

As you can imagine, this had a profoundly traumatic effect on me and I had to suspend all activity apart from sitting and crying and crying and crying. My work suffered a bit, but not so much as you'd notice. My blogging, however, went down the cacker completely.

I'm happy to report, though, that I've resolved the issue (mainly by sending her increasingly vicious hatemail) and I am now back, my little beauties (as Jimmy Savile used to say on the Paediatric ward).

Strap in for a fresh expulsion of effluvia made of equal parts marketing insight, management expertise and non-EU growth hormone. It's going to be unmissable.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!