Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Cleanavia Campaign - we're nearly there!

The incident with Penelope Wilkes-Harvey has created a slightly frosty atmosphere between my new agency and me, so it was important that today's meeting to discuss the Cleanavia campaign went well.

(Most phone calls between the agency and me over the last couple of days have tended to involve the words 'she may never be the same again' and 'what's wrong with you?'. Talk about taking it personally! Sheesh!)

So, I bowled into reception at 11am sharp, revved up and ready to go for our 8.30 breakfast summit. The croissants were a bit crusty by the time I got there, and the coffee was fucking horrible and cold, but I let them off and we got down to business.

'So. We worked over a weekend to make the amends you asked for,' began the account director, sitting alongside the creatives who, as usual, looked really pissed off. 'The campaign now looks exactly as you want it to.' (He stressed the word 'you' quite heavily, for some reason.)

'You've had several days to mull it over, Dave. What do you think?'

I considered my next move carefully. The truth was, I'd had a bit of a change of heart about the Cleanavia ads. I know I pretty much dictated the headlines, the images and...well...everything. But they didn't turn out as well as I'd expected.

Now, fellow marketing professionals, we should pause here and examine the facts. My idea was undeniably brilliant, right? More brilliant than a Dairylea sandwich. More brilliant than a one-wipe poo. More brilliant than Fur Burger Night at Delilaz (it's a BBQ in aid of PETA). So it must have been the agency's fault, right?


However, a Berlin Wall of disgruntled mugs was looking back at me. Simply launching right into a bollocking wasn't going to help matters - especially with the whole shit explosion thing still, as it were, hanging in the air.

So, I called on all my years of dealing with agencies diplomatically.

'Well, the ads are pretty much there!' I said. 'We're nearly, nearly there.'

I noticed a slight thawing of the atmosphere.

'Millimetres away! We're so close I can almost taste it!'

A few half-smiles.

'Just a couple of things need to change. Very small things.'

Visible relief from the creatives.

'All the headlines - ALL of them - need to be more...like...zingier. Just zing them up for me. Without changing them much. And the images need to be done again, only more sexier and...cooler...like a car ad or something. Only I'm not paying for a reshoot - I'm not a fucking mug. So it's just the words and pictures! And that's it! Am I the fucking dream client or what?'

I thought people would react badly, but I should have trusted my talent for tact. Everyone just stared a bit, and a few of them put their heads on the table (tired, probably). And that was that!

So, today's lesson, fellow marketing professionals, is that if you are going to change your mind because your agency didn't make your idea look as good as it did in your head, for goodness sake, show some sensitivity when you tell them.

On the way out, I added, 'And do it by fucking Friday morning - I've got a round of golf in the afternoon.'

They must have had builders in because I heard things smashing as I walked out into the Soho mist, ready for breakfast. (Well, another breakfast.)

There will be more marketing insight tomorrow! And it will be fucking tremendous!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!


  1. Oh hang on Dave, am I just catching on to the fact that you're not an actual client but an ad guy in disguise???

  2. Eh? I'm a client. I'm THE client. I AM THE CLIENT!

    I wouldn't work agency side, Loucifer. The pay is rubbish, the hours are terrible and most clients except me are idiots.