Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Congratulations! It's a pile of shit!

Well, the results are in. And after checking my suspicions with my mother (she's nearly target audience) it turns out I was right - the ads for the new Cleanavia were a complete pile of shit.

She was right, the old girl. The woman they used did look like a whore, just like the one Dad ran off with, and the typography in the headlines was really similar to the old British Telecom logo, which used the same colour as the florists down the road from the Post Office and, obviously, that reminds people of postmen, and Dad ran off with the postman's wife. So that was that!

I called the agency boys to tell them.

'You're a complete and utter prick, a disgrace to your profession, an absolute fucking idiot, you don't know your arse from your elbow, I've excreted things that are more able than you, you deserve to be flayed and then dipped in salt, you wouldn't know a good idea if it fucked you in the face, you're a tedious drunk, you're a greedy waste of my time, everybody in this entire agency - all 200 of them - hate you with a passion usually reserved for men who rape babies, I can't imagine a more vilely moronic collection of cells than you, the fact that you live and breathe while decent people starve is undeniable proof that God doesn't exist, I have considered giving up consuming any kind of liquid just on the off chance that you spontaneously combust in my company and there may be a tiny molecule of possibility that I piss on you while you burn.'

There was loads more like that. Loads! I think I touched a nerve with the agency boys!

I must have - he slammed the phone down before I could ask him when the new work would be done. (And before I got a chance to ask him what 'excreted', 'flayed' and 'anal prolapse' mean. The anal prolapse bit I left out of the above - it was confusing. But it seemed to involve me, a lot of rohypnol, a traffic cone and some tubing. I've no idea - but those guys are the creatives!)

Since then, I've had no answer to any calls or emails. I called Big Andy Poleman, the MD, and he said 'You've done it again? Fuck me, Dave - you really are a cunt. I'm trying to play fucking golf here. Well, at least this means there's a pitch on. Make sure you get a couple of international agencies involved - I fancy a trip to New York. The wife needs some new tits too, so South America would be good. Now fuck off.'

Jesus. If any two people laugh more than me and Big Andy Poleman, I'd like to meet them.

So, there you have it. The agency boys couldn't hack the pace of modern marketing, Dave Knockles-style. And they're not alone. LOADS of agencies haven't been able to hack the pace of modern marketing, Dave Knockles-style. They all seem to lose it when the pressure's on.

Anyway, I'll miss them. They were great at buying beerz! Still, I'm sure the next lot will be too - and if they're not, they won't get the gig! That's just how it is!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Cleanavia campaign, part several million!

Back to the coal face. Back to the nitty gritty. Back to what I do best. Back to the ads.

The Cleanavia launch campaign has been with the agency boys for ages now (and not only because my mother (she's nearly target audience) and I rejected all their previous efforts) so today's meeting was a biggy. It was bigger than Big Alan Cockson's old chap which, I have it on good authority, is like a cricket bat handle.

Anyway, where was I?

Yes - today's meeting with the agency boys. They gave it the full wind-up. Research, lots of Powerpoint slides, really nice croissants, juice and, at my insistence, a lot of egg, black pudding, bacon, sausage, tomato, hash brown and bean sandwiches.

They were really pleased with themselves. They'd developed a campaign, they reckoned, which wouldn't just launch the Cleanavia, but CREATE A WHOLE NEW CATEGORY OF CONSUMER DURABLE.

That made me moist. I was getting very excited, imagining every home having a Knockles next to the fridge and dishwasher.

Then they showed me the ads.

They seemed to revolve around these women who (and I think I heard this right) were going to create their own ads by living with the Cleanavia for a month, showing how cleaning habits have changed, and showing that the Cleanavia is perfect for today's new kind of...oh, I don't know. The planner kid was talking through a lot of it. This time, his charts looked like an autistic town planner with a spastic arm had been told to redesign Cairo while doing a Rubik's Cube with his feet.

Anyway, it was all totally backed up by research, the focus groups had gone nuts and they'd had to patent it because it couldn't strictly be called advertising.

They were completely thrilled. More than I've ever seen them before. It was actually quite moving.

I'm looking over the work now. My mother (she's nearly target audience) will be checking them out once she's finished making my egg, chips, sausage, beans, mushrooms, onion rings, meat pie and gravy.

You'll have to wait for the verdict, though!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Why I support Manchester United

I think football is in your soul, or it isn't. And it's been in my soul since about 1994, when the Premier League started getting big. People like Zoe Ball and Hugh Grant were revealing their previously-never-seen-ever-not-even-a-little-bit love of football. And so was I.

Like anyone else who's a born winner, I didn't want to support any old shite, so I supported the Champions - the mighty Red Devils of Manchester, Manchester United.

All the Directors at work are Manchester United fans - because they're born winners too. No compromise is accepted - we want success in all areas of our life.

Things were looking a bit dodgy at the start of this season, what with losing to Burnley, but I chose to discount that result. (In fact, it's weird - I don't really like football when we lose, so I never really get down about it - brilliant, eh? I bet you're dead jealous, getting all miserable about your rubbish team!)

But now we're top of the league again, I've really started enjoying it - and nothing's better than rubbing it in to all the sad Arsenal fans at work! Hey - there's even a Nottingham Forests fan!

(NOTTINGHAM FORESTS! Can you believe it? They never win! In fact, I don't think they've ever won anything! EVER! I bet you can believe it - because your team is probably just as useless!)

Anyway, the reason why I support the Manchester Red Devils is because success attracts success. Simple. Success-achievers like Eric Catona, Rory Keane and Sparkling Mark Hughesy were the winners of yesteryear who I first watched, right up to Ryan Rooney and the other members of the current team (their names escape me, to be honest).

So, that's why, suckers! You carry on supporting your load of rubbish - I'm with the winners, and my second club, Chelsea.

Up the Manchesters! I love them!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Copywriters: a waste of ink and air.

Let me, Dave Knockles, reveal the biggest myth in marketing and advertising. Are you ready? Then I'll begin.

It's fucking 'copywriters'! They're useless. Totally, utterly and completely useless.

The agency boys (and especially their pet writer, who's called Felix or Conrad or something, and mopes about wearing specs and T-shirts with things like 'I'm anti-you' on them) claim that there's nothing better than a copywriter for making ads intelligent, or witty, or...I dunno...deep or whatever.

Here's what I've learned: all they do is write words. AND I CAN DO THAT MYSELF! Look! I'm doing it now!

I'll give you an example. Here's the copy from one of the Cleanavia 3000's launch ads:

We designed the Cleanavia to be more than a washing machine. We designed it to be a member of the family. One that can't help joining in and helping out. One that will work as hard as you do to keep everyone looking great. But unlike the other members of your family, this one has a 1,500 RPM spin cycle, a unique silks program and a cycle for dry clean only clothes. It's a shame you can't marry one.

And here's what Dave Knockles had them change it to:

Cleanavia 3000 is a revolution in consumer durables relating to, or directly involving, cleaning clothes and or soft furnishings. It has literally revolutionised your home cleaning experience. With functions such as a 1,500 RPM spin cycle for superior spin quality, a program that will prevent tanglement of silk or silk-like clothing products, and a cycle to wash dry clean-only items right there in your own home not a dry cleaners, it really is the market's leading home cleaning offering. Your consumer delight is guaranteed - that's the Cleanavia 3000 promise. Why not visit your local electrical retailer, supermarket offering an on-site line of electrical consumer durables, online electrical retailer or online electrical brokerage portal to make the Cleanavia 3000 a part of your consumer cleaning ritual?

See? I rest my fucking case. Marry a fucking washing machine? Up your semi-colon!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Interviews begin! Watch and learn!

(That pic is hilarious! Why? Because it's true!)

I spent today intensively interviewing candidates to replace Sally. I think the last time I mentioned applications, we'd had four. We didn't get any more, so I thought 'Fuck it - I'll interview them all, even the one who's clearly applying for everything because he's 55, spent his entire working life as a porter in a mental hospital, has been made redundant and is looking down the barrel of a pension that's about as impressive as his 'CV'.'

So, watch how I separated the wheat from the complete and utter chaff.

First, let's do the nutters' butler. Derek. Too old, no experience, no chance of getting it, no point. I spend 30 minutes telling him about my ideas for the Cleanavia 3000 launch, then 15 on the laughs I have with the agency boys. By the time he's bimbled through the 3 questions he'd scraped onto a piece of ragged bog paper with, as far as I could tell, his own blood, an hour has gone by and I'm ready for lunch. Fucking wallop.

Next, some bloke with a first in Marketing & Law from...Oxbridge? Dunno - he was full of ideas, opinions and suggestions and seemed really clever. Which is why I turfed him out after 20 minutes. There's no place for ideas in my marketing department, sunshine. I have more than enough - and they're all fucking brilliant!

Next, some other bloke whose marketing experience seemed to stretch to writing the ad he put in Autotrader when he flogged his Fiat Doblo. (Nice chap, actually. Listened very attentively while I told him why my BMW motor car was superior to his Fiat Shitbox. It took a good hour and a bit, but he never complained once.)

Finally, a bird. 'You're hired', I said.

'Aren't you going to ask me anything?' she said.

'When can you fucking start, pet?' I said. 'And do you swallow?' (She went white as a sheet, bless her - probably a bit overawed.)

Anyway, that's how you should hire people. And it's how I DO hire people.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

There's no I in WINNER

The image above makes me feel like striving for business success even more than it makes me feel like climbing a mountain.

And what's the best way to do both? Teamwork!

Dave Knockles is Mr Team. My team are like my second family. Without my team, I wouldn't be able to climb the mountain of strategic marketing success going forward.

So how do I use my team? Simple - I use them for everything! That's why they're so important (and it's why we have such a massive laugh - all the time!). I use them when I need ideas, reports, decisions, suggestions, thoughts, coffee, a car service, my lunch - all the time. Frankly, I'd be lost without them.

But in terms of marketing, here's my tip to you on how to get the best from your guys 'n' gals!

When some work from the agency comes in, put your lowest ranking person in charge. Have them approve it (or have it amended, if they don't like it). When they're happy with it, have your next lowest ranking person do the same. Then again, and again, until it gets to you.

Now, the agency boys seem to think that having 5 people approve every ad without any of them seeing the original brief means that they're just responding to 5 people's different whims and tastes. Well, they would say that - they don't like work, those agency boys! (I can say that - they won't mind. They love me over there!)

I think that if an ad has worked its way through 5 different marketeers of ever-increasing seniority, it should be PERFECT by the time it gets to me. Then I can just show it to my mother (she's nearly target audience) and see if it's right. Sometimes (well, most of the time) it's not. But that just means those agency boys need to work harder!

That's how to use a team! And that's how I'll use mine until they tell me it's really stupid or something!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Friday, 18 September 2009

How to design the perfect logo

Today was a very important day. I went over to see the agency boys (after the Friday management lunch, obviously) and, despite having had beef, chicken, duck, pork and another meat (horse?) plus all the carvery trimmings AND 6 pints of continental lager, I was very perky.

Why? Because it was logo day! As well as doing a load of ads, I get the agency scribblers (they still laugh when I call them that - and I do it every time!) to design logos for any new products.

So, seeing as the new one is the Cleanavia (my name - I agree, it IS genius!) that's what they'd been working on. And, as usual, ol' Davey Knockles had to show them how it's done!

The first idea they showed me had the word Cleanavia (at least they got that bit right!) and then something they called a 'stylised bubble' because it's a consumer durable primarily involved in what we call dirt engagement or, to you, cleaning. Dave Knockles's opinion? WRONG! NEXT!

Second up was some kind of weird halo thing, to do, apparently, with the 'purity' that this consumer durable creates. WRONG! NEXT!

Third up was...don't bother, boys! Give me a pad, sit back and learn!

First, a logo should have the name of the product in what I call a 'zippy' font. Nobody wants to see a logo that's all straight and boring and dull. Give it some va-va-varoom! Brush fonts are good. They're fun!

Next, add a number. A big number - and a round number. 1100. 3000. 540. Doesn't matter what - but add that in a straight font that makes it look scientific and official.

Finally, add a fwoosh! (That's a Dave Knockles copyrighted word! Leave it alone!) That means you underline the logo, like you would if you'd drawn it. Fwoosh! Done!

Of course, nobody could say anything after I'd delivered that particular sermon. They all just sat there with their mouths open, shaking their heads. It's alright, boys! I feel like that when I've been made to look stupid! (They won't mind - we have a right laugh.)

After that, I obviously suggested to the scribblers that we go out and strengthen the client/agency relationship over a few beerz. But none of them could make it! They all had too much work! Or a doctor's appointment. Or a bad back. One guy even had a 'last minute thing' he couldn't get out of! What are the chances of 15 people ALL being unable to come out for beerz on a Friday?

Well, it's their loss. Once I've typed this I'm off to Delilaz for a lapfest! On my own.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

What the fuck is planning?

Sweet Jesus. Sweet holy Jesus. I've spent the day with the agency boys getting my head completely smashed in by some kid in sloppy jeans and a, frankly, bizarre haircut who's their new 'planner'.

Now, they tell me 'planners' are nothing new, but I've never run into one before. (Then again, I may have done - I never listen to what the agency boys say unless it's 'What are you drinking, Dave?'!!!!!)

Personally, I thought planning was...you know...planning. I'm planning a holiday. I'm planning to work on my 9-iron. I'm planning a walk through Finance to ogle that new girl with the muchas impressive bristolas. Planning.

But this kid...Christ alive. Planning to him seemed to be about drawing Powerpoint charts that literally blew my mind. Some of them looked like a spider had fucked a Venn diagram in a fireworks factory.

After my 2-hour brain kicking, I looked up planning. It is, apparently, about...aah fuck it, it's here. The truly amazing thing wasn't that this kid knew bigger words than I've ever heard spoken, but HE THOUGHT THAT I'D WANT TO USE HIM ON MY ADS!

I don't need a planner. I need ads! I need someone to do an ad when I say 'Do an ad' and keep doing it until I (and my mother - she's nearly target audience) like it! What more is there to advertising? What happened? Did I miss something? When did all this shit happen?

I'm going to look into this 'planning'. And I'm going to master it.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 14 September 2009

How to interview in the world of marketing

The job applications are, as you can imagine, flooding in (well, it IS a chance to work with Dave Knockles - and his wicked sense of humour!). Two on Friday, and another two today! If these keeps up, I'll need a marketing manager to help me find a new marketing manager! (Ha ha! Now THAT was funny!)

So, for today's marketing insight, I thought I'd share my interview techniques. Well, some of them - if I told you the good ones, I'd have to kill you! (I told you I had a wicked sense of humour!)

Man, I'm in great form today! Anyway, here are the tips:

1. Interview the women first. Seeing as you're probably going to hire one of them, you might as well get on with it. Then you can send the blokes home without wasting your time.

2. If you like someone, hire them. Don't bother about seeing the rest - trust your instinct. You're wasting your time if you carry on. There may be technically better candidates, but will you like them as much? No. They just won't have the novelty factor.

3. Prepare questions at your peril. They'll just make things too rigid. Play it by ear and, if you're as bonkers as me, have a laugh! I can't stop myself!

That's it. Let's be honest, you can't tell what people are like in an interview - everyone lies! I know I did! So, basically, it's just chance. Sometimes, the person you hire will be good, like Sally. And sometimes, they won't be up to it, like Natalie, Samantha, Kayleigh, the other Samantha, Paula, Trish, Angela, fat Samantha, Leslie, Shanique, Lorna, Lara, Laura, Larna, Lauren, Laurel, tall Samantha and...all the others. Luck of the draw, innit?

So, take that advice and find your perfect marketing manager / executive. Better be quick if you see someone good, mind. Because I'll have 'em first!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Roast beef has Yorkshire pudding - end of

It's a Sunday, so I'd like to leave the world of marketing aside for a day and give you the benefit of my knowledge of Sunday lunch.

One Sunday, when I was 8, we were having our traditional roast beef. Me, my parents, the big clock ticking away and filling the air where the conversation wasn't - it was the usual.

Then my father said, out of the blue, 'I'm leaving you both. I've met someone and I'm going to live with her.'

Well - talk about a bombshell! That was a big one! (He never did things by half, my Dad - that's what was so great about him.)

My mother just carried on eating (although the atmosphere was a bit frosty, I can tell you!) then said, 'Who is she?'

'Yvonne', my Dad said.

'Yvonne Parnaby, or Yvonne Statham?' said my mother.

'Yvonne Marsh', he said.

'Marsh? I don't know any Marshes, except Ted Marsh', said my mother. My Dad was silent.

'You're not running off with Ted Marsh's wife, are you?' she said. He just got up an walked out.

Ted Marsh was our postman. My Dad was running off with the postman's wife. (Everyone except my mother found the irony quite amusing, actually!)

After he'd gone, my mother looked at his half-finished lunch and said, 'I knew I should have done Yorkshire pudding.'

So every single Sunday, my mother makes roast beef and we eat it in silence - and we ALWAYS have Yorkshire pudding! And the moral of the story is...well, I suppose the moral is always have Yorkshire pudding, or your husband will have an ironic affair. (Is it? I don't know - I've always been rubbish at morals, as the girls at Delilaz will tell you!)

Anyway, I'm off for a good night's sleep. Work tomorrow, and I'll be back at the coal face, grafting like a maniac, as usual!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Onward and upward and forward

First, an apology for my last post. I had been drinking, and I should never have switched on my computer when I got home.

I'm particularly ashamed of the way I boasted about having seven lapdances at Delilaz.

That's nothing to boast about. Fifteen is something to boast about! Seven is rubbish!

See!? I'm BACK!!! (The agency boys love my sense of humour - and that's why!)

Dave Knockles never lets anything get him down - even being laughed at by a room full of his contemporaries. He just picks himself up, dusts himself down and faces the next challenge with his chin held high.

What is that challenge? Finding a replacement for Sally Pearson-Wright, who's leaving to join the idiots at our number one rival, the market leader.

So, here are my top 5 tips for identifying an excellent marketing manager.

1) Qualifications. Avoid these. Sally had loads of them, and all she ended up doing was disagreeing with me and making suggestions. It also seemed to make her think that dealing with all my emails, fetching my dry cleaning and making my coffee wasn't her job. Er, hello!?

2) Experience. Avoid this. People who have worked in other marketing departments before always think your way of doing things is rubbish. All the experienced marketeers I've employed have left shortly afterwards, saying things like 'You don't know what you're doing.' See what I mean? Experience makes people narrow-minded.

3) Hefty bristolas. Just a personal preference! (I told you I was back!)

4) Confidence. Vital, this. Often, this person, who has absolutely no experience of marketing or advertising, will have to tell one of the agency boys (perhaps one with twenty or thirty years under his belt) that their ad is wrong. It takes a lot of bottle to do that. So if they can't say with total confidence something like, 'Oooh, I don't like that because that model looks like the girl my Darren shagged', then they won't make it in Dave Knockles's marketing dept.

5) Work ethic. As Marketing Director, you have precious little time to devote to work. Business lunches, the Management Breakfast Meeting, Fridays at the Dog & Hog, thinking time, servicing your BMW motor car, golf with Big Andy Poleman or Big Alan Humpage or Big Colin Knobbs, beerz with the agency to strengthen working relationships - it all adds up. So you need a marketing manager with the hardworking attitude to do all the stuff you would do if you only had the time. And they'll have to do their own job, too, of course.

It's always a stiff challenge. But I like to take stiff challenges in both hands. And I always pull it off!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Friday, 11 September 2009


Yess. I ahvew bneen to Radish Bar, Dog BVar and Delilaz for sevn - coutn them! - sevem lappies! And I have reachde a decsisision!