Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The client dead act

Hello, agency professionals. This one's for you.

You know those meetings you sit in with clients, the ones where they seem to be doing their very best to appear dead?

It could be a one-on-one chat, it could involve every cunt from the CEO to the bloke who delivers the tampons, it could be a pitch. But you know the ones. They're the meetings where you start thinking 'Are they actually dead, or am I the most boring fuck-knacker on earth? Am I just not making sense? Do they know something I don't? What the fuck is going on? I'm fucking dying!'

And then you try to liven things up, so you start gesticulating. And you speak a bit faster, and you up the volume. Then maybe you stand up and walk about it a bit, like they do in films. And perhaps you try the odd fist-pump on the table.

By the end of it, you're a widly gesticulating twatbox who's pacing wildly around the room and whacking the table while shouting.

And still the client sits there, deader than Subo's libido.

Well, the truth is this: WE'RE DOING IT ON FUCKING PURPOSE.

It's Lesson One at marketing school. But why do we do it?

1. It makes you nervous and vulnerable and self-conscious and embarrassed and, therefore, more likely to do what we want / charge less.

2. We enjoy it.

I particularly enjoy doing it with creatives. Creatives are always more nervous anyway, because they've produced another one of their precious babies, another masterstroke of incisive thinking, another Cannes winner - and they're worried you're going to fuck it in its cackslot. Which you are. But not until you've sat there in stoney silence and let them talk themselves into a pile of bullshit, after which you can swing into action and make them change the headline so it's got the product name in it, make the colours more like the ones you used in your new kitchen and change the visual to a bird with great big bristolas. You know, all that stuff we have to do to ads to make them fit for the public.

I tell you this secure in the knowledge that there is absolutely no defence against it. Nobody I've ever tried it on has been able to retaliate effectively. Indeed, any attempt to retaliate proves it's worked. And even though you now know we do it, it'll only make you more anxious, self-aware and perplexed when you see that we're doing it to you.

Right. I'm now looking at you with dead eyes, expressionless and silent.

Still doing it.

Still doing it.

Still doing it.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!


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