Friday, 29 January 2010

AGENCY BOYS BRING THE BEERZ, PART 3!

Some of you may have noticed I didn't post yesterday. Some of you might even have given a shit! (I'm joking of course - you were all gutted, I know. Understandably. This shit is genius, every day, even on the days when it's shit.)

I was doing something vitally important instead: cementing the agency / client relationship.

That's right: beerz!

I'd spent much of yesterday deeply involved in paperwork, figures, admin - I can't remember delegating that much work in a long time. Anyway, while I was forwarding all the emails asking me for stuff, I realised I hadn't really had a proper cementing session with my new agency.

So, at about 2pm, when I'd finally shifted all my work onto Mandy Fookes's desk (my guide to delegation is here and it's brilliant) I called the agency.

The receptionist answered. 'It's your very own Dave Knockles, darling!' I said. She played her usual joke of saying 'Who?', so I carried on with 'Listen, treacle - I've got an 'f', a 'c' and a 'k'. Now all I need is 'u'.'

She loved it so much, she couldn't speak! Just put me straight through without saying a word! Anyway, I spoke to the account director. 'Tonight's the night - we need to cement this relationship! And we need to cement it hard!'

He mumbled something about late notice and workloads and anniversaries and a sick child or something, but I wasn't really listening. I was excited! 'Great! That's agreed - Dog Bar at 6pm. Bring a crowd!'

Now, some may think this 'cementing' is just wanton piss-uppery that makes not one jot of difference to the bottom line of either client or agency and, in fact, is merely an excuse for the client to milk the expense account of the account director.

And I say: What's wrong with that? HA HA HA!

No, seriously. The cementing of the client / agency relationship is of almost religious importance. It is the bedrock, the foundation, the...bedrock of any interaction between agency and client - every single transaction and conversation is affected by the quality of that bond. And I find that nothing improves the quality of a bond like getting together, drinking several litres of high-strength German lager, wrapping your tie round your head and snorting vodka from the navel of an account exec. It fucking worked last night, I don't mind telling you.

One slight fly in the ointment, however. Apparently, at about 2am, I arranged a breakfast meeting with them for 8am the next day (well, the same day). When I woke up this morning (well, nearly morning - 3pm-ish) and switched my phone on, there were 106 missed calls. There were the usual 30-odd from my mother, but the rest was the agency saying things like 'Where are you, you wanker?' and 'This is unacceptable, you shithead.' (I maintain I didn't arrange any such meeting. But the absinthe may have! HA HA HA!)

But you know what? Because we cemented the relationship last night, we'll get through this little rough patch much quicker. Imagine if we hadn't done all that cementing, eh? We'd be in a real sticky patch. And I don't like sticky patches - that's where she should lie! HA HA HA! (I'm on top form today!)

My advice, then, fellow marketing professionals is this: cement yourself blind regularly. And make sure they pay! I do!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The missing posts - parts 3-6

Following some, frankly, bad-tempered requests from certain people's people to delete posts from this blog, I thought I'd have to be completely unlucky for it to happen again!

Well, it did. THREE CUNTING TIMES!

All I did, was...well. Hang on. Let's start at the start.

I've never liked a certain pop / talent impressario. A certain pop / talent impressario with a habit for pulling his fucking trousers up around his fucking chin. I don't think I need say anymore, do I?

If only I'd exercised similar restraint when I wrote that this individual 'is a cunt-stick of such proportions that other cunt-sticks must feel a great sense of inadequacy'.

Then I wrote another in which I stated that this person 'is a fuck-buckle, a cunt-scrap, a shit-bowl, a tool-end, a piss-pipe, a wank-pole and a spunk-muffler - and that's before breakfast'.

Finally, I wrote one that went a little further: 'He sits there, with his hair like a fucking squaddie's boot brush, and his mouth like a slit in a blob of wax, and his fucking creepy black T-shirt, and his fucking wanker's biro in his meaty little fist, and his look of omnipotent disgust, and his voice like John Major's pet sheep, and his teeth like one of the fucking Banana Splits, and he talks more shit, bollocks, piss, piffle, crap, wank, toss and dross than a phillibusting estate agent presenting his views on the Loch Ness Monster in the form of an allegorical Haiku marathon'.

Now, I hardly think there was too much to argue with there. But his people disagreed.

The first email read, 'Remove it. Remove it now.'

The second read, 'Remove it now, NOW. This is your final warning.'

The third read, 'Remove it within the next thirty minutes or you will be sued harder than George Bush fucked Iraq. What's more, we will ask for, and receive, damages that will be exactly seven times greater than the biggest sum you can think of, multiplied by the second biggest number you can think of. Finally, a man called Igor works for us and is always pleased to make the acquaintance of anyone whose knees haven't yet been shattered with a hammer, a chisel and another, much larger, hammer.'

'Fuck off!' I said. 'You can stick your Igor up your jack-pipe!'

That's what I said. But what I did was delete the posts. Not because I'm scared or anything. I just can't be bothered with the hassle. And I need my knees.

They won't silence me, though. Ever!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Dave Knockles' Theatre of the Mind

Radio.

It's the forgotten medium. The medium of yesterday. The medium of a yesterday we forgot, in a time long since passed, in a place we can't remember. Or some shit. Anyway, nobody really uses it anymore unless they're cheap, broke or a discount tile warehouse.

They are, however, I have to say, by the way, I'll have you know, wrong.

Radio is actually the most endearing, impactful, engaging and affecting medium of them all, thanks to something called The Theatre of the Mind.

Inside your head - yes, yours! - is a theatre. And when you hear a radio ad, its stage comes to life with the imagined realisation of whatever wild, strange, intriguing, funny or downright captivating scene you're hearing.

For instance, when you hear a radio ad with an announcer shouting, 'ALL BEDS NOW HALF PRICE! GET DOWN TO BEDFORD BEDS TODAY!', you imagine a wonderful array of beds, all half price and comfy and that.

And when you hear a radio ad with a girl saying in that announcer voice (you know, where they sound all pissed off and detached because it's cool), 'The Daewoo Matiz. Now with one-nine-nine-nine off the price - only at Douglas Dougal Daewoo, East Cockinghole', you imagine a lovely new Daewoo Matiz with one-nine-nine-nine off the price.

And when you hear a jaunty jingle go, 'We've got tiles / Piles and piles / They come from miles / To see our tiles', you imagine piles and piles of tiles that you'd drive for miles to see.

Theatre of the Mind, see? Lasts much longer and works much harder than just showing something. This is what many young marketing professionals fail to realise. It's easy to put an ad on TV, invest a huge sum in the airtime and watch the sales roll in. Sure! Any cunt can do that!

But what about engaging the consumer's Theatre of the Mind and creating something that stays with them for a lifetime?

Take this ad, created by a certain Dave Knockles. (My notes are in italics.)



1st Man: Hey, Brian! What's that those two delivery men are delivering from their delivery van outside your house? (See how I'm painting a picture with dialogue there?)

2nd Man: Hi, Bob! That's my new SpinMaster 1250 (I came up with that name, obviously).

1st Man: The SpinMaster 1250? (I've got the product name in twice - and you didn't even notice!) Isn't that the revolutionary consumer durable that washes harder at a lower temperature?

2nd Man: No!

1st Man: No?

2nd Man: No! It's the revolutionary consumer durable that washes harder at a lower temperature - and handles silks, synthetic fibres, pillows and other delicate fabrics with ease! (Fucking good joke, that!)

1st Man: Ha ha! Well, Brian, tell me - if I wanted to get one, where would I find it?

2nd Man: It's at all good electrical retailers, Bob - or you could call 0123 456 7890. (That's a fake number - if you call it, don't blame me if it's a wankline or something.)

1st Man: Hold on, Brian - I didn't have a pen. Could you repeat that number?

2nd Man: Sure! It's 0123 456 7890! (Consider that number repeated!)

1st Man: So, have I got this right? It's the SpinMaster 1250, available at all good electrical retailers, or call 0123 456 7890? (And again! Brilliant!)

2nd Man: That's it, Bob! The SpinMaster 1250. Consumer delight in cleaning for all!

Admit it - in the theatre of your mind, there were two regular blokes in their front gardens having a regular conversation about a new consumer durable. And that will stay with you for a long, long time - because it's like real life, see. (Well, if you'd heard it. Just reading it is shit - who reads fucking words these days?)

Now, the only downside of radio is, sadly, you can't show a magnificent pair of bristolas. I know, I know, I know.

But what if you had a script that started, 'Oooh, Brian - hand me that towel so I can wrap it round my double-D doobries what I've just been soaping up in the shower...'

See? We're right back in The Theatre of the Mind! I'm a regular visitor! And you will be too, now! I know it!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!



Monday, 25 January 2010

Ding dong for DK

I'll keep it brief because, frankly, I'm excited enough to wee in someone else's pants, let alone my own.

I think I may have met the number one special soulmate lady of my life.

I won't go into the details because they're deeply personal (and I was absolutely smashed, so I can't actually remember them anyway) but suffice to say, in a deep, dark, special place in Delilaz, this very Saturday (or possibly Friday) I made a once-in-a-lifetime connection with a lady.

That lady is Cutella...er...Cutella Something. Cutella Soon-To-Be-Knockles.

After my little incident the other night in Delilaz (and this is the last fucking time I want it mentioned, ever, and I fucking mean it), Cutella has been paying me a great deal of attention (and earning herself a fair wodge too, the little minx!), often taking much longer over dances, just to give me some extra attention. (Yes, this does cost me more - but she's a businesswoman, just like me. No, hang on, she's a businessman, just like me. No...ah, fuck it.)

But on Saturday (or Friday) that special bond became something more significant. Not even a connection - more a completion. I lost track of all time, all the troubles of my high-powered role as a marketing genius left me and I became transfixed by her eyes. I said some things (she tells me), she said some things, deep sentiments were exchanged.

(At this point, Cutella informs me, I did throw a minor spanner in the works by inadvertently farting her off my lap and into a wall. Luckily, she didn't let it put her off even though, as she playfully put it, 'It stank like a shit had taken a shit.' That girl!)

Anyway, I remember vividly her saying, 'David - you need someone to take care of you and that big house of yours you own outright. Was it a BMW you said you drive?'

Does it get any more exciting than this? A woman who cares for you, your castle AND is interested in cars!

The point of all this is: I'm going to ask Cutella to marry me.

I know! It's so exciting. It's making my tummy turn somersaults! My insides are doing cartwheels! I'm all tied up in knots and...hang on.

Nope. Actually, I just really need a shit. Christ, I'd better dash. This will be continued! And it'll all have a very happy ending!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

The etiquette of the fuck up

The client-agency relationship doesn't always run smoothly. Occasionally, there are fuck-ups, errors, clangers and shit-storms.

For the benefit of my less experienced fellow marketing professionals, I thought I'd explain the time-honoured etiquette that has evolved over generations of people dropping a bollock.

There are many different kinds of fuck-up, and a kind of mutually-agreed blame system has arisen which should, in all professional conscience, be honoured.

1. The Typo
This is the most common kind of fuck-up and, like a sudden stonk-on in the swimming baths, is always noticed too late and with a hot flush of regret.

Blame can be dished out simply.

Typo in copy you wrote: agency's fault for not spotting it.
Typo in copy agency wrote: agency's fault for not spotting it.
Typo in copy you've checked and signed off: agency's fault for not spotting it.

2. The incorrect image.
Common in elaborate brochures and print work (like a 298-page nail catalogue, or something) this rarely causes public concern. For instance, if on page 134, the image of the 10mm tack is actually an image of a 10mm galvanised tack, nobody gives a flying fuckbar.

The client, however, is well within his right to lay blame thus:

Wrong image placed by agency: agency's fault.
Wrong image specified by client: agency's fault for not double-checking.

3. The offensive image.
Sometimes, a truly insulting, provocative or downright sickening image ends up in an ad. You know the kind of thing: nobody notices the clump of pube sticking out of the model's knick-knocks, or the landscape used in the 'Visit Israel' ad is actually Palestine, or the baby in the nappy ad has tangibly shat itself.

In this case, sensitivity is required.

Sexually offensive image: agency's fault for not spotting it. Fire them.
Morally offensive image: agency's fault for not researching it. Fire them and demand damages.

4. Wrong terms & conditions.
With offers, deals, price reductions, competitions and any other sham designed to get more gullible punters to part with the few quid they have left after playing the lottery, it's vital to get the Ts & Cs right.

Why? Well, there are people whose lives have grown so unfathomably pointless that their existence is taken up by bitching about the 'small print'. It's like they think we're hiding vital information that, if made widely known, would turn our special offers into pretty-fucking-useless offers - like we're just using words like FREE and SALE MUST END TOMORROW to get attention spuriously, rather than actually offering genuine value! As if!

Anyway, blame is tricky to dish out here. I always go with:

Wrong Ts & Cs: agency's fault for not getting them checked out by a lawyer (not to be charged back to the client - I'm not a fucking mug).
Wrong Ts & Cs supplied by client: as above.

5. Ad not very good.
This last one is the most contentious. The quality of an ad is a subjective matter. What's more, everybody should have signed the ad off, including you.

But hang on. You're the client. You pay the bills. It's your right to raise the issue if an ad doesn't do it for you. Again, there are established ways to decide who's in the wrong.

TV ad doesn't look as good as the one before it: agency's fault for not checking it against every single other TV ad.
TV ad just not, well, I dunno, sort of, kind of as good as you remember at the edit, really: agency's fault for not making it as good as you remember at the edit.
Press ad not as good in the press with all the amends you made: agency's fault for not advising you against making the amends.
Press ad not as, like, zingy as you expected: agency's fault for reducing zingyness.

That should keep you going for now, fellow marketing professionals. Remember - if blame can be fairly apportioned to the agency (and they usually agree it was their fault when you start mentioning the words 'agency review') they should cover all the costs of the fuck-up, take you to lunch in a generous and expansive way and offer the head of some no-mark minion (usually a junior account exec - an ugly one) by way of recompense / sacrifice to you, their god.

That's the way I go about it, my frends.

Look! That's a fuck-up - and the agency should have spotted it! I demand lunch! And I'll get it!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Knockles vs planner



I know, okay?

I know.

I go on about planners a lot. Here, here, here and here. But this is possibly the most intriguing mystery in my life. For some people, it's God. For some it's medicine. For some, it's strippers. For me, it's planners. (Actually, put me down for strippers too.)

I flip-flop between blind awe, gulping dread and proper, honest hate. So today's meeting with the agency gave me a good opportunity to do battle with their 'Director of Insight, Account Planning & 360 Consumer Environment Engagement'.

It started well. I bowled into the agency at 11, pumped right up for the 9 o'clock meeting. 'Good morning, beautiful', I whispered to the receptionist, leaning in close over her desk. (I really felt full of vim!) 'Are you a magician? Because something has just appeared in my pants!'

Flattered into silence, she sent me straight up to the usual roomful of dour fuckers looking repeatedly at their watches. (I can't be doing with clock-watchers. I need to work with people who put in a full day and then some. Oooh! That reminds me - I have to get away by 3 today to make the golf club January Jolly with Ken Crappallan.)

'Cheer up!' I roared! 'I'm here!' (Sometimes people just need a rocket to snap them out of their rut.)

The meeting began. Badly. The planner stood up and, although he had a sensible haircut (though that may have been ironic) he was wearing very, very elaborate trousers. Sort of like flares, but with strips of cloth hanging off them, and the word 'ASS' across the backside.

'Dave - I'd like to talk about your brand. I want to get to know it. What do you think your brand feels about Obama?'

'Er...who is Obama?'

'Ah! I get you - exactly. Who IS Obama. Your brand doesn't have time for politics, especially foreign politics. So it's low-culture? X-Factor, I assume. Maybe Katona? Maybe Celeb BB?'

'Well....'

'Okay - not specific enough. Fair enough. Let's drill down: who's your brand's favourite X-Factor winner?'

'I...er...I think my brand is busy on Saturdays.'

'Right, right - I'm getting this. What's it up to on Saturday?'

'Cor. Erm...probably shopping or something.'

'Of course! Because it's got kids! It's a consumer durable! What are its kids called? Are they boys or girls, do we think?'

'I...er...don't really...know...'

'You don't know? Are you serious?'

'Ha ha! Ahem. Of course I know. They're called...Dave...and...David.'

'Really? Two boys?'

'David is a girl.'

'Hmm. I see.'

During this and the subsequent exchanges, I made an excuse to visit the bog on several occasions. Finally, when faced with the questions 'Does your brand take baths or showers?' and 'Is there room in your brand's life for an affair?' I made a decision. I assumed I'd visited the thunderbox so often that pretty much everyone must have inferred that I'm a wank addict. So I faced the elephant in the room and hit it squarely in the face with my cock and balls.

'Could I leave the room for a moment?' I announced. 'I very much need a wank.' And I left.

Then, comfortably ensconced in the lavvy, safely away from the planner, I thought 'Well, seeing as I'm here...' And I did, indeed, enjoy a brief and quite explosive jostle.

It worked wonders! I felt revived, energised and in full control. I walked back into the room and said, 'Look, Casper - I haven't got time for all this brand bollocks. I've got a hole in my tum-tum that needs filling with Mexican food, tequila and the extra-hot salsa they keep in the fridge in a cast-iron pot just for me. So fuck off and do me some ads. I like women with big bristolas, I like the product name in the headline and I like women with big bristolas. On you crack!'

And I walked into El Mexicaniac with a spring in my step I haven't felt since the day I got the all-clear from Doctor Treiffel at the special clinic, then realised it was Flange For A Fiver Night at Delilaz, then realised I had several fivers, then found a fiver in my old suit, then won a bet for a fiver with Big Brian Humpage (eat everything on the Burger King menu in under 3 minutes - easy), then got a packet of McCoys with an absolute MONSTER of a crisp in it, then had a one-wipe shit for the first time in 4 years, then had a think in my office without having the dream about the vagina with teeth!

It just goes to show that when you don't know what somebody's talking about, shouting at them makes you feel better. It's how I shall proceed from this day hence!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Photoshoots: the pros and pros

As a client, you might think that you shouldn't have access to the creative process. And in some ways, you're right. (The boring bits, for example. Like, after I've had a genius idea, there's always a fucking age spent wanking about in Photoshopper, or whatever the fuck it's called. Those bits you wouldn't want access to, believe me.)

Some areas of the creative process, however, you absolutely should be party to. Mainly because they're an absolutely king-sized doss.

Photoshoots are, perhaps, the most regal of king-sized dosses. And here's why.

1. Bristolas.
A photoshoot that doesn't feature a delectable bird with magnificent juggles is a photoshoot only an amateur client would attend.

If you're really lucky, you'll have already been to the casting session which, for the morally ambivalent, is a veritable universe of improper opportunities. The models, you see, are vile to the make-up girl, openly huffy with the account person and don't even look at the creatives, but they know where their bread is buttered and - if you really act like the biggest of the big knobs - they'll usually offer to blow you in the bogs. And if they don't they're just lesbians.

2. Free shit.
The opportunities for free shit are many and varied.

There may be props (clothes, TVs, sofas, cars, cows, lamps, sausages - you fucking name it, pal) which, after the shoot, are redundant. GET IN FIRST. Stake your claim - it's your money that's paying for the shoot (well, your company's) so you get first dibs. My house is a kind of living record of all the shoots I've attended. And it explains why I have a tank in my garden.

3. Eat, drink, eat, drink, eat, drink.
For a reason I haven't yet figured out, shoots (especially film shoots) seem to require an almost constant stream of nosh in order to function. Assistants, interns and grunts are sent almost by the minute for bacon rolls, coffee, cakes, coffee, snacks, coffee, sandwiches, coffee, lunch, coffee, dinner, coffee, coffee, coffee.

Obviously, this is brilliant. Except for the coffee. A tip from an old hand: find out who's doing the coffee-gophering early on and get them to discreetly empty your coffee and replace it with beer. Or scotch. Or beer and scotch. Your call. Otherwise, all those Americanos will have you buzzing off your tits all day, won't they? You need a clear head at a shoot.

4. That's a wrap, everybody!
Those words, usually uttered by some kid in farcical trousers who hasn't done anything else all day, signify the greatest part of any photoshoot: the end.

But not just the end, the end of the standing about trying to look bothered and the beginning of the reason you came.

First, dinner, usually at some pizza joint where the crew will gorge themselves disgustingly. (And you will too, if you've got any fucking sense.) The model or models, however, will pick at a rocket salad while climbing into the chardonnay with aplomb. (Great news, that, obviously.)

Then it's the 'wrap party'. This, depending on the scale of the shoot and the calibre of the production company / photographer, will be an exercise in bohemian debauchery that will use up at least 50% of the allocated spend. Those models, stomach's lined by some rocket leaves and a breadstick, will really come into their own. And ideally, everything you shot during the day will be lost or damaged, so you have to do it again.

Remember, my fellow marketing professionals, it is your right - more than anyone else's - to join the creative process whenever you see fit. And I usually see fit to join it when the dolly birds turn up and the 'coffee' gets handed out.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Don't let me drink booze or visit Delilaz

Just a quick note - whatever you do, don't let me drink any booze or visit Delilaz again.

My new friends in Amsterdam told me it would be a bad thing to do and bad things would happen and it would be a bad thing to do.

So, if you see me reaching for a drink or visiting Delilaz, ask me politely to stop and repeat my mantra to myself.

(It's 'David says no. David says no. David says no.' Repeat until you're in bed and safe.)

I promised myself and my new friends that I wouldn't go back to my old ways and with the short-term memory loss I might suffer, I feel I need to be watched.

Thank you.














Anyway, where was I? I'm fucking gasping for a pint. If you need me, I'll be in Delilaz.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I have discovered a new Dave Knockles

Hey everybody.

I'm back.

I feel very well, thank you.

I feel very well, thank you yes.

I know nobody asked how I was doing or where I was, but I know you were thinking of me because I felt it, the good will, humming on through the air and the world and the sky.

As my good, good friend Big Alan Cockson mentioned in his beautiful, enlightening post, I have been in Amsterdam at a beautiful, enlightening facility for stress-soaked executives.

He suggested I go there because I had been working too hard. Also, I had some kind of spectacular melt-down in Delilaz.

Anyway, I took his advice and found it to be a totally beautiful and enlightening experience. Alan himself suggested I visit a young therapist there called Sally Van Der Hooeken Of Tussenvoegsels. As well as having what Alan described as the 'biggest funbags in Holland', she could also 'bang you back to normality'.

But when I arrived, the principle therapist took one look at me (I had indulged somewhat on the plane, and I suppose 3 bottles of sparkling chardonnay on a 35-minute flight is excessive) and took me to this room with soft walls and gave me these pills and...ooh...36 hours later, I woke up feeling very beautiful and enlightened.

I've been on some other pills since then and, I have to say, I haven't felt in the least bit stressed. I haven't touched a drop of booze, I haven't felt the urge to visit Delilaz, I haven't even wanted to tell my agency how to write ads. I just feel very beautiful and enlightened and at peace with myself and the world. I've finished my course and I think they've cured me! I'm a new Dave Knockles now.

They said some side effects might kick in, like short-term memory loss, blackouts, night sweats, short-term memory loss, blackouts and night sweats, but nothing's happened so far.

Some people suffer violent mood swings too, but they're probably just fucking cunts who deserve to have their fucking eyes gouged out with fucking sticks for fuck's sake you cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt cunt.

Everything's good, isn't it? It really is, isn't it? I mean, it really is, isn't it? I mean, it really is, isn't it?

It's all fixed now. I'm all better. All better now. All shit and better. All fucking shit and fucked in and better than you, you fucking cunt-bag shitter FUCK OFF!

Yes. It's all better now.

Why? Because I AM BEAUTIFUL AND ENLIGHTENED!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A guest post from Big Alan Cockson, Finance Director

Hello. My name is Alan Cockson. I am the Finance Director at the company you may know as that at which David Knockles is the Marketing Director.

As you know, David writes this blog. He has asked me, Alan Cockson, to fill in for him while he takes a break at a facility in Amsterdam for the management of executive stress. I personally recommended it to him having visited several times myself, usually after a heart attack, stroke or coronary embolism, of which I have suffered many of. David, like many of us on the board, has recently been suffering under the pressures of high-level management. It is therefore for that reason why he has taken the aforementioned sabbatical for the duration of this weekend. If anyone from the revenue is reading, it's tax deductible.

Having never read David's blog (indeed, I have never read any blog, used the internet or switched on the computer in my office) I asked him what I should write about. He replied, 'Anything - just make it interesting to an audience of marketing people.'

With that in mind, my post could loosely be titled 'Why advertising makes 0% sense and should be wiped out.'

Marketing, advertising, design and other creative-oriented services are what I call 'life's inessentials'. In financial terms, they deliver a non-material return on investment because they can't be accurately measured or quantified. One of David's advertisements, for example, will cost upwards of 100,000 sterling, but the revenue it generates can't be truly known.

Furthermore, it is generally the territory of what I call 'bohemian liberals' who, being by and large lesbians, gays, women, communists, subversives, Islamists, drug addicts, satanists, child-molesters, nudists, hippies, punks, skinheads, immigrants and young people, are highly unreliable - representing what the insurance business might call a 'heavy risk'. Prudence would suggest that investing in such people will probably end in significant financial loss, violence and vomiting / intravenous drug use.

In a sensible assessment of business practice, therefore, this is the first area which should be de-budgeted. Some may argue that without advertising, customers will not be aware of new products, special offers etc, but a simple analysis shows that the reduction in sales often does not outweigh the cost of the marketing in the first place. That scenario is what I call 'a zero commercial common sense situation'.

Sensible businesses, knowing that advertising and marketing is largely run by homosexuals (who are known to have little commercial sense), will direct funding into measurable areas that show a tangible return: stationery, share options for directors, finance department training seminars in Gran Canaria etc.

In short, it is proven fact that all the people in your industry are a bad investment and even the most basic financial scrutiny shows you should be re-budgeted into alternative business areas such as admin, building maintenance, cleaning, unemployment and death.

I hope you have found this a useful post and not too much of a change from David's thoughts. Perhaps in the future he might permit me to expand on my theory into more detailed areas of analysis, for instance, why women are bad for business.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Cockson, Finance Director.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Bad pint




It was bitingly cold, almost cruel, as I walked into Delilaz last night.

At home I was bored, listless. I tried the TV, I tried Scotch. I tried porn. I tried TV, porn and scotch. Nothing worked.

So I went to Delilaz.

I walked in and sat down, as usual. I ordered a Hot Beaver sandwich (beef and liver - delicious) and a lager 'n' vodka 'n' cava 'n' port. Nothing out of the ordinary. I chatted to Candiqua and Yvonnia and Praline. I had a brief wrestle with Big Jasmine. I got up off the floor. I pretended my knee didn't really, really hurt. All the usual stuff. I had a couple of dances with Stephenette and Alanora and Derekke. Then I had a couple with Cutella. Then a couple more with Cutella. Then a couple more with Cutella. Then a bottle of claret, a pint of lager, a pint of gin 'n' tonic, a couple of something else, a few other things and a couple of dances with Cutella.

It was all as it should be.

Then I heard a song.

Just a song.

But without a warning, without any suspicion that something was wrong, I felt sobered and scared. The lights that had been both mysterious and detailed, like good lingerie, seemed sinister, malevolent. The words in the song were coming right at me, talking to me. I couldn't get away from them. I felt stupid, suddenly. A fool. I felt coldly alone. I felt tears well.


The words went


Sometimes it seems that the going is just too rough

And things go wrong no matter what I do

Now and then it seems that life is just too much

But you've got the love I need to see me through



When food is gone you are my daily meal

When friends are gone I know my saviour's love is real.



Through the music I sensed something, heard something, something horrific, a voice, horribly truthful.

"You're a dick. You're a talentless dick. You don't know what you're doing. How did you get here, you dick? You're nobody, you're nothing, you're a joke. You're a dick, you dick. You're just alone."

I looked around and was struck by the sheer waste, the pointlessness of this place - the time and money and energy I'd spunked into it with my desperate trousers around my desperate ankles. Why hadn't I found someone, found someone with the love to see me through? Why hadn't I found my saviour? Tears, thick as melted chocolate, flooded me.

The song ended.




I had fallen to my knees and was slumped against the vulgar red plush cushions of a booth. Cutella was standing over me.

'Are you alright, Dave? Dave?'

I picked myself up.

'Fucking right I am - bad pint, innit! Now get your tits out and let's have a dance - the works, if you know what I mean!'





Sometimes, you've just got to get through those bad pints, haven't you? Those bad pints come from time to time. And you've just got to get through them. That's what I think, anyway. And it works for me. Mostly.

Why? Because I am the client.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The anatomy of a board

People often ask me, 'Dave - just who's on your board and how do you formulate long-term success strategies that combine customer delight with year-on-year real-term improvements to the bottom line?'

(Actually, nobody asks me that. But come on, I've got to write about something for fuck's sake. What would I do if I didn't do this? Read books? Learn stuff? Form a meaningful relationship with a woman I love and admire? Exactly.)

So here, member by glorious, engorged member, is the board of my company.

Big Andy Poleman, Managing Director.
Big Andy Poleman is a legend in business circles for his no-holds-barred, both-hands-on, semi-violent approach to commercial dealings. Before joining our board, he built and ran the UK's leading nightclub and door security firm, at one point supplying 98% of the UK's doormen. But he built that near-monopoly fair and square, there was nothing dodgy going on at all, and the charges were dropped.

Big Alan Cockson, Finance Director.
Big Alan Cockson's dedication to this company is evidenced by his numerous heart attacks, strokes and coronary embolisms suffered at the workplace - many of which he has sustained and recovered from in the course of a single meeting. No matter how many times his massively unpredictable heart beats him to the ground, he always gets back up - especially if there's a buffet to be enjoyed. Though he is morbidly obese and a diagnosed sex addict, he is one of life's gentlemen. Unless he's had a scotch, in which case, look the fuck out.

Big Brian Humpage, Sales Director.
Beneath his openly misogynistic exterior, Big Brian Humpage is, basically, a cunt. And that's what makes him perfect for the world of sales. He'd kill you and eat your dead anus if it meant he got one sale closer to a monthly bonus, he's screwed over so many colleagues he often needs police protection and he has actually written and signed the contract that sells his soul to Satan - he's just waiting for the Dark Lord to add his signature. 'When the big man puts ink on it,' he often says, 'I'll hit targets so fucking big, I'll get Norway as a bonus.'

Big Micky Dickings, Product Development Director.
An old associate of Big Andy Poleman's, Big Micky Dickings was recently brought into the company to oversee the development of innovative, commercially viable consumer durables. Though he has no experience of this kind of work, or indeed of any kind of work except being a doorman, he does get things done. His management style has been described as 'singularly, brutally effective'. I'd like to put on record that I like him very, very much.

Dave Knockles, Marketing Director.
I don't think I need to tell you about this guy! Instead, let me use Big Andy Poleman's words, found in an email he accidentally sent to me but meant for all the other board members: 'The Dave problem continues, but I can't really see a solution in the short-term.' (You don't need to be a genius to see that 'the Dave problem' is this: keeping everyone's pecker up when one member of staff (me!) is outperforming them so completely! I'll leave that one to you, Andy! Guilty as charged!)

Today was a great example of how we work. We got together for an early, early strategy meeting (11am - talk about needing a cup of coffee!), formulated some hardcore fucking business vision, headed for the Dog & Hog Carvery for a breather at 11.30, kept the pot boiling over lunch, then finished the session, exhausted and drenched in management outpourings at 3.30pm.

It's good old-fashioned hard graft, but it gets the job done. I wouldn't change it for a barrel of tits.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!


Tuesday, 12 January 2010

What's wrong with ad agencies

I spent the day at my agency (well, from about 11 until 12.30-ish) and the post-Chrimbo immersion into the bare-knuckle rigours of marketing felt like I imagine it feels for miners to return to work after a spell in hospital with advanced emphysema.

I didn't like it, I struggled to breathe and I spent a lot of the time wondering what the hairy fucking heck I was doing there.

(I mean, a planner asked me whether my brand is a fan of X-Factor, or more a fan of Strictly Come Dancing, for fuck's sake. I pretended I had something in my eye and it all blew over, thank wank.)

That said, the cold bath treatment of getting back into the swing of things gave me the clarity to see just what the problem is with agencies.

Here's how I get a campaign out that's aimed at, say, fisting enthusiasts:

I call the account exec and say I need an ad aimed at fisting enthusiasts. She tells the account director, who enlists the help of a planner, a creative director and a digital specialist. The account director draws on a wealth of experience in this sector to steer the team, highlighting potential pitfalls and opportunities. The account exec supports and facilitates along the way. The planner (I am told) looks into the market and target audience in depth, discovering a unique insight into what fisting enthusiasts want from their consumer durables and produces a brief the creatives can turn into some great work. The creative director inspires the agency's creatives to find new and eye-catching ways to stop this target audience, get my message across and sell my product. The digital specialist dovetails with the creatives to help me bring the campaign to life online, perhaps using social media or devising groundbreaking ways of breaking out of traditional media and into a new and more engaging way of creating a connection with my consumer.

(Meanwhile, the media agency will drop the bombshell that to reach fisting enthusiasts I need to put a page ad in Fisting World and a banner ad on fisting.com. Fuck me. Really?)

It takes weeks of endeavour. Then the agency presents the ad with a mixture of pride and trepidation, confidence and fear, satisfied that they've developed something new, bold, impactful and effective - something they feel is almost part of them - but anxiously eager for me to like it.

At that point, I present the ad to my mother (she's nearly target audience) for research, she notices that the woman in it has mean eyes, or the colour of the type reminds her of the dress she wore the day my father left, and it's back to the drawing board. The whole process can sometimes be repeated 3 times before an ad gets to the public.

Now, I think I've spotted the flaw in all this.

The agencies put a massive amount of work into getting the ad in front of me, and I blow it out of the water on the strength of whatever my mother says, no matter how irrelevant or bizarre.

I don't know why I didn't see it sooner! It's so obvious!






Don't bother with all that work! Just give me some rough shit you thought up in half an hour and let me blow that out of the water on the strength of whatever my mother says. It'll save a lot of time, heartache and self-harm in the creative department.

Fucking easy! Some days I amaze myself - nearly! Ha ha! Nothing I do amazes me these days!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Dave Knockles arrives on Twittster

Dave Knockles, me, THE CLIENT, is now...am now...shit. Start again.



I AM THE CLIENT! AND I AM NOW ON TWITTSTER!

So, just like I blew up in your face, boom!, in blogland, I will now make a big fat splash all over Twittster.

I'm well into Twittster. It's so, like, of the now, today, here. So I'll be tweetsting all about all kinds of shit and keeping you all up to date with everything I'm doing, every second of every day, all the time, without stopping, forever and ever, even when you're asleep.

It'll be brilliant.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I AM THE CLIENT!

I think I can probably do everything my agency does, only better.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I say to receptionists, with utter confidence, things like 'Morning, gorgeous! This isn't a gun in my pocket - I'm just so pleased to see you I've sustained an enormous erection!'

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I think planners are a figment of their own imagination, have indecipherable haircuts, wear trousers that defy logic, make Powerpoint charts that look like someone attached a pen to the hand of a Parkinson's sufferer on a rollercoaster, appear to know more than is humanly possible and are probably involved in some kind of terrorist plot to fuck my mind - and I refuse to pay for them.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I believe management executives to be a genetically superior breed of the human race which is the result of fast-tracked evolution caused by the white-hot inferno of business endeavour - which is why I won't really remember your name until you're a genuine board member or at least at directorial level within a large organisation, a proper one, not a council or something.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I refuse, on point of principle, to pay what my agency asks me to pay for anything, ever, at all, because they're filthy crooks who are only in business to make profit.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I am only in business to make profit, so I will, if at all possible, fuck you roundly up the funnel for a single penny.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I occasionally call people a-holes, shitbags, knob-holders, cockpipes, fuck-ends, cuntslots, wankers, fuckers, shitters, friggers, pissers, pricks, plops, parps, pizzles, portions, slags, bags, fags, cunt-wads, cunt-wipes, cunt-bags, cunt-balls, cuntophiles, cuntillians, cuntiatrics, cuntologists, cuntoramas and cunts - but it's strictly business.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I can design logos, layouts, ads, posters, products and buildings better than any designer, I just can't work one of those machine things - and I don't see why I fucking should.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I know very well that the deadline I'm giving you gives me at least a week more than I need, but I give it to you anyway.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I think that part of being an account director should be buying me beerz, laughing at my jokes (although they're brilliant anyway) and doing exactly what I tell you to do all the time.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I think the perfect ad would just have a magnificent pair of bare bristolas next to my product.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I sometimes spend whole mornings on the shitter fighting back the tears of confusion and dread as another day threatens to engulf me with stuff I know nothing about, amongst people who know more than me, in a job I'm not sure how I got - but I'd never admit it to you cunts.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I spend most of my disposable income on lapdances at Delilaz because I crave female contact but have no idea how to meaningfully engage it - but I'd never admit it to you cunts.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I suspect Rupert Abbott thinks I'm some old-fashioned, unsophisticated idiot and that he laughs at me and my ad campaigns - but I'd never admit it to that cunt.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

I believe that one day I will create a campaign of such devastating effectiveness that doing something similar will be known as 'Knocklising' - and I won't stop until it happens.

Why? Because I AM THE MOTHERFUCKING CLIENT!

Friday, 8 January 2010

We've had a little bit of snow



Hello?

Hellllooooo?

Jesus. There's just nobody out there. Not a fucking soul. Nobody whatsoever. Just bleak, barren white everywhere. It's like the world's a cake and it got iced. (Hey! That's fucking poetic that is! And it's true too, a bit. It actually looks like it snowed a lot. Icing doesn't tend to have trees, hedges and abandoned Vauxhall Omegas sticking through it. Still, poetry is mostly bullshit, innit?)

How long have I been stuck here? It must be getting on for 56 hours now. Why oh why oh why did I listen to Big Alan Cockson over lunch yesterday?

'I know this right tidy little bird in Kent,' he said. 'I reckon - and I'm not exaggerating for the sake of it, you know I don't do that, Dave - I reckon she could officially be the dirtiest woman in Britain. And I'd know.'

So off I go, all excited after a Special Monster Chili Cheese Nachos Platter, Fatboy mixed grill, Chocolate Volcano and 2 or 3 (or 7) pints. And what happens? Fucking Antarctica turns up and here I still am - totally fucking stuck in the middle of cunting nowhere.

No signal on my phone, no sign of civilised life, not a single car all the time I've been here, snowdrifts reaching the fucking windows of my BMW motor car.

And I can't go out. All I'm wearing is a suit and a pair of suede loafers. And my coat is one of those macs you get in a bag at a petrol station. (Well, for fuck's sake - why would I have a blanket and a shovel and a thermos and 10 tins of fucking soup in my boot? The furthest I ever walk is from my car to the door at work. And I leave it in a disabled spot most days. Yes, we've got a couple of wheelchairistas who moan a bit, but I just leg it for the stairs when I see them coming.)

I'm getting a bit peckish, I have to be honest. There was a Big Mac under the passenger seat (sorry - can't explain that one) and by sheer good luck I'd had Mandy Fookes, my marketing manager, nip to the super that morning for me and get a few Pot Noodles (she thrives on responsibility). They're a bit dry without the water in them, but not bad. And if I fancy a drink I just reach out of the window and scoop up some snow.

The lavvy is obviously my main problem. I mean, after such a copious lunch yesterday, it wasn't long before nature came calling. Taking a piss wasn't a problem (although I quickly learned that if you pop your winkwonk out of the window, you should keep your knee away from the button that closes it. Jesus fucking Christ - I was nearly the John Wayne Bobbit of marketing. I shall carry a bruise and pinch marks for a while). But when it came to pooping, matters were more complicated.

I tried just sticking my arse out of the window and going for power and distance, but it's very difficult to maintain an adequate trajectory beyond the first pump. After that, all you can do is try a flicking motion. With a bit of practice it might work, maybe, but it wasn't really a viable long-term solution. In the end, I just shat in the glove compartment. It doesn't really stink, what with it being so cold. When I get out of this fuck-up, I'll just take it to the valeting boys and tell them a tramp broke in and did it.







Tum-ti-tum-ti-tum.

What to do now?





It's the boredom that's the hardest part. That and the deep, deep lonelin...SHIT!

What was that? Oh Jesus...

Something's snuffling about outside!

IT' A FUCKING WOLF! I KNOW IT IS! I'M GOING TO BE EATEN BY FUCKING WOLVES! PLEASE DON'T EAT ME!



Oh...hang on. It's a crow, shitting on the hedge out the back there.










Cor, this is boring. I need something to lift my spirits and keep me warm.

Another wank it is!

Well, I deserve a treat.

Why? Because I AM COMPLETELY FUCKING STRANDED!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The missing posts - part 2

Further to my post about the missing contents of this blog, I now bring you more shocking revelations about how I, Dave Knockles, voice of a marketing generation, has been gagged.

Naturally, I have to do this sensitively, or I risk being gagged again. And if you've been gagged twice, you'll know it's not a pleasant experience.

(It happened to me at Delilaz once when my regular girl, Xantia, had a fag break just after she'd strapped me to the Humilitron and inserted the gagging ball. The girl who took over, Keshandria, stuck another gagging ball in without looking (I do ask for it to be in total darkness to be fair) so I essentially had a pair of tennis balls jammed down my throat. On the upside, I managed to puke entirely through my nostrils, which made for some frankly amazing photographs.)

Anyway, I'll proceed with caution. You've had Revelation 1. Here's...

Revelation 2.

In a post last September, I was discussing the rapid growth of Twitter and was analysing its potential as a marketing tool (in short, I was saying it's about as much use as skimmed fucking milk). In the course of that analysis I suggested that...

...How to put this? Hmm...

Well, I suggested that certain Ashton people who are Kutcher very popular on Twitter have the Britney brains of a fucking Spears watermelon and the insight Coldplay of cottage Arnold cheese Shwarzenegger.

Now, you'd think that these Twitterites would be well used to being called shit-cakes, fuck-ups, arse-bags and cuntophiles.

Apparently not.

Surprisingly quickly I was threatened with, and I quote, 'the kind of suing we normally reserve for paedophiles, dictators and Bernie Madoff'.

Needless to say, I don't give in to bullies - and I told them so! They replied with the suggestion that they would also give me 'a kicking so severe, your balls will turn to jam and your anus will become part of your spleen'.

At that point, I paused for thought (you know, before really letting them have it), reread my comments and came to the conclusion, completely independently, that I could express them more effectively by not actually saying anything.

So. Narrow escape for them that time. But will they be so lucky again? No fucking chance!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Cleanavia Campaign. We have lift off.

After several false starts, several ding-dongs and several pints of blood, sweat and tears from yours truly, the Cleanavia launch campaign is done, dusted and in the bag.

After yesterday's unpleasantness, I felt I should devote today to the achievement of goals.

Now, I didn't get home until 6am this morning, so I knew I wouldn't be in tip-top form until I'd had a quick power nap.

And, indeed, eight hours later, I felt fantastic!

Before I slipped beneath the non-fake satin sheets of my executive bed, however, I made sure that I would still be able to devote today to the achievement of goals: I delegated someone else to achieve the goals for me. (It still counts.)

I simply called the agency and said, 'Get the ads ready by today. I don't know when. I'll come in at some point. Not sure when. But I want them ready when I get there.'

(Now that, fellow marketing professionals, is how to deal with an agency.)

I was asleep before I could hang up. (Which caused an issue, apparently, because the line stayed open and all the account director could do with his phone all day was listen to me snore and fart.)

Anyway, I got in at about 5pm, full of vim and vinegar. 'Hello, miss,' I said to the receptionist. 'Are you married? Do you like anal sex? Answer the second question first.' She laughed (like they all do when I turn on the charm!) and looked at her fellow receptionista knowingly. They'd probably been talking about me, the mucky pair!

The meeting was brief, brutal and beery - just how I like them. (And how I sometimes like a bang, actually, but that's a different story.)

The ads were done, I approved them (once I'd got home and checked with my mother, naturally - she's nearly target audience) and they went to press. Simple.

'Why can't all meetings be like this?' I asked them. Weirdly, nobody had an answer until someone piped up and said, 'They normally are. You know, with other clients.'

'Ah!' I retorted. 'But other clients don't do work like THIS!' And I held up one of the ads (featuring a beautiful bird with muchas bristolas, a Cleanavia 1100 and the headline 'Superior cleansing performance meets aspirational design. What a cracking pair.')

'No,' the nay-sayer had to reply. 'No they don't.'

Fucking right! 'Stick with me,' I cheered, 'And your portfolio will look better than a three-grand hooker with new tits!'

It's true too!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!