Friday, 30 April 2010

The joy of BMW

'Hello, it's Mr BMW Client here. Is that my agency of the last 20-odd years?'

'Yes it is! How are you? It's been a while! We were beginning to think you'd ditched us!'

'Er...well, we've been having a really good think.'


'And we've decided to ditch you.'

'WHAT? But we've been your agency for decades! We developed one of the most enduring positionings in advertising history: The ultimate driving machine. It's been widely regarded as utterly brilliant and a major reason for BMW becoming one of the world's leading brands.'

'Yes, yes, we know. But, you know, all that incredibly rational stuff - all those technical innovations and reasons to buy a BMW and brilliantly judged executions and everything. It's just that we' know...bored of it. A bit.'

'You're a bit bored of it?'

'Yeaah, we' know...a bit bored of it. Janine was saying the other day...'

'Janine? The junior marketing exec you hired because she has big jugs?

'Yeah, Janine - she was saying the other day that she'd been here for 18 months and all she'd heard was 'The ultimate driving machine this, the ultimate driving machine that'. It's boooring!'

'But it's really good! It sells cars! It's your brand!'

'Yeah, I know, I know - don't get me wrong! We love all that stuff. We love all that brand stuff. know...we're a bit booored of it. So we've let one of our American agencies have a pop at the whole thing.'

'WHHHHAAAAAAT? The fucking WHOLE thing?'

'Hey, hey - calm down! There'll still be some local press ads and dealer stuff that needs doing. You know, flyers and that.'

'Fucking flyers? Jesus wept...'

'Well, anyway, these American chaps really have nailed it.'


'Yeah - get this: JOY.'

'Joy? She's the other one you hired because she has big jugs.'

'No, this is Joy. The idea. Joy know...thing. The feeling of joy.'


'Yeah! Joy! Happy happy stuff. It's brilliant! There's this line: We don't build cars. We build JOY.'

'Oh, God no.'

'Oh, God YES! We're all really excited about it! Janine said her girlfriends all think it's wicked!'

'Isn't she 20? Is she likely to buy a BMW?'

'Not on the salary I pay her! Are you nuts? But it's really different, isn't it? It's a real change for us. Be honest - things were getting stale, weren't they?'

'So, you've gone from 'The ultimate driving machine' to 'JOY'. You're fucking mad.'

'I KNOW! That's what Janine is always saying! BYE!'

The above conversation may never have happened, my fellow marketing professionals. But that's no reason to believe it didn't happen. And if it did, which it might have, it proves one thing: as a marketeer you sometimes have to move in a different direction - one which, to everybody else in the entire cunting world, looks stupid on a scale previously unknown. Stupid like Ashton Kutcher. Stupid like aromatherapy. Stupid like ameoba. Fucking stupid.

That is why the marketing professional is a prophet, a guru, a visionary. Because only we know when something brilliant, effective and timeless has become boring.

It's a great responsibility. But don't let that put you off. I don't!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The meeting of my life

Today was the big one. The day I unleashed the full brilliance of my latest marketing strategy to launch the Cleanassimo range on my agency. The day I gave them an idea so hot, it makes that Icelandic volcano look like a fucking Panda Pop. That's been in the fridge. Or the freezer.

Anyway, today was the day.

As you know, I like to prepare meticulously for meetings. Sometimes, I even arrive on time, just to throw people off their guard - and to show my undiminishable commitment to creating successful partnerships and power-balling every last drop of potential out of every shared moment with like-minded professionals.

I was disappointed, therefore, to have my usually strict pre-meeting regime thrown off kilter by waking up under a car in strange part of town with no socks, shoes, pants, suit, keys, glasses, watch, car or briefcase. 'Some cunt,' I thought out loud, 'slipped something into that 14th pint. I'll have to deal with them later.'

After a dozen or so phone calls, I was on my way to work. (I called 11 cab companies and then figured out I shouldn't tell them 'Just look out for a bloke with his bollocks out'. The twelfth came, no problem! I was in the back seat and buckled up before the driver had a chance to react.)

So, I resuited and rebooted at work, then set off.

Then I stopped in at Rocky's Griddle for a constitutional plate of kippers, lamb chops, kebab meat, beans, black pudding, sherbert dips and deep fried Curly Wurlies.

Then I felt distinctly dicky and stopped again for a dump which looked for all the world as though someone had mixed gravel, oxtail soup, compost, cannon balls, iron filings and raspberry milkshake.

Then I had a little sleep. Then I was fine, and set off again with a real spring in my limp. I torpedoed into my agency's reception at 11am, leaving plenty of time for the 9am meeting.

'I'm a master baker', I sizzled to the receptionist. 'And I've made you a very large baguette.' Then I turned and ran naughtily for the lift, leaving her saying something like 'Why me?' to her friend. (I know, pet! You can't believe your luck, can you?)

Anyway, I bombed into the meeting room and let them have it.


And with that, my fellow marketing professionals, I received the greatest accolade I have ever received in all the years I have been receiving accolades.

My agency, to a man, simply stood up...and solemnly walked out.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed the odd tear, left alone in that meeting room, with the warm orange juice and the pad on which someone had written 'Dave is a cunt-fork' over and over again. (I don't know who Dave is, poor fucker!)

All I could do was leave them to do what I had asked - bring my campaign to life. I know the results will be as good I hope them to be in the bit of my head that imagines everything's going to be brilliant. They won't let me down.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 26 April 2010

In praise of Intel's jingle

Watch the commercial above. Go on. Fucking watch it.

Notice it's for Dell. That's Dell. Now watch the end bit and see what happens.


Now, I'm sure Intel handed a substantial amount of wodge to Dell for the pleasure of totally hijacking their commercial - something Intel have been doing to computer ads for years - but all anyone remembers is the jingle.

My fellow marketing professionals, this is genius. Rather than go through the tedious work of producing your own commercials, you just jump on the back of someone else's and bang it until it can't walk anymore!

You know, like a parasite. Like a blood-sucking parasite, perhaps a leech, sucking the energy out of another living creature and then casting its husk of a body aside before moving onto the next one.

Or like a cuckoo! A cuckoo, laying its egg in another bird's nest then fucking off for a wank or a pint of claret or to watch the leadership debates, then sitting back while some other fucking mug hatches and then raises its fat, swollen, greedy offspring.

The Dell spot above puts the jingle at the end, but I've seen ads that have the fucking thing IN THE MIDDLE! Imagine that! Some other chump's ad is rolling along nicely when...STOP! BING BONG BING BONG! Right - carry on, fucknut, not that there's any point because anybody watching is thinking 'What the fuck happened there? It went BING BONG BING BONG!'

It's a lot like when you're having a conversation, perhaps with a young lady, and her fucking psychotic twonk-paddle of a mate butts in and says, 'CAN I JUST SAY SOMETHING? I'M HAVING A VERRY HEAVY PERIOD!' And then you have to pick up the conversation again, possibly repeating the bit about how you're a Marketing Director who can literally turn anyone into a star, even though you can think of nothing but blood clots.

Some people say that the Intel jingle is more annoying than having a car alarm going off while a tantruming stage school 4-year old scratches her nails down a blackboard, while a crow with sharpened claws grabs onto your shoulder and pecks at your eyeballs, screeching Girls Aloud songs and shitting on you, while the leaders of the three main political parties scream their manifestos into your ear, all at the same time, while flicking a mixture of lemon juice, piss, cat blood, egg yolk and bleach at your face.

But these people don't know nothing not neither. Stealing other people's commercials and looking them in the eye while you do it is splendid work. And I should know.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Friday, 23 April 2010

When to make your logo bigger

I can hear you agency folk, you know. I'm not stupid. I know what you say about me, your client. I know what's said when I'm not around, or just after I've put the phone down, or when an email I've made Amanda Fookes send for me arrives. Do you think I don't know? Do you think I'm so thick-skinned and arrogant that I'm not aware of exactly what you say about me? Don't you worry - I know only too well.

You say, 'How can that guy know SO MUCH?'

It's fine. I've been around a long time, and I was a fucking genius to start with. So don't sweat it. Just regard knowing me as a free and ongoing lecture in advanced marketing.

Today, for example, I'll confront the subject most likely to cause a flashpoint between client and agency: THE SIZE OF THE LOGO.

If you look at awards annuals, you'll see exactly how important agencies think your logo is. Look for it, bottom right. Probably best to use a magnifying glass. See it yet? Go on - keep looking. It's, there. Bingo! You've found it! THAT is where agencies, the people we pay to sell our product, place your logo in terms of importance.

Obviously, that's ludicrous. My logo is an extension of me. It's like my children. In fact, because I don't actually have any children (those lawsuits notwithstanding) it's more important than my children. Think of it as my face. I want my face on all my ads, big and beautiful and un-fucking-missable.
Sometimes, the agency tries that award-winning shit, and I have to stop them. So here are the times when I want my face / logo much bigger, right fucking now, you cunt-pencil. Because I firmly believe that over 95% of all marketing issues can be resolved by making the logo bigger. And you can quote me on that.

To increase response
Make the logo bigger, and your web address too. Keep making them bigger until you think the average brainless cunt-clack consumer can't miss it, even if they're looking the other way, in the dark, during a typhoon.

To increase product recall
Make the logo bigger, and the product shot too. Increase the size until the product fills the ad, leaving just enough room for the logo. Put the product name in a red flash OVER the product. Then make the logo a bit bigger.

To increase brand awareness
Make the logo bigger. Make it big enough to be seen from space. Then make it a bit bigger.

Now, those of you who follow me on Twitter might be saying at this point, 'Oooh, what a fuck-mush cunt-ponce. He's just repeating what he tweeted this morning. What a fucking clacker-pipe. Why can't he just curl up and let us kick him around the street like a disappointing football until his winkle drops off and the crows eat it in front of his big, drunken fizzog?'

Well, fuck you! Because here comes the added value!

Here are some other occasions when you should make your logo bigger:

In an ad
Is my logo in an advertisement of any sort? Then make that cunt bigger.

On a piece of print
Is my logo on a brochure, leaflet, flyer, poster or piece of POS? Yup. Make that cunt bigger.

In a TV spot
Is my logo going to appear on a TV commercial? Then turn it 3D, make the metallic bits shimmer, swirl it round, flip it over and THEN make that cunt bigger.

On a billboard
Will you be putting my logo on a large format outdoor poster? Then remember that people drive past those things pretty fast. So you need to make that cunt MUCH FUCKING BIGGER.

I hope that helps some of you more inexperienced marketing professionals judge the creative work your agencies are producing. Tomorrow (or not, or whenever, or soon, or not at all) I'll give you some more advice on how much bigger to make your logo. For instance, if it's a press ad you're putting together, should the logo be the biggest thing in the ad, or the biggest thing in the newspaper, or the biggest thing in the world?

One thing's for sure, it won't be as big as mine.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Things to do in the edit suite

Today, my fellow marketing professionals, I spent a day doing something that, if I were to compile a list of things I like to do, would be below shitting in my own eyes, eating a dead man's ballbag and being presented to by planners.

I was at an edit.

The editing phase of any TV commercial or video project involves sitting on a sofa in a darkened room while a man of indeterminable age and pasty complexion (the editor) sits with his back to you operating a machine with unnecessary amounts of knobs, dials, sliders and screens, making imperceptible changes to the same piece of film for hours on end.

And that's it.

So, here are a few ways to make this interminable exercise feel like it's moving a little more quickly.

Eat the biscuits
There are always biscuits. Tons of them. Sweets too. And they'll keep bringing them until you stop eating them. Why not set yourself an hourly target and see if you can beat it? I once ate 94 Kitkats in 15 minutes. I was so bored it was either that or find a cat to fuck to death.

Read the arty magazines
There will be a ready supply of magazines targeting ever more selective niche creative audiences. Many of them will feature photoshoots of heroin addict models showing off their bee-sting bristolas and looking as close to being underaged as irony will allow. This, sadly, is as close as you will get to pornography.

Talk to the creatives
The creatives will always be there, somewhere, eating and drinking whatever they're offered and waiting for the editor to ask 'What about that?' They will look up from their arty magazines, and say something like 'Hmm. It's a know.' The editor will then wordlessly trash his last 6 hours' work and start making more imperceptible changes. Why not ask them what the fuck it is that they're doing there?

Argue with the creatives
If you're really bored, start throwing your oar in. When the editor asks 'What about that?' leap in quickly and bark 'Yes! Good. Next. Let's move on.' An argument will always follow. (The agency boys love my sense of humour, though, so it's fine. They do this dead funny thing where they shout and call me a fucking moron and stomp out. It's brilliant!)

Think about lunch
It will be a bento box. But which bento box will you choose? Bento box 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6? (Bento box 5 is usually the vegetarian one.)

Have a Wankathon
This is only to be tried in cases of extreme boredom. The rules of the Wankathon are simple: knock one out in every room of the premises you are in. In a studio or editing house, that will probably mean the edit suite itself (tricky), the lavs (doddle), the little kitchen area (slightly risky), the communal bit where people using the other editing suites hang about making phone calls (potentially problematic) and the reception area (downright difficult). If you pull it off (HA HA! I'm a funny cunt, me) then you feel an enormous sense of achievement. If you don't, you'll only have made a receptionist cry and the police angry.

I'd be interested to hear what you do to kill the time in the edit suite. Especially if any of you have mastered that tricky reception area challenge. I'll be pleased to give it a whirl.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

This is it: my greatest achievement.

Some of you may have considered the Cleanavia Campaign to be as close to marketing perfection as it is possible to get. And but for the negligible sales it generated, the glut of complaints it garnered, the official warning for incompetence I got from HR and the lawsuits it lead to, it was perfect.

But I think...actually, I know...I've topped it this time.

The Cleanassimo Range is our new suite of consumer durables and we'll be marketing it hard for the next 2 years at least. It needs a fucking shlong-swinging monster of an idea to last that long.

This, my friends and fellow marketing professionals, is it:


Take your time.

Take it in.

Fucking brilliant, isn't it?

Just imagine. My calculations suggest that there will be between 20 and 1,500 Playmates involved in this, ranging in age from 21 to 80. (That cunt-stick, Brian Smeggson, stole my calculator, so I had to work it out on paper, hence the generous margin for error. He denied it too, did Smeggson - he is such a fuckpipe.)

Can you imagine a more perfect body of women to represent our brand? They are women, like our target audience. They are dirty, like the clothes of our target audience. They clean things, like our target audience. They are exactly what our target audience would like to be (big bristolas, attractive, have men doing everything for them, don't need to work or anything, do lots of shopping and that kind of shit etc).

In other words, they ARE our target audience.

An idea like that needs a line to really make it stick in the mind of the consumer. And I have one.

If you don't clean with Cleanassimo your cleaning isn't as clean as Cleanassimo cleans.

(Product name in TWICE, copywriters - watch and learn.)

Finally, in this age of social media and...all that shit, the campaign needs more than just a TV spot to kick it off. It needs word of mouth. It needs talkability generated by mainstream media support. So my proposal is simple: I'm going to pay John Terry to bang the back teeth out of every single one of my Playmates. Then every day he'll write the 'Doing The Dirty' column in The Sun, brought to you by the Cleanassimo range. He'll give a brief and mildly erotic assessment of each trollop's performance, then move on to discuss how they'd used a Cleanassimo to wash away his intense and powerful working class expulsions.

I can, right now, guarantee you - GUARANTEE YOU - that this campaign will quadruple sales AT LEAST. How can it not? It's cunting genius.

And I should fucking know.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Ronaldo and Castrol Edge. A great player. A great ad.

I'd like to take a moment to praise one of the most powerful commercials I've seen in many, many years.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players ever to play the game of soccers. And I should know - I've been a football ever since it got really popular in the 1990s. (Remember those crazy days when Zoe Ball announced to a shocked public that she was a Man Utd fan?)

Well, now he's matched what he can do on a football court with what he can do on screen.

Take a moment to watch and listen.

Some people (people who don't know what the fuck they're on about) have suggested that this commercial is precisely what is WRONG with advertising! Can you believe it? This, they say, is nothing more than a lazy wave of the client's cheque book, using an utterly irrelevant famous mush to plug the gap where an idea should be. It's a very expensive mountain of fusty clacker-pickings that should have been mercilessly crow-barred to death before it could limp off a layout pad and into existence.

Furthermore, they add, Ronaldo himself has all the presence of a brick, only a brick that's spent so long on a sunbed you can virtually hear the skin cancer crackling into life.

And if that weren't enough, these people suggest that the crowning abomination of this cuntcrackle of a commercial is his bizarrely monotonous voiceover, which gives the listener the impression that at some point in his past, he signed a deal with Satan who gave him very fast, twinkly feet but took out the bits of his brain that govern speech, emotion, reasoning, reading, writing, independent thought, the generation of ideas and saying 'no' to the question, 'Cristiano? Do you want to lie on this sunbed?'

Finally, and most cruelly, they suggest that while football may take him to 'colt plaaysees', when he was actually in the 'colt playsees', he played like a cuntcock fanny-end who clearly wasn't interested in anything but showboating his way back into the changing room to sit in a hot bath for an hour and stare unswervingly at his own penis.

What these people fail to realise is that this commercial isn't just a series of expensive location shots that set new standards of piss-taking jolly-having by the agency. It's saying that if you put Castrol in your car, you will be as good at football as Ronaldo. That's the kind of powerful association we clients will pay through the nose for.

I think this is something the naysayers have clearly missed. Luckily, I'm here to point out their errors. Let's be honest - there's nobody better placed to do it.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 19 April 2010

A meeting. A man. A mess.

I had been waiting for 2pm with the kind of eager anticipation that I remember feeling as a young man, about to be given my first assisted massage.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

(Hang on, I do that later, don't I? Let's try again.)

Why? Because today at 2pm a meeting with my agency would see me reveal unto them the details of the launch campaign for our new product suite: The Cleanassimo Range. (Cleanassimo was mine, by the way. But you probably knew that already because it's fucking genius!)

Now, some of you may be wondering why it would be me, the client, revealing the new campaign unto the agency. After all, that's what the agency does. (And, apparently, wins loads of awards for - they've just built a new room next to reception to house them all. I haven't been in yet. Awards don't matter.)

Well, the agency as I see it, is very much a resource through which I can facilitate and realise the marketing strategies devised in-house to synergise with our marketing and broader corporate visions, targets and frameworks of bottom line improvement delivery.

In other words, I do the fucking ads. (This isn't like some cuntwich off the street doing ads, though - I've been awarded for my creative work. Manchester Evening News Recruitment Ad of the Month, January 1994. Winner? Fucking ME. Awards can tell you a lot about someone's ability. Awards matter.)

Anyway, anyway, anyway - 2pm approached fast. I performed a series of very tricky management manoeuvres in the morning, delegated an Olympic amount of work and basically earned a good lunch. I took that lunch at The Balti Bistro, a place that, unlike most restaurants in the world, DEFINITELY DOES BALTI. (Can you believe The Ivy won't do you a balti? Fucking disgraceful. One day, I'm going to shit through their letterbox.)

Now, The Balti Bistro was very generously offering a BOGOF deal on scotch. And, as I'd never accompanied a balti with large volumes of scotch, I accepted their kind offer. Several times. And then twice more.

It turned into a more finely nuanced and detailed lunch than I had anticipated. This often happens where the creative mind is concerned. Thoughts, discussions, debates, questions, arm-wrestling, a lost wallet, a stolen kiss, a slapped face, a difficult conversation with a policeman - it is futile to constrain such an endeavour. Admittedly, I was by myself, so I probably shouldn't have taken quite so long. But I did, so fuck you.

As it was, I still managed to touch down at the agency at 4.20 pm, virtually on time for the meeting.

'Are you a trained architect?' I breathed to the receptionist. 'Because you've created a landmark in my trousers.'

The poor kitten. She didn't know where to look, so she just pretended to have to run away very quickly. Bless her.

After a short snooze in the lavs, I was there - BANG! - tearing up the room, breathing life into the meeting, getting the place charged up. (Let me tell you - they were a sorry looking bunch before I arrived. They all looked so tired! And it was only 5.45!)

As for me, I was pumped. TOTALLY pumped!

In hindsight, I can see I might have been a bit too pumped because, I regret to say, the first thing I did was pump - as a chap will after a lot of balti and scotch. However, I regret even more to say that this wasn't your average pump. Yes, my fellow marketing professionals - I drew mud.

The most disappointing thing for me (and there were a few to choose from, let's be honest) was the reaction of my agency of record. We are all men and women of the world, are we not? Should the sight of a man leap from his seat only to have something leap from his seat really cause such a furore?

Well, it did. Some, I think, took offence at the only-too-audible in-trouser spattering noise - while others, it would seem, found the vitriolic stench to be most troubling. Whatever, while most people left the room with a sleeve pressed over their face and nose, the two attention-seeking, selfish account execs sitting either side of me threw up. And, as they would have known had they cared about their client, the sight of puke makes me puke too. So, I added my own Pollockesque contribution to the work of hurt being committed to that boardroom table. Thank you so much, girls. Thank you for a truly unnecessary and thoughtless gesture. Consider yourself off my 'Dave Does...' sex list. (Well, alright, consider yourself suspended.)

Suffice to say, that was the meeting finished. And even though I ended it with trousers full of my own misfortune and a suit flecked with three flavours of spag, IT WAS LIKE I WAS THE BAD GUY! Un-cunting-fathomable.

I almost called 'Agency review!' right then. But after soaping myself down and borrowing a suit from the Account Director (well, borrowing his suit) I decided to be lenient. After all, I need them to execute what might possibly be my best idea yet.

I'll reveal it when I've been hosed down, dipped in Dettol and had some more balti and scotch.

I will have my day in the sun!


Friday, 16 April 2010

Our new product range. Revealed!

This is it, my fellow marketing professionals! This is the moment I delegate so hard for, every day, right at the coal face, forwarding emails frantically for Amanda Fookes to deal with - it's all for this.

The unveiling of our new product suite: THE CLEANASSIMO RANGE.

(Just linger over that name a while: Cleanassimo. Isn't it beautiful? Cleanassimo, Cleanassimo, Cleanassimo. One of my best, I think. You may remember that I named the Cleanavia 1100 too - inspired by the Flavia coffee machine I have in my office. Well, about a month ago, I replaced it with a Tassimo. The rest, as they don't say, will be history! Inspiration, never forget, can come from anywhere. The truly creative person is always open to new ideas.)

This time, though, we've got an entire range. The Cleanassimo 1000 will be joined by the 2000, 3000, 5000, 10,000, 138,000 and the range-topping 266,000.

All of them are products at the cutting edge that sits just behind the actual cutting edge. They are class-leading in the class below the class that's just below first class. So we're pretty proud. They represent possibly the biggest advancements in increasing margin and lowering production costs we've ever achieved. Our technical guys have been pushed pretty hard (at times physically) to develop products that break new ground in per-unit profits. They've done amazingly well. And there's some stuff customers might like too, so it's a win-win. But mainly, it's a win.

(By the way - AND THIS IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT - you can't tell a fucking soul about this, okay? Nobody. Not even your boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife / favourite hooker / person-you-sort-of-like-but-are-basically-with-for-the-sex-and-to-stave-off-the-fear-of-loneliness. You can't even tell your mother. Seriously. If anyone finds out I've been blabbing, Big Andy Poleman, my MD, will use my anus for a driving range.)

Naturally, a new product range needs a new product range campaign. And I've had some BRILLIANT ideas! The agency are going to be so fucking chuffed when I tell them I'VE ALREADY CRACKED THE CAMPAIGN AGAIN! I won't reveal too much at this stage, but if you remember the Cleanavia campaign and the way I featured a set of wonderful ladies I cast myself (from Delilaz - a coincidence I still can't get over), well, it's along the same lines only way, way better. It's SO much better. I'm so excited about it, I'm struggling to conceal the name of the major celebrities who'll be...oh no! I've let too much slip already!

It raises a serious issue, however. Do I actually need an agency when it's perfectly obvious that I can do it all myself.

I'd be interested to hear your views. What does an agency offer that I can't deliver myself?

Imagine it. I could do whatever I fucking wanted! More than I do already!


Thursday, 15 April 2010

Agency management, part 1. What is it, what does it do and why do you pay for it?

Many of you, my fellow marketing professionals, work with advertising agencies. I think we can all agree on that.

Many of you may also know that nobody has worked with more advertising agencies than me. I've been through them all at least twice, sometimes more. (The reasons for this are many and varied but the common thread through them all is that I'm better at their job than they are and they don't fucking like it.)

Despite that great, groaning wealth of experience, there are still some things about agencies I can't figure out. This stuff and this stuff, for example.

Agency management, however, I have well and truly sussed right out. I'm on those fuckers like Sherlock Holmes on a dead prostitute. Or a mutant dog. (Or a ne'er-do-well with a gorblimey flat cap or whatever - you get the fucking picture.)

You may have looked at your agency's website and clicked on the 'Who are we?' section and seen the various bigwigs glowering at the camera with a mix of studied ennui and ball-wilting arrogance. And you may have thought 'They look like they know what they're doing. I trust my account with them. That one went to Oxford!'

Well, let me take those those assumptions and put them on a raging bonfire to be brutally ravaged by the flames for forty days and forty nights. Then let me curl a large, elegant turd over the ashes. Then let me take a hefty sledge hammer and smash the lot into a kind paste. Then let me put the ashes-of-assumptions-and-shit paste onto the back of a truck and parade it through the streets. Then let me piss on that parade from the top of the highest building. In short, let me piss on your Ashes-of-Assumptions-and-Shit-Paste Parade.

Looking back at that paragraph, I think I might have lost my way. Anyhow, here's what really happens.

When agency people get into board-level management it means one thing above all others: IT'S TIME TO STOP WORKING.

That's right. Agency management isn't about doing the job you did before you became management but on a bigger scale. It's about these things:

Stinging your clients for more loot

It's amazing how quickly an agency person goes from 'We want to make the best work for our clients' to 'We want to make the most money possible from our clients'. In fact, it takes exactly the same time as it takes to say 'You're promoted to the board!' Making you spend more money becomes their only reason to get up in the morning. That, and escaping their crumbling marriage.

Spending that loot on nice things

The board of an agency MUST have nice things. It is expected. Desks must be special. Office chairs must be unique. Pens must be treasured sentimental artifacts. Offices must be broad and lush with fine carpet. Cars must be ferociously sporty. Skin, teeth and nails must have the burnished hum of the frequent flyer. It is expected.

Being the voice of the industry

Once ascended to the board, the agency grandee should not trifle with the tedious accounts of their clients. More important are his or her (but, let's be honest, probably his) views, insights, pronouncements and predictions on the issues facing the advertising, marketing and communications industries. They will sit on awards panels, on advisory panels, on discussion panels, on events panels, on thinktank panels, on debating panels, on research panels. There will be more panels than the oak-panelled boardroom at PanelCo Global Panelling Ltd. They will drink from the fountain of sparkling water and chablis. And then they will, without as much as a single tear of regret, CHARGE IT TO YOUR COCKING ACCOUNT!

Oh, yes. Yes, my friends. Stare into the abyss. Stare down there, even though it chills you to the very bone, even though it stirs in you the most primal fear, even though it brutalises any shred of hope you had for the goodness of mankind. Stare into it, my fellow marketing professionals, and realise THEY ARE FUCKING YOU LIKE A 15-QUID HOOKER.

I have only one question for these soulless jackals: where do I fucking sign?

That said, I wouldn't swap. Because all that stuff goes out of the window when you say the words 'Agency review'. Then they're back to kissing hoop like an account exec in their first chemistry meeting. And that's the way I like it!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

I'm back! Let's do lunch!


My batteries have been recharged, my management juices have been topped up, my executive discharge has been brought under control, my strategy gland is pulsating and I'm itching to dispense more golden nuggets of pure insight, wisdom and marketing brilliance.

(Actually, I am itching. You know, a lot. Really, A LOT. It starts around my dangle-bag, but by the time I've finally chased it down I can have one finger right up my clacker and another up to the second knuckle in my ear. I suspect it's the shower gel I bought in bulk from Gorgeous Georgious. You know him - runs a slaughterhouse. Makes pickles. Pimps a bit. Good bloke.)

Anyway, let's do this thing! And this thing is LUNCH.

Lunch. Doesn't the word just hum with promise and portent? Don't those first tentative discussions about it at 9.30am just make you tingle, dribble and get a gentle lob-on all at the same time?

Why is this so? What is it about lunch that is so exciting to the modern executive / envelope-busting change-maker?

Lunch = strategic freedom

To a modern paradigm-shifter like me, lunch is the chance to dream, to envision, to break the mould. Freed from the mundane chores of office life (like delegation and teaching the agency boys how to write a headline) I can join other rain-dancers and let the management juice spurt. It's thrilling.

Lunch = management power

Management is not easy. Marketing is not easy. Genius is not easy. So marketing management genius is harder than a Frenchman outside an all-girl 6th form college. This is why a hearty / massive lunch is essential to all executives. Without a good lunch, the afternoon would be spent dozing with our feet on out desks doing nothing, rather than dozing with our feet on our desks thinking.

Lunch = cemented relationships

Business is all about relationships. (And not just the ones you probably shouldn't have in the workplace but do because, well, you know, it's Christmas and we've all had a few and what's waiting for us when we get home, apart from an empty fridge and silence and everyone else is going back to the bosom of their family and why shouldn't we have a little bit of that seasonal joy, here on this defunct fax machine, yes, yes, I'm on the pill.)

Lunch is where the client/agency relationship is developed and then cemented. And, yes, it does take at least 6 hours for that kind of lunch to work. Ideally, it should last until closing time. Or until an account exec starts crying, whichever comes first.

Lunch = power

Lunch has become the currency of business potency. The more you lunch, the harder you punch. I know of senior executives at major corporations who do lunch over 60 times a fucking week. You read that right, my fellow marketing professional. Now, while I am a fucking titan of the marketing world, I still have some way to go before I attain those heights. I currently pull off about 12-15 lunches a week. But that already says to all you fucking peasants...I mean, to all you entry-level professionals that I am top dog. You have the standard 5 lunches because, essentially, there is only you who wants to have lunch with you. I'm in demand. My time is sought. And my time is bought - with balti mixed grills, garlic snails, pints of claret and piles of profiteroles you could cunting ski down.

That's lunch, my friends. The most important meal of the day - and vital to the success of any would be (Interestingly, Rupert Abbott, that utter cuntfudge of a Marketing Director at our main rivals, the market leader, has only green tea, crudites (whatever the fuck they are) and an apple for lunch. I rest my case. Actually, I don't - doesn't that just prove that not lunching properly turns you into a fuckbucket and clackerpipe? Yes, it does.)

So go out and lunch your cocks / fannies off, my fellow marketing professionals! It'll take you right to the top. Which is where you'll find me!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!