Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Royal Wedding ad. Because everyone else has.

Good day, my fellow marketing professionals.

Let me ask you a question.

Have you prepared your Royal Wedding-themed marketing activity? Because the big day is tomorrow and it's getting a little bit tight.

(Well, not for me - I only came up with my stuff last night and the agency are on it now. They laughed at first when I told them, because they thought I was joking or something, but they stopped the chuckling when I had them all in the office at 9pm yesterday. Shame I couldn't be there, but I was watching something on TV. The pub TV.)

Anyway, it's absolutely imperative that you've arranged something for the Royal Wedding. Everyone else has. And if everyone else has, it must be right, right?

I mean, everyone's got a TV, haven't they? And a phone. And a car. So if everyone has a Royal Wedding ad, do you want to be the weird cunt in the ill-fitting trousers with no TV, no phone and no car? The bloke who goes everywhere with a holdall and some sandwiches? The bloke whose house smells of dust and cat litter? The bloke they eventually arrest because he has the eviscerated corpses of 15 foreign exchange students gaffer taped to the rafters in his loft?

Do you? No. You don't. So get a fucking Royal Wedding ad QUICK.

This, of course, is one of the golden rules of marketing: do what your competitors are doing.

Agencies like to tell you to zig when everyone zags, or be a monkey in the kingdom of apes, or take the road less travelled, or fly a kite on rainy days or whatever their pissed chairman spunked out of his Mont Blanc in the early 80s, but this is all pure horse shit, cow jizz and dog piss.

Everybody knows that what your competitors are doing is better than what you do. This is the paranoia-petrol that fuels every marketing department in the world. We gather round our competitors' ads and, though they may feature a blind albino hippo fucking a toddler to death, we think to ourselves, 'Wow, man. They've got a hippo fucking a toddler to death. Maybe we should get a hippo fucking a toddler to death.'

Why do we do it? Because as sure as Simon Cowell has an Oedipus complex, our MD's wife will have shown the competitor ad to him over the weekend and he'll in a foul mood come Monday, when he will inevitably say, 'What do I pay you lot for? They've got a hippo fucking a toddler to death!'

So, what's the Dave Knockles course of action? I call my agency and say, 'What do I pay you lot for? They've got a hippo fucking a toddler to death!' Then I throw something at a wall and storm off to the pub.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The DK Guide To Retaining Your Clients

My fellow marketing professionals, I have been asked many, many times whether I am in full control of my career, my drinking, my faculties, my bowels, my mind and my car. And the answer to most of those is, 'Weeeelll, a bit. Sometimes. Or, not. Actually, no.'

However, I am in full, total, complete and unrelenting control of my professional life, thanks to a set of rules I pass on to my agencies - and expect them to follow to the letter.

I reveal some here. This will help you get the most from your agency. And if you're from an agency, it will help you retain your clients for longer.

Rule 1. Mouth is open. Should be shut.

The agency is talking. But the agency should be listening. So why is the agency talking? Probably because they want to expose you to 'ideas'. (You can see the next rule about that.) I like talking. And I like people I am paying to listen to me. Then I like people I am paying to agree with me, do what I want or laugh at my jokes. If you're not doing one of those three things, you must be talking. And as the rule states, 'Mouth is open. Should be shut.'

Rule 2. The ideas are MINE.

I know agencies are supposed to have ideas. But I have ideas. And I'm the one with the cash. So if you have an idea, and I have an idea, whose idea do you think I'll go for? That's right. My idea.

Of course, you may have a better idea. But seeing as I'm paying for your ideas, it's actually my idea. So however you look at it, the ideas are mine, mine, mine.

Rule 3. Do more, quicker, better, for less.

Someone else will. So why can't you?

Rule 4. Agency buys the beerz.

This was actually the 11th commandment, but they only ever seem to give you the first 10 in church. This rule is so set in stone, it's a fucking fossilised fossil. Break this rule and you will offend me more than if you were to fuck my dog to death.

Rule 5. My mother is nearly target audience.

So I run every ad past her. This is research with the (nearly) target audience and is essential to getting the ads right every time. The results speak for themselves: she makes changes to every single ad, which proves conclusively that they were wrong. How much clearer do you want it?

Rule 6. The minute your win my business, you start losing it.

Accept the fact that you are only one phone call away from being fired, having to make a load of people redundant, seeing the story in the press, looking stupid and possibly getting fired yourself. That call is mine to make, and it could be literally fucking anything that makes me pick up the phone. So make sure you don't annoy me, bore me, ignore me, forget me, insult me, get too chummy, be too distant, push your ideas too hard, leave it to me to have all the ideas or make me buy the beerz, and you might be okay. But you probably won't be.

Rule 7. It's your fault.

Something has gone wrong. What do you think will happen. A) I'll stand in front of my MD and say 'Sorry, boss. It was my fault the TV ads had no web address or logo on because I was pissed when we had the meeting about that stuff and told them we were going to 'Break the mould on this one!''? Or B) I'll stand in front of my MD and say, 'That cuntbucket of an agency - if I told them once I told them a million times to put a web address and logo in the ad! It's fucking common sense!'

That's right. It's B. If you stump up the cash to pay for your mistake, you'll keep my business. If you don't, you're dead. Also, I would like you to say, 'I'm so sorry we left the web address and logo off the ad, Dave' while I look you right in the eye without evening flinching or showing any sign of remorse so you can truly understand that I am the fucking boss.

There we go. That should do for now. Stick to that lot and depending on which side of the busines you're on, you'll have happy clients / be able to fuck your agency black and blue.

You'd be amazed how many agencies stick to the rules! And still get fired! HA HA! Ain't marketing just a fucking dream. Well, for me!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!

Monday, 11 April 2011


Sometimes, like after you walked into the wrong room at a Soho basement members' club and found yourself in the middle of Fistfest Friday, you just want to go somewhere familiar and comforting and safe.

And for me, at this moment, that place is here. Home.

Sure, my other blog, I AM DAVE KNOCKLES, is a mind-felching insightotron that can destroy your balls at a thousand paces, but I have missed being here.

So let me jump right back into my favourite trousers and bring you up to speed with the changes I've been making to my working protocols.

Putting it simply, I've fired my agency.

After a very long and considered fifteen-minute process of assessment using an agreed analysis matrix (my opinion vs theirs) it was mutually agreed by me that they should fuck off and never darken my filofax ever again.

Why? Because they repeatedly flaunted the Rules of Good Agency Practice that I gave them when I was forced by my MD to have them as my agency.

'What's that, Dave?' you say. 'You have a rulebook on how agencies should behave in order to retain clients?'

Of course I do! Do you really think I just make this shit up on the spur of the moment, day by day, teetering along on a fine line between professional humiliation and abject failure, never sure deep down that what I'm doing is actually right, plagued by cold, bitter voices telling me to just quit now before I make myself look any more stupid, lonely and confused in a way that takes me directly back to the playground of a new school where the big boys told me I was going to get beaten up by the school ogre at home time and I hid in the toilets for two hours, locked in a cubicle, rocking back and forward saying 'Why me? Why me? Why me?' over and over again?

No way!

I have rules. And I'll tell you about them next time.

For now, let me just say that the agency took it as well as could be expected when I did the right thing and asked my PA to text them with the news.

The Chief Exec called me a few minutes later (thanks a million for not screening that call, PA) and said something about a 'talentless clown' and 'the kind of spineless shit that's killing this industry' to which I naturally replied, 'I think you've got the wrong number. This is Dave Knockles.'

He just carried on for a bit in the same way, then screamed 'I will ruin you! I will destroy your reputation! I will see to it that your name is mud in this town!'

HA! Good luck with that, cuntshoot! I asked a couple of agency contacts whether they thought my reputation could be destroyed and they just laughed and laughed and laughed. So fuck you, Mr Agency Chief Exec With No Fucking Idea! I cannot be defeated!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!