Friday, 27 April 2012

The Motherfucker List

My fellow professionals, it is time again to make public the record of those deemed an unremitting motherfucker. All judging was carried out by a panel of people called Dave Knockles.

(The panel, interestingly, currently has six members - three of whom are me, because I'm so dickmendous that I'm like three people in one - and three people who share my name. Frankly, though, that's all they share with me. Even more frankly, they're fucking stupid. The number of times I've called one of them 'Dave' and they all go, 'Yes?' Honestly. I'm beginning to wonder if involving them was a good idea at all. During the judging session for this list, Dave Knockles said, 'I think we should change the name of the list to 'The Golden Child List' and make it all about the brave little ones who suffer so much these days.' I just threw a teapot at him and called him a cuntfart and a fistfuck and a horsewank and a motherfucker, which seemed to shut him up, but, really, what was he thinking? I wouldn't have minded, but Dave Knockles fucking agreed with him! As per usual, though, Dave Knockles just sat on the fence, the useless twonk.)

Anyway, here's the list. These people have been officially deemed a  motherfucker and may be addressed as such without fear of legal reprisal. Much.

1. Coffee.

Ah, go fuck yourself, coffee. You motherfucker. Coffee used to be something you drank a pint of to restart your heart after a bottle too many of Slovakian tequila. It used to be hot black sludge and men drank it to get through another morning of butchering cows and demolishing hospitals and digging holes in the road with their cocks.

Now what is it? It's a big shit-hat. It's a stupid dandy parade of cinos and frappas and con pannas and, for the sake of fuck, the word skinny. 

Look at how Starbucks describes a 'Flat White':
"Expertly steamed whole milk poured over two shots of espresso, topped with microfoam swirled into beautiful latte art."
'Expertly steamed' milk? Oh, you gigantic motherfuckers. Expertly? Really? By a milk-steaming expert? Are you fucking serious? They don't look like milk-steaming experts. They look like they always do: the last pick in team sports. As for 'beautiful latte art', I don't think I need to add anything.


Coffee has turned into a proper motherfucker.

2. Ironic viewers of TOWIE.

What's that? Did I watch TOWIE last night? Was it brilliant? Was it? Did someone say something really fucking stupid? Oh, how priceless. Did some human slurry pretend to be in situations that are nearly dramatic? Did some lumps of collagen and silicone and make-up say OMG again and again and again as though 100,000 years of human evolution had never happened?

And they got a BAFTA, did they? Oh, that is ironic, isn't it? Very ironic. But only in this way: it's ironic that the people who hammered the final nail into TV's coffin - get this - are people who dish out TV awards!

I don't watch fucking TOWIE because it's bullshit and worse than contracting quadruple AIDS. I spend my evenings reading management bibles, writing management bibles, doing one-arm push-ups and punching cats. I do none of these things ironically. I do them with an erection, you motherfuckers.

3. Dogs that aren't my dog.

My dog, Randy, is a gentleman, a character, a rogue, a rascal, a boozer, a serial shagger and a better man than most men.

All other dogs are motherfuckers. Stop sniffing Randy's arse when all he's trying to fucking do is get from A to cunting B. He doesn't like it.

4. Shopkeepers.

I have mentioned in previous Motherfucker Lists that the person who invented the self-checkout is a motherfucker on a scale previously unknown.

In a bid to escape the ignominy of becoming a checkout girl, I've taken to eschewing supermarkets in favour of local shops.

Well, it turns out shopkeepers are motherfuckers too.

'Don't squeeze the fruit.' 'Don't smell the sausages.' 'Don't finger the rabbits.' 'Don't badger the fish.' 'Don't drink the gin.' 'Don't try to leave wearing the suits.' 'Don't watch the televisions for three hours in your pants.' 'Don't shit in the toilets - they're for display purposes only.' 'Don't use the pornography.'


That concludes today's list. But there will be more.


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Tesco account review: a translation

Oh dear. Tesco, the people who brought, have uttered the word that every ad man, girl and boy dreads to hear: review.

On the face of it, you might believe what the client at Tesco says: '...the way consumers and brands engage has changed and it seems to be a good opportunity for us both to step back and take a fresh look'.

You might also believe that Simon Cowell is in it for the fucking music.

It's a short article, but it's crackling with subtext, sub-plot and subversion. And submarines! (Shit. Not submarines. You over-stretched yourself there, Dave.)

So, seeing as it's crackling with...all that shit, I'm going to give you - yes, you - the client translation. So maybe from now on, you won't be no jive turkey. You dig that, bitch?

(Note to DK: not sure the occasional pimp-talk is really working. Especially at work. Meetings with female colleagues seem especially frosty. Give it another month. Maybe they'll come round, those skank-assed ho's.) 

Right. First paragraph.

'The supermarket is a founding client of the agency'.

Oh, sheeeeeyat. (That wasn't pimp-talk. That was saying 'shit' with a sort of ominous undertone.) This means all kinds of things. Probably, the agency and client began their relationship in a great big pink cloud of mutual love and long lunches (paid for by the agency, obviously) and they've been frotting each other in the lift ever since.

Which means this review has been called because the client is massively cocked-off about something. After all, this isn't your normal agency/client relationship. They've been together for six years. I've hired and fired the same agency three times within that timeframe. This is serious.

Next paragraph.

'Intermediary Oystercatcher is handling the pitch process.'


In the next paragraph, the client performs the usual titwank and thanks the agency for all their brilliant work, says they'll still be handling the trade side (gee, thanks a fucking bunch) and tries to say the review is about the changing brand/customer engagement blah blah blah. That's not the reason. The reason is coming soon.

Next, the agency gaffer, speaking directly from his special 'happy room' where he goes to put on a nappy, hold his favourite teddy and rock back and forwards singing nursery rhymes through the snot and tears, gives us the classic agency denial routine.

Then we get to the real stuff. The final paragraph is where it's at. This is the Rosetta Stone. (If that's an appropriate metaphor. I think it is, but I really can't be sure. I always get it mixed up with The Blarney Stone.)

The final paragraph tells us that their big campaign fell on its ringpiece, billions were wiped off the share price and lots of very rich people got slightly less very rich. All of which means the client needs a goat to scape. And they've clearly found their goat. Now, over the course of the next few weeks, they're going scape the living fuck out of it.

Of course, they're right to do so. When a campaign fails, there is only one reason for it doing so: the agency fucked it up, the stupid, useless cunts. Obviously. They're the agency. 

That's why we employ agencies. If ads worked every time, we'd do them ourselves. But they don't, so we need someone to selflessly take it up the chimney when the fudge hits the fan. What, you thought we gave you money for your ideas? PAH! Agency fees are insurance. It's a price we pay so our bosses have someone else to string up from a lampost and throw shit at.

It's great!


Thursday, 5 April 2012

The science of client approval

My friends, many of you work on the creative side of the business. ('Scribblers', I call you! You're so cute and silly, playing with your pens and pencils and little computers, all tucked away at the back of the agency in what I call, 'the playground'.)

Anyway, I love you all because I'm obviously a kindred creative spirit. But as I have experience of being a total fucking genius across all areas of this business, I thought I might try to help my creative brethren understand the often rigourous thinking that goes into a client's approval process.

Let me assure you, my talented creative cousins, that we do not judge your work with anything but the utmost respect, care, thought, patience and consideration.

For example, here's the tried-and-tested DK Route To Approval.

Step 1. Look at the work.
This is so fucking important. I really can't stress this enough. You just can't assess creative work without looking at it. It took me a good six or seven years to establish this fact, and I offer it to you, my fellow marketing professionals, free of charge and with good grace. I know it will help you.

Step 2. Consult the target audience.
Crucial, this. Vital. And for me, being in consumer durables relating to, or directly involving, cleaning clothes and or soft furnishings and or other fabrics, with a commitment to excellence, quality and placing superior cleaning at the core of our customers' product experience, that means consulting my mother.

She's absolutely smack in the middle of the target audience that's just outside my actual target audience, so she's perfect. I let the old girl see everything.

Step 3. Relay target audience feedback to the agency.
I regard my agency as my partner. Well, my partner who has to do what I say. But a partner nonetheless. And I communicate openly with them - which means relaying my mother's feedback on all their ads.

Sometimes, this is minimal. She'll just say, 'The colour is all wrong - it's just like the lipstick that witch who stole your father from us used to wear.' So, like, simple - just change the colour. (And give the agency a fucking good bollockising for not doing in the first place.)

Other times, her feedback will be more...comprehensive. For example: 'This is disgusting and hateful and an insult to God who, let me tell you, David, is watching every little move you make. And the colour is all wrong - it's just like the lipstick that witch who stole your father from us used to wear.'

Not easy for the agency to interpret that. But that's why I pay them them the medium bucks!

Step 4. Amendments.
After a good think about things (I usually allow the duration of one particularly exhaustive and wide-ranging dump), I like to fire a list of amendments over to the agency. Now, it's important to give them a reasonable timsescale. 'First thing tomorrow' seems reasonable to me.

Agencies are often touchy about amendments. Especially when, like mine, they infinitely improve the work and make it clear I could have done it myself. So be sensitive about it. I try to add a compliment to every amend. 

For example: "I really like the way you've used the English language in the headline (see - a compliment) but it's absolute fucking jizzmud and if you don't change it I'm going to cunt you to death.'

Or: 'I like the way you always have a tidy desk (a compliment) but this ad looks like you literally shat it onto the page after a night of consuming spunk jelly, dog bile and unfiltered self-loathing. Change it or die, you squirt of backflow.'

It's just my style. It happens to work.

Step 5. 'Oh shit!' amendments.
Once all the amendments have been made, it's time for all the amendments you forgot to ask for first time around. It's fine. Just call the agency and say 'Oh, shit! I completely forgot to mention that we can't use that picture, or that headline, and it's a different product, and it's not a DPS ad in The Telegraph, it's an A6 flyer. By tomorrow morning, please. Bye!'

They don't mind. They're used to it. And if they're not, just say the words 'agency review' and things will move pretty quickly.

Step 6. Rebrief.
Let's face it, nothing good gets done first time round. So I like to completely move the goal posts once the first brief has been answered, amended, re-amended and finished to print-ready standards. It keeps the agency on its toes. And whenever I call them and say, 'I think I've come up with a brilliant opportunity for you to improve on the ad you've just finished' there's a faintly haunting silence and a little sob, which proves it: they're breathless with excitement and welling up with gratitude.

Step 7. Go back to step 1.

Once you've got something you're finally happy with, you just need to:

Step 8. Present to the team and return with amends.

Step 9. Present to the board and return with amends.

Step 10. Present to the focus group and return with amends.

Step 11. Present to the board again and return with amends.

Believe it or not, that's it. See? Advertising is a piece of piss. 

Anyway, that's the DK Route To Approval, and it's how I roll.

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!