Walking at the speed of smell, she promenades slowly by, mocking the very idea of urgency with every sashay and meandering step. As the pushed-three-times, last-possible-second, drop-dead deadline approaches with mere seconds to spare, she wanders by with that final proof the ACD has been screaming for since noon, dangling from her manicured fingers.
As if by some magical spell, he is gone at exactly 5:30 every day. The “end of work day” time listed as a guideline in the employee manual is the end of his commitment to the team, no matter how much work is piled up on the desk of the chump with an old-fashioned work ethic who will find herself still staring at the screen when the 10PM pizza delivery arrives.
His credo is “I’m not paid enough to work overtime.” And, while he will take advantage of the casual dress code, the occasional beer on a Friday afternoon and every ounce of personal time afforded him, the one thing he will not do is grace his desk a second after the horn blows and he goes soaring down the dinosaur’s tail to get home to Wilma and Dino.
Eh, Why NOT Start at 2AM?
Who knows what he does during the actual work day. What with the towering workload that could keep three creatives busy 10 hours a day and all the meetings, the managing of people and expectations, the requisite long lunches, who has time to work at the OFFICE? Not he, not he.
Instead, he flips on the TV around 11, brushes the Doritos crumbs off a stack of coffee-stained briefs and digs in. Never mind the misspellings, the unanswered questions, the missing images that production can “drop in” at another time. He needs to send these PDFs out by 2AM to avoid missing the morning deadline.
The AE stares dumbly at him as he actually starts snoring in a meeting. Snoring. His chin has long-since dropped to his chest and it was easy enough to ignore when he just stopped receiving the copy input at the workstart meeting, but now, as his drool splats on the brief, the entire group has turned to stare in awe of just how difficult it is to get fired from our under-staffed little family.
Chit Chat: Oh no, you don’t stop
Other employees try to sneak by her cube silently – slinking across the last few yards, some dropping to the floor in a military field crawl. Once she spies you, hours of your life can disappear to that sound of an “oh, girl!” The long, drawn-out details of her weekend; a story from a client at an former agency; a memory from childhood … they all crash down on your in waves of desperation. There is no wandering away, no hints – no matter how overt – she will follow you to a meeting, into the bathroom, out to your car. There is no escape.
Laughing-Out-Loud by Herself
Oh, I love that IM. *Cackle* Gosh, I’m funny. *Giggle*. Weeeeeeee, work is so darn fun when you’re not doing it! *Guffaw*
(Fine, I admit it. This one is me.)
Slouching, AKA: Puppy Dog Eyes
She slinks up to your office door looking like a kicked dog. Before a word even comes out of her mouth, she communicates failure, misery and vulnerability. By the time she speaks, you’ve already begun to feel hostility. If the agency were really a high school (instead of the grown-up, gossipy equivalent), this girl would get a swirly.
“Hey, when can we get together about a new project for The Client?”
“Yes, I have more things to do than your little mind could possibly imagine. There’s this and that and this and seven of these.”
“How about Monday then?”
“**SIGH** I am wildly inconvenienced by your request that I actually work on the clients I am assigned to. Can’t you see that I’m a curmudgeon who finds all human interaction to be aggravating? And, you’re just an AE. Why would you even presume to talk to me, Sr Creative Guy? Go back to your little desk. I need coffee.”
Can You Hear Me Now?
I AM SO SMART. MY IDEAS ARE FANTASTIC. I’M TALKING AT THIS VOLUME SO THAT EVERYONE CAN BASK IN MY BRILLIANCE.
The very best moments for The Bullhorn are when he stops listening to himself in meetings and strange strings of words start to babble forth. The question, my friends, is yes.
The Sycophant Approach to New Business
“I have an idea. What if the entire new business team parachuted in to the pitch to show how we’re like the green berets of advertising – we go in and do the tough jobs. And, then, we can personally cook them a huge steak dinner and give them all gift certificates to the Mercedes dealership”
Terribly sorry to have been gone for so long. It's been days, maybe weeks. That new whiz over at Logic + Emotion zipped past me in the Ad Blog rankings and all I did was wander around out in the big world and accomplish little or nothing ...
So, back to my soapbox.
And, here's a fun find from Ad Arena to celebrate my return:
Not to go all anti-ad-hyperbole on you, but I think this expertly communicates just how unrealistic our expectations about appropriate weight are and speaks volumes about why so many of us give up and let the pounds pile on.
I should really have a category just called Crispin Rants.
Clay at Exit Creative spotted this series on a Chicago commute this morning. It probably goes without saying that this gorgeous illustration style is wasted on the product. And, while I appreciate the awareness that the audience for 1000+ calorie sandwiches is truly a working man (meaning: hard, outdoor, labor-intensive work), I'm not sure how the same creative directors who thought that the gaudy over-the-top Super Bowl ads were spot-on could think that this understated style would appeal to the exact same audience.
And, is there any such thing as an ownable brand with CP&B? Dancing chickens, the costumed King, objectified showgirls, WWII-era illustration, NASCAR, Superman... can a burger ad budget really be all things to all people?
Hmmm, several blogs are calling out the new HP series today. I'm a little undecided on the campaign:
Big plus: The look is very cool. The celebs are intriguing. It's definitely a watch-multiple-times, really-pay-attention-to creative approach.
Big minus: The spots are like brand ads for a product ... all soft and fuzzy; there are no benies, no new bells & whistles. Worse, all the "cool" factor is the software (not included!). My guess is that they're taking on MACMac's differentiator headon - the PC can be cool, too.
I know it's a selfish use of a community medium, but sadly this post is for one reader only. A reader who will understand the preeminence of bacon and is presently researching the viability of a business plan for bacon-flavored water. For you, my friend, I give you McDonalds Canada:
In an industry so often called out for a lack of integrity (we are the people who sell beer almost exclusively with bouncing boobies), Beyond Madison Avenue tracked down a group of designers who take their ethics seriously. National Design Awards winners, Michael Rock, Susan Sellers, Georgie Stout, and Paula Scher, declined a congratulatory invitation to the White House from First Lady Laura Bush.
Because they hate the war? Because they think Bush is an idiot? No, because they believe that Bush has been unethical in his use of language and communication - their bread and butter.
Graphic designers are intimately engaged in the construction of language, both visual and verbal. And while our work often dissects, rearranges, rethinks, questions and plays with language, it is our fundamental belief, and a central tenet of "good" design, that words and images must be used responsibly, especially when the matters articulated are of vital importance to the life of our nation.
We understand that politics often involves high rhetoric and the shading of language for political ends. However it is our belief that the current administration of George W. Bush has used the mass communication of words and images in ways that have seriously harmed the political discourse in America. We therefore feel it would be inconsistent with those values previously stated to accept an award celebrating language and communication, from a representative of an administration that has engaged in a prolonged assault on meaning.
Look, can we maybe just admit a few things that we may be mildly obsessed with?
Maybe, say, an obviously highly commercial reality TV program where clearly nothing is even remotely real, but somehow I end up getting teary every time because some little lost rocker is achieving his / her dream of stardom?
Ok, here it is: I watch Rockstar Supernova. On DVR so that I can rewind and watch my favorite "rockers" again. And, I liked two of the songs soooooo much that I actually went online to download them.
Wait, let's be clear.
Not the original versions of the songs. Nay, young marketer, nay.
Rather I bought the whole boatload of branded TV and downloaded the versions by the reality TV stars themselves: Rebel Yell by Billy Idol Lukas Ross and Lithium by Nirvana Dilana Robichaux.
And, ok, since we're admitting things. I downloaded two others, too, since I was there.
And, of course, I immediately tried to import them into iTunes so that I could dance around with them blaring in my iPod (a la your average 30-something).
<error> <error> <error>
However, these files were created by Microsoft. AND are in WMA format. WHICH is not compatible with iTunes. AND is actually only compatible with computers and about three portable music players. WHICH is super handy for music one MIGHT WANT TO TAKE WITH HER.
How did I find this out? Was it clearly stated that these files - priced exactly like all MPG downloads are priced - would not work with the type of music players the vast, vast majority of the market owns? Um, no. It was in the fine print in the FAQ. Brilliantly placed so that only aggravated post-purchasers could locate it.
A miserable consumer experience. And, a monopoly (with exclusive rights to these particular songs). Oh, Microsoft, how you hate consumers so.
Actual fake memo from lead product manager to marketing team regarding new proprietary format:
Dear Marketing Department,
We’re ready to launch our new M*N Music Store. Instead of using the global standard for security and portability – MPG – we’ve elected to build our own proprietary format that will prevent customers from listening to these songs on any portable music player anyone, anywhere presently owns.
No worries, we’re selling music players, too – so, they’ll just have to buy a new $300 player for the songs they buy at the Music Store. Perhaps someday – possibly in a parallel universe – this will destroy our evil foe, iP*d.
Here’s where you come in – we have financial projections to reach to justify the product development budget. So, we’re hoping you could delay any consumer education on this product. We’re thinking, develop a price point, look/feel and experience that’s just like iTunes.
Customers will get excited about the exclusive deals we’ve worked out with key artists who long ago traded their integrity to win a few billions of Bill’s big ad budget. And, they’ll download without even guessing that someone could have created a new format that won’t work with any device they currently own.
Once they’re hooked, we’ll provide the compatibity info in super fine print that users will find when they try to troubleshoot errors. And, then we can cross sell our new portable devices, too.
Remember our motto: Screw the customer. Most of them can’t get around using us anyway.