The boss runs amok!
E: Head of the account – seasoned advertising pro
F: Creative director
Y: Rookie – servicing guy in his first week in the agency, fresh off the campus
J: Sales and Marketing Head (Client)
R: Brand Manager (who is on a long leave and is hence present only by his absence)
Scene: Agency Conference Room
F has just finished reading out a script with a lot of animation and passion. This has already been presented to R who had approved it, but asked that it be taken past J (“Just in case”)
E: (Palpable hope, and an underlying sense of doom) That was the script J. Hope you liked it!
J: Uh. Wasn’t that a bit too fast. The ending wasn’t very clear.
F: In our last creative discussion, we had recommended a more ambiguous style of story telling that leaves scope for the viewers to reach their own conclusions.
J: Why would you do that! You have 30 seconds to tell a story. I’d rather you state your point clearly!
F: (Looks at E for help)
E: J, we had presented a series of similar commercials that are the trend globally. They are seen as being very contemporary and stylish.
J: Oh I am aware of all the global trends but we should be more bothered about what works for our customer, right?
E: (mustering up all the authority he can manage) J, I would strongly recommend that you go with this.
J: (chooses not to respond to that) We need to relook at the story tellinmh style and the ending. I also didn’t see the product very clearly.
F: In our last strategy discussions we had discussed that showing the product the standard way is non-differentiating and doesn’t add to the brand.
J: I don’t agree with that at all! It also looks a bit too youngish to me.
F: But we had decided that our brand will start becoming more youthful.
J: But 42% of our users are above 35. What do you say about that, eh?
E: We had discussed this with R, about the psychographics of our audience and how the aspirational target even for middle aged men is much younger. It’s all been discussed and agreed!
J: I think this is too young. You are showing a guy of 20+. Why not 30+? The median age of our consumers is 38 and 30+ is young enough, no?
F: (visibly upset now) In the context of advertising, youth is not just being younger. There is a clear definition of youth and…
J: Yong man, I do not need to be told what youth means, thank you. But you need to understand the customer we are selling to. I find this appoach totally juvenile.
E: J, this has gone through 3 rounds of iteration with R. We had two rounds of research. The director has been finalised and spoken to. We are ready to shoot…
J: E, I am running out of time, so let me summarize. We need to relook at the target consumer. We need to relook at the benefit. We need to relook at the way the product is shown. We need to relook at the style of story telling.
E: But, L, we have to be on air in 3 weeks!
J: (Gets up and gives a conspiratorial grin around the room) If you need my help, I have a fantastic idea on what the script can be. I have worked it all in my mind. Want to hear?
E: (moves in with practised ease) J, I think your feedback itself was so inspirational and enlightening that I am sure F’s mind is buzzing with ideas already! Y, ask for two cups of coffee to be sent to my room. J, I wanted to show you this amazing crystal I picked up in Europe last week.(his voice now drops to a whisper)
(J finds himself respectfully herded into E’s plush cabin)
F: (begins to mutter under his breath)
Y: (wonderstruck at the authority, confidence and multiple perspectives J brought into the discussion) F, isn’t the client’s perspective on advertising so different, and strategic and so well thought out!
F: (Lets fly a terrifying stream of abuses that Y will remember for a long time to come)