Half the marketing team is wasted…

#chatswithpeople #48

Overzealous Marketing Guy (OMG): hey, can we just see the layouts for the last time? So that we ensure they’re meeting the objectives of the awareness campaign?
Art Director (AD): these layouts? Which even amoebas think are simplistic?
OMG: yus.
AD: WRITER! Get in here!

OMG to writer: do we need the “the” in this sentence?
Writer (dumbfounded): um yeah, the only copy on this is ‘Watch the program’. So yes, its necessary. Else it would be “Watch program” and we’d sound stupid. It’s grammatically incorrect.

OMG: yeah, grammatically, yeah but advertising can take liberties right?
Writer is speechless; he hadn’t realised what was being done was ‘advertising’. Shakes head in dissent, mouth open.

OMG: okay. Do you think this looks alright at this angle?
Me: that’s the only angle the logo has, so…yes? Hey, AD, please put a full stop after the word ‘program’.

OMG: yes! A full stop! WOW! That just gives the whole thing this poetic finish! Fantastic!
Writer: mouth open.
AD: dude, whatever you’re on is good shit. Who’s your guy?

Film opens on…

Bears no resemblence to servicing people, living or drunk.
#chatswithclients #chatswithservicing #chatswithcopywriters#chatswithpeople #21 #longread

Stage 1
Starts with the client’s brief.
Servicing Person: We need a really kick ass creative for xyz client. They want something really wild. You know?
Creative Person: Yeah you said that the last time. We created a Good Year Blimp and executed a single beige balloon. I don’t think I want to go through that again.
Servicing Person: No, no they definitely want something cool. Whacky. Totally out there.

Stage 2
Creative slogs. Everyone in the agency wanks off over it. And we end up with a script.
(Note: Yes, this is a nursery rhyme. But just go with it)
Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown.
And Jill came tumbling after.

Stage 3
Day of presentation. Creative is escorted, minus cuffs, but with similar doomed outlook, to client’s office and plonked in a chair.
Servicing fumbles through pre-mumble. Creative person sighs. Goes into overdrive. Animatedly presents above script.
Client: Ok. Very cool. (thinks) hmmm……
Birds chirp. The world goes pink for the creative. This is unprecedented. This is…
Client: But we’re a children’s brand. So no breaking anything.
Creative (aghast): But the breaking is the pivotal point. The high point. Else the climax is flat.
Client: Yah. Yah. I get what you’re saying. But no breaking. Or tumbling. That’s child abuse. And make the logo bigger.
Creative: But…
Servicing Pimp: Okay, okay. We’ll fix it.
Creative: Silence. Enraged looks. Sulky expressions.

Stage 4
Creative drags feet. Pimp, I mean Servicing complains to Creative boss. Boss yells at Creative. Creative fixes script. Back at client’s. The new script.
Jack and Jill went up the hill.
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack came down, laughing at a clown,
And Jill came skipping after.

Client: Haan! Nice nice.
Creative (slightly mollified): Thank you, I thought the skipping…
Client: Can we have a dog?
Creative: What?
Client: A dog. A little puppy. You know? Kids love puppies.
Creative: What????
Servicing: Oh, ok. The animal factor. Very smart.
Client beams at servicing: Exactly.
Creative: But what would this infernal dog DO?
Client: You’re the creative na, you figure it out. Oh, and make the logo bigger.
While leaving, servicing walks a full two feet behind seething Creative.

Stage 5
Creative has now given up hope. And fighting. Wordlessly works. Done. Back at client’s. With considerably less animation.

Jack and Jill went up the hill.
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack came down with a cute little puppy dog.
And Jill came skipping after.

Client: NICE. Wow. Very good.
Creative: Ok. Whatever.
Client: But…
Creative sighs. No way to go but down.
Client: See, we have to be careful about how we present our company. We do a lot of social responsibility stuff. So this whole going up a hill to fetch water, is very third world.
Creative (tonelessly): We live in India. We ARE third world.
Client: Yes, but no need to show reality in advertising no? No no. I want a tap that the kids can take water from. Also, instead of going up the hill, that’s like child labour, let’s just have them run around. And make the logo bigger.

Stage 6
Creative is now on auto pilot. New script at client’s place.

Jack and Jill played in front of a hill.
With a tap that dispensed water.
Jack had a cute little puppy.
And Jill shared it.

Client: WOW. I’m amazed. You guys are good.
Creative: silence.
Servicing: Thanks thanks, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Client: Great. Let’s research it. You’ll attend, na?
Servicing: Of course.

Stage 7
Research. A method by which bored, low IQ, low SEC, frustrated housewives who are not the target audience or even related to the target audience by virtue of being human – view the ad and pass comments on it for a free steel tiffin dabba and tea.

The script is often animated through simple illustrations, and played.
Housewife 1: I don’t like dogs. A dog bit me when I was 6.
Housewife 2: Are these two boyfriend and girlfriend? That is not Indian culture. Chee.
Housewife 3: If I don’t like the ad do I still get my dabba?
Housewife 4: I don’t have running water. Why should these two? This ad is not realistic.
Housewife 5: Ya, I agree. India has so many lakes. Why not show two children living next to a lake? Like Kashmir. Only without the fighting.
Housewife 6: I don’t like her frock. My Pinky would never wear that.
Housewife 3: Can I see the dabba before I comment?
Housewife 2: That frock is too short. Yeh item number hai ki ad?
Housewife 4: Indian kids are not so fair. Make them brown.
Housewife 5: India ka geography dekha hai? So nice. We went to a hill station last summer. I like hill stations.
Housewife 1: Has that dog had rabies shots?

Researcher dutifully notes down. And sends a mail to client.
At agency:
Creative: Hey how was the research?
Servicing: Oh fine, they loved your script. No issues.

Stage 8
Back at Client’s office.
Client: Okay. Some minor changes have to be made.
Creative (cautiously): ok.
Client: So. Basically the following points.
– We have to have the girl tying the rakhi on the boy to show they are brother and sister.
– She needs to wear a salwar kameez.
– We will shoot in a hill station that has a lake.
– The kids need to be ordinary looking, middle class, brown, but not too brown, also can pass off as rich, classy-looking kids.
– Can we show the dog getting a rabies shot? ‘Coz I really like the dog.
– Oh, and the logo needs to be bigger.
Creative wordlessly nods. Gets up. Goes home. Gets very depressed. Gets drunk/stoned/chocolated and registers on naukri.com

Stage 9
Final script time. Zombies now asking Creative for lessons in how to look and act dead.

Brown Jack and Brown salwar kameez Jill
Lived opposite a lake and a hill
Jill tied a rakhi, Jack got happy
And a little doggie who’d had its rabies shots ran around them cutely.

Client: WOW! WONDERFUL. You guys should enter it for Cannes.