And so started the phone calls.
From the Client to the Agency’s Principal.
And from the Agency’s Principal to the Creative Department.
The message spared no poison: “Up to now all Creative sucks and we need to present brand new campaigns — radio, print, TV, Direct, POP”.
The call came early one blistering summer afternoon demanding the first review around 6 pm that evening.
That’s how advertising schedules are: Mercyless.
It so happens that the Big Creative Director had taken a few Summer days off and was not reachable.
Add to that that the right hand person, a Creative Supervisor, had very limited advertising experience, having worked most of her life as a school teacher, was overweight, suffered from high-blood pressure and had medical instructions to stay away from stressful situation.
Why was she at that job? Your guess is as good as mine.
She basically gathered the troops and told everyone to get to work, without saying a whole lot more because she did not know what else to say.
She then ordered her lunch: A Cheeseburger Deluxe with the works: Ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions.
The Creative Department soon became a madhouse of activity, as people hustled trying to figure out what was it that the Client hated, trying to device a creative strategy of sorts against which to develop the new campaigns.
And questions started to pile up on the Creative Supervisor, who seemed to have found in her cheeseburger solace to the stress piling up.
She walked around, from cubicle to cubicle, to the bullpen, to the offices, her Cheeseburger in her right hand –She’d only been able to bite into it once, leaving the mark of her teeth.
It was a hot summer day.
The clock ticked towards 6 O’clock unrelentlessly.
The Creative Supervisor was about to break from the pressure.
And she wouldn’t eat or put away her burger. She held on to it. As a lifeline. Her lifesaver.
The dialogue that ensues is almost verbatum, despite almost 20 years since it happened.
Creative: How do you want to present the ideas at the 6pm
Supervisor: Can’t you see?
Creative: See what?
Supervisor: See that I don’t feel well.
Saying those words, she collapsed on a chair. Froze. Speechless. In panic. Sweating. Shaking.
Holding on, as she had been for several hours, to a cheeseburger, whole minus one bite, which she probably had forgotten how it got there.
And in that very same chair, still holding on to her burger for dear life, that she was carried, like some priestess in a throne, into a conference room, where she was laid on a table, a cushion on her head, her feet raised a bit.
Surrounded by a number of people, some females pulling down her skirt so it wouldn’t go up her thighs, others fanning her, one telling her to relax and still others watching how the burger’s grease, with a mixture of Ketchup, Mustard, pickle was inching its way from her burger all the way to her wrist.
And that’s how the paramedics took her that evening.
And when 6pm came, Creatives showed great stuff that was swifly approved by all.
Some tell us that the Cheeseburger has been preserved.