What: Agency New Business pitch at Fortune 500 company.
Who: Agency top brass, including owner-founder, and possible Client’s CMO and entourage.
Where: Potential Client’s headqarters in a location on the opposite coast.
Background: The Agency had hustled to get into the pitch and when the news arrived it had “made the cut”, the mood was celebratory.
The decision was made to bring in the big guns. Deliver a killer presentation and land the account in this meeting.
Rewrites, reviews, rehearsals were crammed into a tight schedule and then an early bird flight took everyone to the meeting.
One final drill.
The meeting started right after lunch, all seated around a rectangular table.
Bad luck had it that it was hot, the Agency was facing a window, the shades didn’t quite close well and a warm blinding light proved a major annoyance.
Was the Agency’s resilience being tested?
Bad luck also had it that the owner/founder was no longer his once- bright energetic self and he started to doze off as credentials were presented, the buying habits of Latinos were discussed, the brand loyalty brought from the old country was emphasized.
And then came the research report which, following the standard practice of the days, was loaded with generalizations. “Latinos are this way. And that way. And like this. And so on a so forth”.
It seemed as if the meeting would never end, the presenters fact acquired a meaningless monotonous cadence.
At the precise moment this blogger was tuning out, a loud snore broke through the singsong of Latino truisms.
All eyes turned toward the founder/owner and, to everyone’s horror, it became evident that he was sound asleep.
Comments the CMO: “I guess Siestas are still part of the culture”.
Long, silent trip back across the continent.