I thought the other day that we could all probably learn a lot by getting the client’s perspective on what we do.
For better or worse, the only client I know is Dave Knockles of the ‘I am the client’ blog.
Here are his unfiltered words of wisdom:
Finally had a chance to sit down and apply some serious diamond-standard thinking to the questions you kindly sent. (I say kindly – who else would you send them to? Ha ha! Jesus, I’m funny.) I hope this is what you were after. If it isn’t, go bang yourself.
I admire how much you accomplish in a day. A mighty breakfast, delegation, shit, agency meeting, wank, snooze, lunch, snooze, delegation, wank, shit, tea, shit, supper, dinner, Delilaz, awkward maternal sanitation moment, shit, wank, bed seems all in a day’s work for a powerhouse like yourself. Does that take a lot of organisation?
Organisation is over-rated, Ben. Organisation is motivation’s sickly cousin. Motivation, energy, passion, desire – these are the things that enable me to live as full a life as I do. Also, an over-the-counter cure-all my mother picks up on her trips to the States which is, I believe, derived from something called ‘amphetamines’.
What do you look for in an ad, apart from a cracking pair of bristolas?
Product name in the headline. Logo you can’t obscure with a fist. The approval of my mother (she’s nearly target audience).
If an agency told you that an ad you had approved had won a Cannes Lion, what would you think?
I just googled ‘Cannes Lion’. There is simply no way I would approve an ad that would win one. Why? Because my ads are fucking better. For a start, they have bristolas. So if my agency said they’d won one, I’d assume they’d changed one of my ads AFTER I approved it, which would make me fucking angry because that would suggest they think they know better than me, which they fucking don’t, so I don’t know where all this Lion shit is coming from, because I’m not just some fucking mug who pays the fucking bills, and yet they think they can change MY ads and enter them into some wankfest and take the fucking credit, those cheeky fuckers – I’m calling those pricks RIGHT NOW. HOW FUCKING DARE THEY change my ads! Those are my ads! And there they are, fucking running off and making me look like an a-hole? Those little shit-pipe fuck-beaks, I’ll drop them like a fucking stone! I’m glad you raised this, Ben, because heads need to fucking roll over this one. Jesus fucking Christ.
Of course, you, as a species, are regularly maligned by creatives as being the most stupid, tasteless, spineless, shitbrained bunch of cunts on earth. Do you think this is a symptom of the inevitable frictions that occur in a situation with diametrically opposed points of view, or would you concede to a degree or two of cuntishness?
I think I know what you’re getting at here, Ben. Creatives will always react badly when someone from outside their community comes in and shows them how it’s done. (In fact, nobody likes it when I do their job better than them – plumbers, mechanics, chefs, artists, lapdancers. The list goes on.) Any friction that occurs stems from the inadequacy they feel when I blow their cocks (and tits) off with another great concept. I’ve learned to accept it.
The craft of typography can obviously make or break and ad. What’s your opinion on kerning, leading and weighting?
Ha ha! Nice trick question, Ben! Leading and weighting are clearly fishing terms, and kerning you made up. You have to get out of bed early to put one over on DK!
Typography, though, is one of my passions. I have a large collection of brush typefaces and Brush Script is a perennial favourite, a timeless classic. Also, it’s on my PC, so I can use it when I put ads together in Microsoft Paint.
Have you ever broken a loo just by sitting on it?
No, they always break when I jump on them. Or bang hookers on them. Which I don’t do.
Why are there often so many layers of clients? One can approve it only to have his boss bin it the next day.
What agencies need to understand is that every ascending client has a corresponding level of expertise to add to the work. It might seem to you scribblers that with every round of approvals we’re just slowly fucking your ads up the clacker inch by agonising inch, but we’re actually helping you to improve them.
Do think the idea is more important than the execution, or vice versa?
A great idea needs very little in the way of execution. And, of course, the very best idea is the bristola of a woman.
What’s your opinion on female creatives?
I think there are some at my agency. Bit of fucking lipstick wouldn’t hurt, would it?
If you were to address the IPA, what would the topic be?
Er..I’m not sure I’d have anything to tell the Insolvency Practitioners Association.
What is your favourite swear word?
Cuntspanner. Or rimshot. Or portion.
If you were making a TV ad and the CD told you that Jonathan and Frank were interested, what would you say?
Ross and Butcher? Edwards and Bruno? Who? Anyway, I don’t like using male celebs in my ads. Isn’t Abi Titmuss available?
Do you think that ROI has been improved by the separation of media and creative?
This sounds like the kind of question some agency fuckbag would attempt to answer with a 213-slide presentation. Personally, I’d go right to the fundamentals of the question. Really, what actually is ROI? How is it truly measured? What does it actually mean? Seriously. What is it? I’ve heard it pretty much every day of my career but the window of opportunity to ask what it is closed about 16 years ago. I’d just look a tool if I asked now.
And lastly, what’s your favourite ad of all time?
Well, that’s the hardest question of the lot. There have been so many over the years that I’ve fallen in love with. Picking a favourite is nearly impossible. Partly because my long-term memory is basically dead, so I can’t really recall anything that happened over 2 months ago, and partly because I never assess an ad without seeking the opinion of my mother (she’s nearly target audience).
That said, I did enjoy B&Qs recent campaign where they used real staff! Inspired. Never seen it done before.
And the Gocompare opera singer is very funny! Go compare! Go compare! Something something, something something, go compare! Brilliant. I do it in the pub sometimes. People love it.
A pleasure, Ben. A cunting pleasure.