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I plumbed new depths of ‘trusted partner’ yesterday. I grabbed a quick lunch with a client prior to having wash up and 2010 planning meeting on a big web project we have just launched. The poor chap had managed to chuck himself down a frozen hill badly fracturing a shoulder and near breaking a wrist. MRIs and many specialists later he finds himself trussed up and pretty incapable.
Lunch saw him in great pain, choosing a suitable starter (queen scallops), and then moving on to sausage and mash. No problems on the starter – ideal for the one armed. His main forced us to new levels of agency / client partnership when I had to cut up his food into bite sized pieces.
His brief to cut up into 3 pieces, was soon taken although those cut into 4 pieces proved much more elegant – a classic example of delivering beyond expectations.
It made me think of a section of a recent online procurement RFI that asked us “what additional non-billable services have we offered clients”. I shall upload this perfect example next time.
Travelling back this afternoon from meeting to run through pre pitch questions created an unexpected connection.
The pitch deals with a delicate area; pediatric medicine, specifically the care of someone’s baby during a pretty terrible time. We discussed to great and interesting lengths the amount of work that had been done to define audience understanding, and a set of language and terms with which the campaign can rest on. The importance of tone, terminology and permission was pretty front of mind. The brief requires us to be delicate with the way we approach this. Take our time and get it right. Test everything, consider partnership the only way. Tone down the direct.
Midst this thought, the 4pm train back to Paddington was besieged with school kids heading back home and the proximity of my thoughts and the similarity of carriage d sprung forth. Everyone around me was enveloped in what was almost a foreign language. It makes me feel old to admit this, (I have an Iphone you know!) but the terminology, slang and banter pushed home a thought. That regardless of audience wrapped around each group is always complex knit of terms, behaviours and permissions that tend to need unpicking prior to outsiders diving in a starting a conversation.
I learnt a couple of new terms that I shall be peppering into conversations with ‘88’ (our newest account member, who happens to have been born about the same time as I was drinking Thunderbird in Rock Park with Claire Argle from Pilton).
The delightful ‘Madgic’ (sic) emphasis on the Madonna, meaning; far from delightful and used by a slutty Gem to describe “double science and citizenship” to Carmine who recounted a fine tale when she ‘did blazer’. Doing blazer referred to when you had hit year 12, went to grab your phone out of your blazer pocket only to realise that you were now in year 12 and wear ‘ohm clothes’, not school uniform. A simple mistake, showing how ‘11’ you still were.
Totally delightful. My lesson in respecting your audience all on the 4pm from Maidenhead. I am off to sew leather patches on my elbows.
PS. It best not to type ‘Year 12 school girls’ and many other similar terms into Google in the pursuit of images for your blog.
I always want more art in my life. Maybe it’s because I can’t draw. Maybe it’s because my eyes get hungry the way most stomachs do.
Last year saw me being surrounded by more art than ever before and inspired by some extraordinary artists.
Did you see the Antony Gormley exhibition at the Hayward last year? I never went in, but loved each walk over Waterloo Bridge, seeing another isolated statue hidden on a roof top. Inspired, we launched our first Web 2.0 patient site with a mannequin installation around the client’s head offices. Andrew has magnanimously offered to let us keep one here at National House. Thank you so much!
Lichenstein’s Pop Art inspired another great campaign. Characters whose communications were limited to thought bubbles, became the patient voice in the HIV campaign we built.
We’re now working with a famous animation artist in New Jersey – my favourite bit of the day is our lunchtime review meetings. It’s a true art-science collision project. Left Brain. Right Brain. Love it. Satiates eye-hunger like nothing else.
Take a look at this, it’s a parody of a brand with iconic status and iconic ads, from a brand that couldn’t be more different. Its new media meets old in a style all so familiar (that in itself is extraordinary). Brave to do, beautiful in its craft and a minute of your time. I don’t know whether it was commissioned by them or not, but suspect the fact I received this virally suggests it will help both brands. Hope you like it.