My partner and I are virtually always busy on the account we run. But every once-in-a-while there's a steaming pile of shit that needs to be sorted out and we get a call.
Though the particulars are always different, the generalities remain the same. There's not much time left before a pitch or an assignment. And the 632 scribbled on stickies people have festooned the walls of a war-room with have failed to provide any answers.
Usually those stickies are scribbled with stale homilies like "women want to feel good about what they wear." Or "people use coffee to energize their lives." Today we call nonsense like those "insights." They can only be called such if you accept the notion that every sentence deserves that moniker in the same way that every kid in Little League deserves a trophy.
In any event, my partner and I get called in. Some times I feel like together we are like well-worn street-wise cops. Like Joe Friday and Bill Gannon. We don't give a rat's ass about niceties. We just want to get to the bottom of things.
So we sit through the first two hours of what's sure to be an all-day, all-night meeting discussing those 632 scribbled stickies. Somehow we extricate ourselves and then we start to work.
He volleys something at me. I volley something back. It goes that way for the next couple hours. Then as the "end of day check-in" is about to arrive, he says to me or I say to him, "we need to have something for this meeting."
We take the best of what we derived and create our ad-like-objects and present them to the dour, sticky-filling group.
"Here's what we think the brand is about." We show something simple, clear and defining. It carries the day, or the night.
My partner and I are carpenters. We bang things together that work and function, that have a purpose. I think everyone else is an architect. They make plans, plans that are great--as plans.
But they don't build anything.