Thursday, June 23, 2016
Let's review the review
If you reside in Adland you are well aware of the creative and media review initiated by AT&T, the nation's largest...er, I don't even know what to call them anymore.
Their account is worth $438 billion dollars, equivalent to the GDP of China, Russia and Finland, combined.
Normally I'd be itching to get in on that good freelance action. I'm sure agencies are paying top dollar for mercenary creatives like myself to dig in with both hands and crack the code that will lead to victory.
But that turns out to be my naivete speaking.
Last week I was reading about the review as reported on AgencySpy, which is quickly becoming the only legitimate news source for the industry. Equally enlightening are the AgencySpy comments left by trollers, recently fired employees, and surprisingly enough, people in the know.
Apparently, there is no code to be cracked.
The contest, between two mighty holding companies, will not be decided based upon 20th century criteria like creativity, design or strategic thinking. That's so passe.
No, like the way anything gets done in America, it will depend on cronyism, favor taking, margin trimming, and huge sums of money being passed under the table. Or in the Champagne Room at the Rack Shack.
You see, it's no longer about storyboards, scripts or anthems that carve out a unique point of view. That's all been commoditized. So much so that unlike days of yore when you could tell a Chiat/Day or Wieden & Kennedy spot from a JWT or McCann Erikson spot, now it all looks and feels the same.
And that's fine, let the bean counters have their day.
It's a sweet, savory reversal of fortune.
Because in the long feverish days and nights leading up to the pitch, I hope it's the Creatives who get to go home at 5.
And I hope it's the finance folks and the holding company execs who are eating Mushu Pork at 1 AM or assembling the Powerpoint decks on a hot Saturday afternoon without any fuckin' air conditioning!!!