Monday, September 19, 2016

"Where's your rig?"

For the last couple of weeks I have been going into an office. It was a refreshing change of pace as most of my work is done at home. From the comfort of my man cave. With my snacks and my napping couch always nearby.

As agencies go, the place I was going to was great.

They put my partner and I in a real office. With a window. And a door that closed. And a couple of Herman Miller chairs that eased our aging backs. It was the kind of respect and professionalism one rarely sees these days.


Once handed the brief, we wasted no time cranking out the work. Freelancers are expected to spit out massive quantities of work and 10 TV scripts in the course of one day meets that criteria.

In between the generation of ideas, my art director partner and I did what all creative teams do in order to answer the brief -- we shot the shit.

We talked about this.
And that.

And her.

And of course, we talked about that universal assnugget account guy we all know and hate. This assnugget doesn't have a name, or even a body. He or she is simply an amalgamation of all the assnuggets we have come in contact with over the years -- the screamer, the skirtchaser, the incompetent anti-Mensa, and the drunken drug addict who manages to fit all the criteria.

There was also the ceremonial telling of the war stories.

It was at this point that my partner told me of the time he was freelancing for a NYC agency. This was a shop that on their very best day, might, with some luck and the odd alignment of the stars, do something that could qualify as mediocre.

They never aspired to greatness or fooled themselves into thinking otherwise. And for not giving any lip service to that notion, as many do, and having a realistic assessment of their abilities, I will give them credit.

After a week of concepting, keep in mind this was a while ago, my partner and his writer were asked to show work to the Creative Director, who brought them into his fancy NYC office, sat them on the couch, and queried, "Where's your Rig?"

Not knowing what to make of the situation, my partner replied, "Huh?"

Turns out this was an agency that had made a name for themselves with jingles. So the Creative Director was expecting jingles. And the Rig in question, was a Cassio Keyboard (as seen in the picture above.)

I know there are people in the industry that make a living that way and solve complex marketing problems with little musical ditties, but my partner and I are not those people. He left the agency shortly thereafter. With nothing more than a check and a great little war story.

"Where's your Rig?"

I love that.

No comments: