Thursday, January 18, 2007

The (M)Adman Diaries Part II: Overzealous AEs

The following story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, yada-yada-yakity-yak…

… the verbatims are all REAL, though.

Dear Diary,

I’m sorry it took me this long to follow up on my last entry. My migraine is gone. Thanks to my friend, and her wonderful, wonderful drug called “Exedrin”. I just took one pill and it hit me like an anvil.

I was going to take Wizard's advice and buy Imatrex but I forgot the name when I went to our pharmacist...

“Miss, do you have Ime--- Imi --- Imu --- (running out of vowels) Imo ---


She blurted out, loud enough so everybody in the room would know that I have diarrhea. I was gone faster than she can say LBM.

I hate it when they do that. I remember when I was still in college and I’d go to the drugstore to buy me some “protection”. I’d sneak into an empty void from a sea of sweaty customers, patiently waiting for a pharmacist to notice me and take my order. I never waved my hand to call their attention. I just waited. (Hey, I was only a student then, and I happen to be in a very conservative country, where talking about premature sex in public always raise an eyebrow or two. Ironically so since single parenthood statistics are going through the roof.) And when finally one of them pharmacist approaches, I make sure I whisper clearly, yet very discreetly, what I want to purchase. Almost always, the pharmacist would yell back to make sure they heard me right.


“ANONG FLAVOR?” (What Flavor?)

I shriveled in embarrassment and slowly retracted my footsteps. Could you imagine my grandma buying vaginal wash from the same pharmacist? Or my grandpa buying a box of Viagra?

Anyway, like I was saying, I finally got rid of that pesky menace called migraine. However, I have yet to find out the source. Who triggered my migraine and what did he or she do, better yet say that made me dizzy and nauseous?

I was done listing some unforgettable conversations with clients. I, however, felt that I have to give them the benefit of the doubt. What about our own? The same people who inhabit the place I work? Why not? I spend more time with them than I do with my clients.

Hmm… the witch hunt continues.

Could be it be our Account Executives?

Don’t get me wrong, Diary, AEs are such wonderful colleagues. They are, most of the time, very efficient, hardworking and resourceful. (I really have to say this because Blair Mitch, Gorgeous Noelle, and Celine - God forbid, she's a futsal player - might kick me in the balls). No, seriously, they're great AEs. And I have worked with a lot of good ones too. Some of them even carry a powerful, yet rare weapon in their arsenal – Beauty & Brains. However, in advertising as well as in life, there are some bad apples.

Take this AE, for instance:

AE: “I can’t see the website from my laptop, all I see is numbers.”

AD (Art Director): “What kind of numbers?”

AE: “I think it’s one of those HTML codes.”

AD: “Have you tried connecting to the Internet?”

AE: (Defensive) “You think I'm stupid? You think I don’t know that I need to connect to the internet before I can access the website??”

AD: “So, you’re connected. Can you read the message from the browser?”

AE: “What browser?”

AD: “Internet Explorer. Or Mozilla Firefox. The one you use to open a webpage!”

AE: “I’m using Microsoft Word…”

How ‘bout these guys:

“Wow, your web banner design looks great! Let’s print a copy to present to the client. Make sure it’s animated!”

“Woohoo! Guys! Good news! The client has agreed to shoot on a bigger budget! We have HIV!”
- Account Director, announcing that a TV spot would be filmed in HD (High Definition) Video.

“What a coincidence! I have the same sticker in my computer at home!”
(Account Executive to a copywriter, pointing at the newly-installed CPU in his desk. The sticker reads: Intel Inside)

“Please, I need the design for a circular sticker. Measures: 20 x 40 centimeters.”
(Agency, Account Executive)

“We need your help. According to what I understood from the client, we have to put subtitles on the radio spots. Is that doable?”

What about the AEs who have Arithmophobia (fear of numbers)?

AE: “Can you print the logo and send it to me?”

AD: “Sure thing. What size?”

AE: “As big as you can so we can use it for other assignments.”

AD: “8 X 10?”

AE: “Hmm… how about… 70 meters?”

Another incident:

AE: “If we do the poster 40 centimeters wide and the height in proportion, will it look awful?”

Media: “No, it would still be in proportion.”

AE: “OK. What if do it in 20 centimeters wide and the height in proportion?”

And yet another:

AD: “How do I layout the copy?”

AD: “Hmmm... just make it centered... to the left.”

These two however, deserve special honors:

AD #1:

AD: “We can’t use this painting for the print ad.”

AE: “Why not? We have money. We can buy the rights!”

AD: “Wha—you don’t understand! This painting is…”

AE: (Feeling smug) “Nonsense! I will contact the artist now! What’s his name?"

AD: (Nonchalant) "Vincent Van Gogh"

Silence. The AD waits for the Ae’s reaction. Instead, she picks up a notepad and writes.

AD: "Ok, I will call him now and get his approval."

AD #2 (during a pre-production for a print ad):

AD: “Ok. About this photo. Are we going to buy a royalty-free image from the web, or are we going to use a talent and shoot?”
- The photo in question is that of a Dinosaur.

(Next post: The (M)Adman Diaries Part III: Crazy Creatives)


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Imodium... LOL!

The human capacity for stupidity never ceases to amaze me. How do you stay sane?

schaumi said...

okay now..even folkses who try to open a webpage using microsoft word (giggle) need jobs. might as well make them the AE...:)

alicia said...

Love the immodium line. You're very witty.

Pepper said...

Imodium- love it.

I am so glad I don't have to deal with inanities. I had to do computer help and I would get calls that would make me crazy.

Its all gone! All my work. I hear sobs.

What happened most time is they would accidentally minimize the screen. It is still there. When I tell them how to bring it back up.....I'M GOD to them.

I worked for the state. A group of 5 men and 1 woman (me) created all of the electronic forms still used today. We never got credit for it but I was threatened. You see out of the 6 I was the only one who knew how to break into the forms after the state changed the password. I am so glad I am out of that situation.

Good post.

Jay said...

Imodium .... now that was funny.

Personally I think all those people are a riot. But, I guess that it would get old having to put with that every single day.

Socky said...

Just to let you know that I've been in advertising longer and that I've met more suits than you will ever meet in your lifetime. A source of aggravation, yes, but also great amusement and fodder for our blogs :-) Can't wait what you have to say about the creatives.

russkal said...


I used to take Advil. Now I take Exedrin.


And they're great in Excel too.


Thanks. I'd like to share that compliment with the pharmacist.


That caller is Dilbert material! Wow, you must've been really frightened by that experience. I can never imagine they'd consider you as enemy of the state!


They are! In fairness, they add spice to an adman's life. That's why advertising is never boring.


I completely agree. Boo-boos are not exclusive to a single designation or department. Clients make them, AEs make them, and (even more frequently), Creatives!

Just wait till you hear 'em ; )

Meander said...

you are so witty! i am really enjoying these latest blog entries of yours! how did you make that cool visual of the diary from your last post?

karabau said...

Bwahahaha! Astig, papa russ. Kilala ko ata yung mga pinag-uusapan mo.

By the way, universal ata ang mga clients and AEs na humihingi ng mock-up/actual size print out ng billboard.

Steven Novak said...

I Like my condoms Tapioca flavored. ;)


Dirk_Star said...

Yeah, the part about grandma was hot...

Yes, I have returned!

Felicia was suffering major back pain.

Mr. chiropractor has her feeling better at last.

blair_mitch said...

I know who the Van Gogh guy is! But I can see you cleverly changed the story. Hahahahahaha!

Creatives naman please! Because I have a lot of material to share...!!! Sa English translations pa lang, pamatay na!

kate said...

omg I literally had to stop reading at your Grandpa and Viagra... my belly hurt soooooo much form laughing!

We have a commercial here that makes me giggle all the time its a 20 something guy going to a self check out line at a grocery store... he scans his items it says stuff like toilet paper 69 cents, bread $1.50 then it doesnt work so he trys again. It quickly jams and starts saying wart remover, wart remover, wart remover, wart, wart, wart... It gets me giggling every time... kinda like your story!

(oh did i mention that I am a terrible joke teller... and story teller... it really is a great commercial! lol I just ruined it!)

russkal said...

I'm back!


It's a trade secret! No, actually, it's an existing illustration that I just edited thru Photoshop. Busted!


Hey there! Thanks for dropping by. Sadyang maliit nga naman talaga ang mundo ng blogging ano? So do you blog too? Email me naman your blog url at Para suki mo na rin ako. Hehe.


Tapioca? Dude, don't mess up with my favorite dessert!


So you were on AWOL too? I wouldn't know since I just returned too after being incommunnicado for 10 days.

Hope Felicia's doing ok.

Blair Mitch,

Do you, now? Post your verbatims on the comments. Looky, It's already there!


That sounds like a funny ad! Thanks for sharing. I'll go check it on youtube.