nostalgic visit to Charlotte St to see the old Saatchi building, which I blogged about here. And, at the end of last week, I heard about the next of my old workplaces to go - Saatchi Frankfurt. They'd long moved out of the building I'd worked in, but that still didn't stop the nostalgia-tinged sadness, especially as I imagine the remaining staff will be offered 'come to Berlin/Düsseldorf or get out'.
I spent a couple of years using the Frankfurt office for my base, jetting around the 'new' markets of Eastern Europe for P&G, before settling in as Head of Planning in 1998. Account Planning was the latest thing in Germany in those days, and I was amused, and a little sad, to dig out some bits and pieces from early management away-days. Life really was so simple then.
Positioning the agency. No ghastly 200 slide Powerpoint, just a couple of hand-scribbled overhead transparencies. A brand personality with 5 elements: creative, innovative, no rules, little bureaucracy, 'nothing is impossible' attitude. We weren't the biggest or even necessarily the best, but what we could do - and had proved this - was 'Being First' - from First over the Berlin Wall to First ad on the moon. We were going to lead a communications revolution: everything would be new - new ways to focus on what is true, new media opportunities, new targets, new creativity.
We didn't muck about. Someone came up with the brilliant sperm visual - a bit provocative, a bit cheeky, very powerful and very Saatchi (after all, we'd conceived the Pregnant Man) and the plastic cards were produced:
And these days we talk about agility. Agility, for me, means dog shows.
In praise of passive planning
1 month ago