Top of the list of spurious client requests we get is the need to celebrate a nonsense anniversary. Karoline (with a K), our glorious leader, is always keen to get her hands on this sort of brief. “Desperate clients and coincidental dates equal budgets, darling,” she barks. Finding stuff to celebrate 50, 75 or 100 years since a company was founded or the brand was launched is easy. But a meaningless 80th or irrelevant 130th makes it a bit more of a challenge to knock up a compelling campaign. The book is always an easy win, but there’s a limit to the number of times you can rewrite a company’s history. Failing that, it’s special editions and lame on-pack offers.
At least Jack Daniel’s celebrates its founder’s birthday every year (around the MONTH of his birth cunningly, as opposed to the year), thus saving hours of creative toil. As it happens, you will occasionally find me clad only in Moschino denim living the rock chic life and clutching the obligatory tumbler of JD at Mayfair’s Club Cuckoo.
In fact, it was after a few that I was about to persuade Karoline of the merits of pitching for the 150th anniversary celebrations of the brand itself. Fortunately our Bulgarian intern’s maths is better than her English and she saved my blushes (it was founded in 1866 so I was a bit ahead of myself).
Talking of Eastern Europeans, while there’s not much in common between us and Tesco - size, profitability, popularity, enlightened management, etc - we clearly share the same approach to employment. We too work “until such time as the quality and quantity of local labour has been exhausted”. Which these days seems to be around 10pm. It seems unlikely that I’ll live to see 147 at this rate.