One of the real advantages of being a media desperado (sorry I mean media freelancer) is that you get to work with all sorts of really different and interesting people and you also get to visit all sorts of different offices.
What has struck me more recently is the growing penchant for the naming of rooms and the apparent expectation that giving a depressing little cubicle a power-name like The Future Room or The Creativity Cavern will somehow impact the quality of the thinking that goes on inside that room.
Increasingly I am beginning to wonder if in fact there isn’t an inverse relationship between the grandiose name of the room and the quality of the work which emanates from it? Its pretty much the same principle that dictates the MAMIL (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) cycling dress-code.
Anyway it got me thinking about the naming of rooms in a typical media agency. I mean where would we go with it?
The Algorithm Atrium. PowerPoint Palace. Cut n Paste Corner. The Spreadsheet Silo and the Linear Logic Lounge. What about The Transmit Torture Tank and the Arianna Atelier?
Mayibuye media planning. Eish!
So, with most humble apologies to Henry Reed:
The Naming of Rooms
Today we have naming of rooms. Yesterday,
We had daily status. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after meeting. But to-day,
Today we have naming of rooms. Creativity
Glistens like coral in all of the neighbouring agency corridors,
And today we have naming of rooms.
This is the basic Excel spreadsheet. And this
Is the formula, whose use you will see,
When you learn how to pivot. And this is the pivot table,
Which in your case you have not got. The laptops
Hold on their executive desktops their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.
These are the numbers, which are always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his mind. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The ideas
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their minds.
And this you can see is the GRP. The purpose of this
Is to stack up the numbers, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly upwards and forwards: we call this
Planning the campaign. And rapidly upwards and forwards
The early media planners are assaulting and fumbling the numbers:
They call it planning the campaign.
They call it planning the campaign: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the impact,
And the GRP, and the cumulative reach, and the pivot-sheet,
Which in our case we have not got; and the media strategists
Silent in all of the advertising agencies and the planners going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of rooms.
Gordon Muller is Africa’s oldest surviving media strategist. Author of Media Planning – Art or Science. Mostly harmless! Read his Khulumaedia Blog here.
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