They are shameless extroverts, on a first-name basis with the world.
Their conversational style is somewhere between the instant familiarity of a talk-show host and the soothing bedside manner of a family doctor.
They are able to get their foot in the door even over the telephone, never believing no for an answer, temperamentally immune from rebuff, eternally self-confident, rock-solid in their conviction that all manner of good things will come to pass if they can just have half an hour of your time over a drink at the end of the day.
They are immediate enthusiasts, capable of developing a passionate interest in the most unlikely subjects as long as they are connected to the brand they are working on.
A visit to the factory to see how disposable diapers are made? Terrific!
A two-day sales conference? Wonderful!
An afternoon with the man who invented perforated tea bags? Fascinating!
But should the unthinkable happen and the disposable diaper account go somewhere else, will they brood and despair? Not for long, because they have extraordinary resilience.
Within days, they will have bounced back. Disposable diapers will have been forgotten in the excitement of a new interest that has plunged them into the absorbing minutiae of double-glazed windows or deodorant socks.
…. The campaign is pinned to the wall or shown on the screen while, like a proud parent cooing over a firstborn, they point out the infinite charms on display…
They are not, however, just a receptacle. Once the information has been gathered, it is weighed and processed and arranged so it provides support for the idea they are going to sell to the client.
It is here they will reveal their greatest strengths, because they are superb salespeople, leading the audience carefully through a series of reasoned arguments to arrive at an inescapable conclusion.
Finally, the idea reflecting this conclusion is unveiled.
The campaign is pinned to the wall or shown on the screen while, like a proud parent cooing over a firstborn, they point out the infinite charms on display.
Excerpted from the book “Up The Agency: The Funny Side of Advertising” by Peter Mayle, who went on to write “A Year In Provence” which became a movie. He had a career in advertising, starting as copywriter and finishing 13 years later as a creative director.
(Photo credit: 123RF)