Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bosses From The Eighth Circle Of Hell: The Flyer

Throughout my career I've prided myself on working hard, performing what's asked of me to the best of my ability and being an all-around good employee. I've also done my best to get along with my various bosses.

Alas, sometimes that's just not possible. Sometimes you end up with a Boss From The Eighth Circle Of Hell.

Back in the 1990s I worked at a marketing agency for a rather colorful Boss.

One day the Boss called everyone in for a lunch meeting (his favorite kind) and told us that in all the time the company had existed, it never had its own promotional brochure. I guess they were always too busy doing client work to promote themselves. He said it was past time we had our own brochure.

I worked on brochure concepts for a week or so and came up with some that the writers and other designers thought were pretty good. The only one I can remember now had sort of a drive-in movie theme. We were even going to include a little bag of popcorn inside the brochure, something to help us stand out in the mind of the clients.

Right before we were going to meet with the Boss to show him my ideas, he came running into the designer's room and said to stop working on it immediately. He was scrapping the brochure project (yet again). According to him he had a much better idea.

Not the real promo (or the real name of the Agency), but an incredible simulation.*

Instead of a tasteful promotional brochure he said all he wanted was a single 8.5" x 11" piece of paper to pass out to potential clients. The paper would have a large image of his face on it along with the company logo and the slogan, "Advertising isn't pretty" below. The topper came when he said he didn't want to use a regular photo of himself, but instead stick his face in the copy machine and use that image.

He stood there looking at us all, his hands in sort of a "Ta-da" big finish position, waiting for the applause and cheers to begin. We all just sat there with our mouths agape, not really sure if we'd heard correctly.

Finally when the shock wore off we all spoke up at once, pointing out that a single sheet of cheap copy paper with a xeroxed image on it didn't exactly shout class or quality, or that his choice of subject matter left something to be desired. Most importantly, what the hell did that "Advertising isn't pretty" slogan even mean? 

He got all petulant when we shot down his brilliant idea and said, "Fine, I guess we just won't ever have our own brochure then!" and stormed away into his office.

I left the company for greener pastures not long after that, so I don't know if they ever managed to put out a promotional brochure or not. I have a feeling they didn't, and never will.

* It occurs to me that I've probably made the fake promo look far better than it would have in reality. 

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