The week starts well – a Goodstuffer has returned from some sunny idyll, bringing with them kilos of confectionery, the gorging of which allows us to forget their hastily written holiday notes and how we consistently cursed their name while they were away.
A new-business opportunity lands like a badly flown budget flight and the scramble to see how we’re going to pull a rabbit out of a hat begins in earnest. "Who has a bit of scope this week?" the all-staff e-mail sings. I raise my hand, and the fun and games begin.
Our brief is a slightly unusual one for the gang – not media, but a brand idea for 2014. They want big ideas, and maybe some media. Six of us gather in a meeting room, Percy Pigs spilling from plastic pouches. As with most of my brainstorm experiences, punning takes centre stage first and, after a near hour-long binge, some serious ideas tentatively expose themselves.
With the brainstorming fun a dreamy memory, I return to Excel – it can’t all be pun and games.
Sending a few quick e-mails on Wednesday lunchtime, I remember just in time to switch my greeting from "How was your weekend?" to "What are you doing next weekend?"
It is the size and ambition of Goodstuff that make it such an exciting place to spend one’s formative agency years – in one of the bigger agencies, I hear a junior’s role is clearly defined and exposure to senior brains happens biannually over a Tannoy. For Goodstuff youths, we sit next to our big shots and, aside from coming away from most conversations thinking "I wish I worked in advertising in the 80s", they are a very inspiring bunch. We are involved in just about everything, from strategy to planning to buying to implementation to reporting. This "deep end first" approach gives a fantastic grounding and a fresh day-to-day appeal.
Later in the week, I have a call scheduled to take a client through the performance of a campaign. The presentation is sent over in advance and my business director and I huddle around a phone.
Numbers can only be so sexy, but we were presenting some good results, so I was optimistic. We return to the reality of conference-calling when, on about slide 15, we ask "Are you still following?" and realise that we have been impressing only ourselves – our client having been cut off somewhere between slide one and two. After a hasty e-mail, we’re back on. I’ll add the experience to our "campaign learnings".
Looking back on the week, I recall, with a cringe, saying the phrases "line of sight" and "real-time optimisation" out loud to real humans. A small part of me dies. It’s a funny old industry but, come Monday, I’ll be raring to get myself back in the thought canoe, I’m sure.
Jasper Hunter is a junior planner at Goodstuff Communications