Copyranter: Introducing the first 100 percent transparent ad agency
Mark Duffy has written the Copyranter blog for 12 years and is a freelancing copywriter with 25-plus years of experience. His hockey wrist shot is better than yours.
“Welcome! I’m Frank Blunt — that’s not my real name — founder of Bald™, the world’s first fully transparent ad agency. I’m also not really bald, but I keep my head shaved for ‘branding,’ as do all of our employees, even the women.
“Transparency is the shit now, right? And storytelling? Well, our story is: We have nothing to hide! As you can see, we all wear custom-designed clear vinyl clothing by Lagerfeld. And yes, no underwear! Our dishes, walls, doors, bathroom stalls — all glass. You’ll notice amongst the periodicals on our $10,000 glass coffee table we also include printouts of our accounting books for visitors to peruse. They’re cooked, of course.
“At Bald, we say we specialize in digital advertising, which is complete bullshit. We specialize in kickbacks! We have a pro forma kickback PowerPoint deck that we present to every potential client. Depending on your spending, we will kick back to you anything from a new car to a new beach house. We’ve put several CMOs’ kids through college. Does your postgraduate slacker need a temporary, do-nothing job? We’ve always got an empty desk.
“But we of course do produce a full spectrum — you like that horseshit word, spectrum? — of online and mobile content. Hey, we gotta make some java before we give you the sweetener, right?
“Any ideas we present are mere gentle suggestions. Please edit, rewrite, redo, wipe your ass with our concepts. We’ll also execute any of your stupid half-baked thoughts, on demand. Hey, it’s your brand, not ours! In addition to no hair, our creatives also have zero egos. If they so much as make the slightest scrunchy face over a client change, they’re immediately shitcanned. We’ve fired four art directors, three creative directors and 18, no, 19 copywriters so far this year.
“Do you like our hallway signs? They’re random quotes I found on the internet. Notice how they sound smart but don’t say anything? ‘Atomic particle’… That’s priceless.
“Does our digital advertising work? How should I know?!? Here’s a more transparent question: Does any digital advertising work? Probably not! No worries, you’ve got a job to do and beach house locations to scout. We’ll concoct a white paper using our proprietary metrics — you like that horseshit word, proprietary? — that’ll show your bosses the campaign created vigorous human engagement (*snort-laugh*). Because in addition to kickbacks, we also specialize in doctored case studies verified by bribed third-party industry watchdogs.
“Here’s our account department, mostly bald women. With an account of your size, I guarantee it will be serviced by our most senior people, vp or above. That’s because all of our AEs, SPs, CWs and ADs are vps. Neat trick, huh?
“How diverse are we? If diversity is so friggin’ important to you, we will hire a person or persons of color of your choosing. Or, I can hook you up with our sister shop, Manifold Motley, the most diverse agency in the world.
“So, this is my office. You’ve probably seen that sign before. It’s ‘art.’ That’s the original, cost me a shitload. I tell clients it’s ironic — get it? Really, it’s double ironic — still get it?
“I got no more dogs or ponies. But we’re a full-service, 360 shop with a proven track. … Ah, fuck it. You ever been to Scores? They got a great $25 hamburger. I’m buying.”
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