‘I had an appalling dream last night,’ said Ian Chinnock, walking into the office from the pouring rain outside. ‘Britain voted for Brexit, plunging us throwback into economic uncertainty and jeopardising some key client relationships, the Americans voted for a satsuma who didn’t care about who he offended and we had to downsize.’ He surveyed the newer, more compact office, without its pool table, dartboard and table football. ‘Ah,’ he added. ‘That happened, then.’
Dean watched him wring out his coat, unwrapped a Wagon Wheel and thought for a moment while seemingly contemplating its chocolatey goodness. The eternal question he is always trying to answer is ‘are Wagon Wheels smaller, or did I get bigger,’ a conundrum which he appeared to be no closer to solving, but this was not the focus of his thoughts.
‘So, to summarise,’ he said, partially addressing the Wagon Wheel, ‘what we’ve done here is to say goodbye to some people which, while undeniably painful, has given us chance to have a think about the direction we were going in and then point us more clearly where we’ve always been heading anyway, which is working with exhibitors who do multiple shows, all over the world and who have a real passion for the work, rather than treating it like a Cub Scout display in the local village hall. Added to which, we’re in the middle of a rather exciting rebrand which will see us talk about what we do best. I’d call that pretty encouraging.’
‘Oh, go on then,’ Mr Chinnock replied, grudgingly. ‘We are, admittedly, in a better shape than we’ve been in for a long time and because we don’t have so many mouths to feed, more of what we make goes into the exhibitions. And Jody, has a plan for our rebrand that sounds as though it might actually be a good idea. I saw her integrated marketing schematic, or whatever it’s called, and using social media to reach out to people looks as though it could be a good way forward. We’re going to start using Twitter as well, so we could start calling her The Head Twa…’
Jody coughed pointedly, cutting him off. ’And I never won a single bodybuilding competition in the old office,’ she joined in, eyeing the Wagon Wheel wrapper now on Dean’s desk with contempt. ‘Now I’ve won my inaugural competition and came third in my second national event, which I call a win. You may have lost an under-used dartboard, an uneven pool table and a table football which was used as a glorified repository for people’s discarded hats and scarves, but you have gained a lot more than that. You have a champion.’
‘An emaciated champion,’ Dean said, opening another Wagon Wheel. ‘And furthermore,’ said Jody, ignoring him ‘we saved the drinks trolley, with its full complement of exotic alcoholic beverages, demonstrating to the outside world that the Neos spirit is intact and thriving. Even if I’d obviously rather do some bracing bicep curls than drink anything on it,’ she added, eyeing the bottle of Gordon’s Gin in much the same way that Dean had lovingly eyed his Wagon Wheel, shortly before biting it in half. ‘And speaking of which where are the people who modified it to accommodate more booze?’
‘Well,’ Ian Chinnock replied, ‘I have news. No, I have News, with a capital ’n.’ Matt is happily with us, as you will see from the corner of the office where he is busily looking up some kind of way to cook a small bird who never did him any harm and Slaphead, the other member of the team who worked on the drinks trolley is doing a world tour. During the first week of the year he was in Sunbury, at BP’s headquarters, then onto London, then onto Paris and then onto Anaheim. Right now he’s doing some kind of roadshow around the UK. We don’t expect to see him again…’ and at this he checked his watch, ‘…before March. ‘
Before Mr Chinnock could suggest issuing Slaphead with a red bobble hat and staging a ‘Where’s Slaphead’ competition, the phone rang. Dean took the call and nodded earnestly, before handing it over to Tom, the Neos creative guru who was finalising the rebrand and trying not to get involved with the intricacies of office life. He replaced the phone. ‘Dramatic news,’ he announced, as everyone else briefly and uncharacteristically fell silent. ‘We’ve been asked to take a look at a client’s touchscreen technology approach. This could be the dawn of a whole new age, and we’ve not even gone live with the new marketing masterplan. Fasten your seatbelt, people, because here we go!’
Will the touchscreens at exhibitions ever really work? Can Dean kick the Wagon Wheels? And more importantly, will Jody ever consume fat again? There’s only one way to find out…
See you next Tuesday(ish)…
DO YOU EXHIBIT MORE THAN ONCE A YEAR?
IS EXHIBITING INTEGRAL TO YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY?
DO YOU EXHIBIT INTERNATIONALLY?
NeosCreative; Successfully exhibiting your vision, anywhere.