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How to Freak Out Your Client, Just Ignore Their Values – Completely

Listening to clients and understanding their motivations and values is essential to delivering the right message. The recent debauchery at a Sundance Film Festival after-party, hosted for a venerated brand name agency, is a shocking example of lost perspective and bad judgement.

Many times a client will say they need a “WOW Factor” when crafting a new event. After several layers of conference calls, a sprinkle of Hollywood culture, and this common request might become an un-caged animal of an idea. That’s cool, we love crazy ideas. We love the journey those ideas take us on and the unexpected results that follow. But keeping perspective is essential, and a key role of the creative agency.

The successful outcome of any campaign rides on the ability to translate that wild idea into a fitting concept that ensures the integrity of the hosting company. Admittedly, this is not always an easy task.

Getting Reckless – We’re calling it out; this recent event at Sundance has the semblance of a brash and excitable valet driver joyriding an ‘A’ lister’s Bently off-road through the Wasatch Range. Cameron Frye would be pissed. And like Cameron later realized,              there’s no way to hide this.

CAA’s roster of talent includes A-listers Steven Spielberg, Will Smith, and Meryl Streep and counts Coca-Cola and Mattel among its corporate clients. The Mint Agency, hired as the firm’s party planner, created what was described as a “slutty, trashy image” which was “the antithesis” of what CAA stood for as a brand. It’s unclear who approved this concept, but Jordan Fogle, chief executive of Mint Agency, said its executives were “a little bit concerned.”

Ha! That’s putting it mildly. Considering the lewd acts in a rabbit costume, the “fake” debauchery, (seriously, how do you go with having the entertainers snorting ‘fake’ coke bumps ) and mis-appropriate strippers (is that even possible), there’s a definite salacious theme involved. Apologies have been issued, and there has been fallout and image tainting flak ever since.

Show Me Wow – Clients, such as CAA, may drive the need for a ‘Wow’ concept, but ultimately they are entrusting the creative agency’s professional guidance and experience to find what works best for the brand’s integrity.  In this instance, the leadership however seems to have been lost in translation. For the Mint Agency it happened somewhere between brainstorm and lewd rabbit behavior. They are Canadian after all.

We’re not party-poopers, in fact, we’re going to assume the party was probably pretty damn awesome. Had we been invited, we might be recounting this party for years; wondering if it’s even possible to go bigger next time. However, there’s probably a better fit for coke-fueled-furry-antics and it might not be the Disney of the talent world.

Our take away –  Judgement is a pesky issue when you know you could steal headlines by throwing a killer party. But keeping the client’s values in mind and acting as their concerned partner should lead to the best outcomes for everyone. In speculation, maybe this was a guerrilla tactic for the event company. Burn one to gain many. I’m sure their name recognition is blowing up right now. It was a party, it’s Hollywood, you probably won’t remember this…

PS- It’s also easy for us to judge from the sidelines of Chicago; and yes we wish we were carving turns and partying in the Wasatch mountains right now.

Source Article: LA Times 






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