April 13, 2010
 

Will Michael Beaudoin Win the Budget Again?

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(Please click on this photo to review Michael Beaudoin's video.)

Conundrum: There is a rumor circulating among top agency executives at the Four Seasons that gasoline prices are rising. At the same time, it appears that this has come to the attention of various agency holding company CFO's as well. We congratulated the financial team on spotting this early trend, before it impacts the economy overall and are awaiting their recommendation as how to remedy it upon their return from their 3-week group offsite brainstorm in Maui.

One of the primary indicators which led them to this conclusion was their astute identification expense receipts from the top 1,400 executives who drive Hummers as their agency car lease:

1. Gas receipts have increased from the 2007 average refill of $240 per car, per month, to $3,560 per car, per month.

2. Client Sales have been off due to gas price increases. Feedback indicates that they are turning to us to investigate different ways of communicating their video messages to consumers.

3. Advertisers would like us to investigate using UGC to help achieve their goals. Clients suggest that UGC would both decrease TV production costs and increase their product and service sales trends.

4. Input from a young up and comer in the mail room (one of the few not in Maui) suggested we review Budget Rent A Car's latest UGC video contest, which could help the agency control T&E costs while helping our clients improve their bottom lines.

5. Preliminary feedback at the Racquet Club indicates that UGC is not looked upon as a useful tool to service clients among top agency executives.

6. Research: To get to the heart of the matter we have retained the MadAve Journal help management understand what UGC stands for as well as how it will help the agency provide better service to our clients.

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Situation Analysis: The Journal conducted a comprehensive study among the top 5 agency holding companies who control 98% of all advertising services for all Fortune 5-thousand companies to understand why. It was a two-pronged research project designed to understand the following:

1. Confusion: To determine whether agency distrust of UGC is just a simple misunderstanding for what it stands for

2. Distrust: To get to the root of a trend a particular dislike among agencies for a Mr. Michael Beaudoin, aka the Wiz Kid.

The following details Part One of our research. Over the next several days we will be detailing more information for management, including an interview with the Wiz Kid, Mr. Beaudoin himself.

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Methodology

We completed 4,700 interviews of the top 4,700 Executive Vice Presidents in each of the 5 holding companies for a total 23,500 one on one interviews, each of which lasted 3 hours apiece. Here's what we learned. By and large among roughly 98% of the people surveyed, UGC does not stand for User Generated Content. It stands for "Unfair Greedy Clients?" We were particularly impressed with the consistency from each of the interview respondents. It would have seemed that they were all reading from the same hand book.

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During regular intermissions to make phone calls, it was difficult to ignore that each was in fact reading from the same hand book. Since our researchers did not feel comfortable picking up one given it was not their property they did jot down its title, "Talking Points to Read Verbatim to MadAve Journal Research Team When Being Interviewed About The Definition of What UGC stands for." We didn't stop there. We pressed to complete the interview project and to gain access to the 2% of the EVP's not interviewed. Unfortunately, each had experienced either a tragic accident or where reported as missing by their significant others just 48 hours before their scheduled interview appointment time.

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Summary of Insights:

Classified: A summary of what the 23,500 EVP's we believe what UGC stands for is:

U = Unfair
G = Greedy
C = Client

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Unfair: (Websters) Disproportionate; undue; beyond what is proper or fitting for someone who has to keep up with the Icahn's:

Agency exec research tranlation: "How do they expect me to make my $7-figure bonus, plus expense account, Lexus Car lease, parking spot, country club dues, Martha's Vineyard time share and annual St. Bart's trip if we don't charge them at least $450,000 for each of the 13 commercials recommended for next quarter?

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Greedy: (Websters) Excessively desirous of acquiring or possessing, especially wishing to possess more than what the agency feels the client needs or deserves.

Agency exec research tranlation: "How dare the client feel that they are entitled to make as much profit as possible just because they grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, put themselves through school while working three jobs, wore the same clothes for 2 years while they created an entirely original idea in their industry that was counter to 450 experts in their field, which ended ____ (bad problem)____ as we know it, thus enabled her/him to make $500 million annually of which they donate $499.9 million to charity every year? Don't they realize that I suffered to do an half-day internship in the Paris office of Ogilvy on IBM during each of my annual summer vacations?

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Client: (Websters) The party for which professional services are rendered, as by the agency.

<Agency exec research tranlation: As their agency they should be greatful that we return their phone calls returned within 3 hours and only mark-up the phone bills by 17.5% on top of the $600,000 monthly retainer. Plus they should be thankful when one of our junior AE's take the time to send the client a memo, even if it is cut and pasted from one of our other more important clients and should appreciate that it only has 6 typos in the first paragraph. It should be more than sufficient to put in the annual shareholders booklet as well as be attached to a personal note to the client's board from former secretary of state Colin Powell.

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Analysis: To presented in Part Two of this secret project.

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