The agency was all set to make their presentation on a concept they had cracked for Chennai. After settling down in our seats we ordered the customary biscuits and coffee to keep the energy levels high for the discussions and brainstorming session towards the end of the presentation. A good presentation is like keeping the plate of salad before guests, it has to look good. Like eager to please hosts wherein you put in a generous word or two about the cooking abilities of your wife/mother before the final showdown just to create an impression, presentations require that added personal touch beforehand to shine in all glory when presented. But if the guest stumps you with a question like “Your wife can cook too?”, you are often left in a state where speech screeches to a sudden halt on its way up your larynx and forms lumps in your throats. Wondering how something similar can happen with presentations? That’s just what happened that day!
I was joined by my colleague and boss in the meeting room, and we were looking forward to an enthralling session. You have to, especially when Roy, the creative director with our agency had excitedly communicated across the phone that he had managed to crack a brilliant concept for Chennai. “Brilliant” often turns to “Good” when the realization dawns that the concept takes a completely different route than what was suggested, later to “Work in progress” when you convey that doing something like this would not be technically feasible, and may end up in “I thought so as well” when you point out that the ROI is taking a hit in the name of creativity and may not justify the money spent, depending on the skill of the speaker. I was hoping that it turns out to be a brilliant one given Roy’s track record and relationship with us, but nothing had prepared me for what was to follow.
“I hope you have managed to address the issues which the last concept had. If we don’t, it might end up backfiring and we will lose the opportunity bro”, I looked at Roy in anticipation
“Nothing to worry, Sandeep. I was on a holiday and had not gone through the last one shared. That’s were the problem happened”, he assured me.
“And what about the costs yaar?? If you have come with something even remotely close to the ones you shared for the last one, I may not have enough budgets to make this campaign see the light of the day. I trust you have worked out a feasible solution”, I confirmed with him. It’s a classic battle of costs v/s creativity discussion that every client and agency have each time a presentation is made. All is well till the final slide of “Project Cost” comes up and all hell breaks loose.
“Trust me on that. We know your limitations now that we have worked on the brand for almost a year now. And money is always a polite way of conveying that we don’t like the concept”, said Roy and with that we burst out laughing. I controlled myself when I noticed that my colleague had chosen not to laugh on the joke and was glancing at her watch suggesting that we start off. Roy also noticed the same, and without waiting for my nod started off.
Roy cleared his throat and said, “As you see, we have got a rocking concept for Chennai.”
“What??” blurted out my colleague, with a look of shock on her face
“I just said that this Chennai concept is rocking”, Roy reinstated. A visible hesitancy had crept into his voice now.
“What are you saying? Have you done your background research? Do you still stand by that statement of yours?” asked my colleague with a smirk on her face. “I don’t think this concept will work. Chennai people are just not into ROCK music!!” she said and looked towards me in anticipation for support.
I controlled my urge to laugh and managed to look back into her eyes and gave an approving nod.
I don’t blame the waiters at the restaurant where I went for dinner with Roy who witnessed us laughing our hearts out for thinking we were out of our minds