Our Branding House.
BY Frank Ferri
You sure look the part. Short beard, tight-fitting thrift-store shirt, slim-fit jeans and large-framed glasses that scream “I’m hip!” I should hire you on appearance alone. But legally, I can’t. Besides, there’s a lot more to our shop than how we look and dress.
Our culture is very important. We have a culture. No red tape. No corporate layers. No bureaucratic bullshit. But it’s not anarchy. It’s a meritocracy, with tons of optimism and zero racism. We like diversity. My girlfriend is a pansexual black woman who was raised by Nepalese parents on the Stockholm Archipelago. She was educated in Perth before coming to the States via pneumatic tube.
We’re a shop. Not an agency, not a firm—a shop. Other acceptable terms are “boutique interactive solutions studio pad,” “branding house,” or “post-branding branding garage.”
That’s another thing, we add “post” as a prefix to words—especially when interfacing with clients. Post-media, post-Internet solutions, etc. If you can’t do that, then you’re post-employed. Kidding. I’m a creative-type, I say creative things like that.
We drink coffee all day. We brew it in our retro-style kitchen, which is ironic. Post-ironic even.
We’re post-Internet web strategists. And we only use Macs. We’ve got one PC, spray-painted silver. While working, we wear earphones and listen to post-stringed guitar neo-punk by an obscure meta-artist.
Our business practices are closely aligned with the Republican Party’s way of thinking. But every pod (we don’t use cubicles here, they stifle creativity) must have a picture or some figurine mocking the GOP. It shows our post-subversive, post-dissident, Post Cereal mindset.
Creative meetings—meetings! Listen to me. When we’re in a creative sesh, we’ll think of the same ideas as any other agency. But we sell our ideas like this: For a pedestrian website, we’ll say, “This post-digital highly calibrated online meta-experience is a nod to the analog age, which guarantees a viral effect among the decision-makers in your industry and beyond by making sure your brand stands out in a world of post-font, post-blue, Post-Its.” Doesn’t have to make sense.
We’ll create a blog on their site, a Facebook thingie, and talk about it being “a post-blog, post-social networking platform that inspires and spreads ideas so that your message sticks to your inter-generational, minimally attentive demo. But also reaches, bestrides and orbits other industries to capture the attention of a post-captive audience.”
I like this talking point: “We drive traffic to clients’ sites in a post-traffic, post-public transportation way in a highly post-visual, post-gustatory, pre-olfactory world. You’ll notice everything we do stays true to the client’s identity as our post-branding brand extension cords extend that identity into post-new media media post outlets.”
Our seshes take place in the carport we built inside the office. Post-ironic, right? We used an aerospace-grade epoxy to adhere forty-five surfboards together for a table. Says, “Yeah whatever, brah, we know life’s too short to worry about stuff.” But it also says, “We still worry about stuff enough to build a table.”
The indoor barn is also ironic. We do our visionary reviewages there. We stand and look at print ads, billboards, whatever, and say, “I think the one with the finer vertical line speaks more to the frontal cortex of the end-user because of its PoMo post-sovereign influence.”
Or, “The Pantone color conjures a post-cognitive experience, which could foment a post-interpersonal meta bond between the consumer and the brand.”
I like to bullshit in the barn. I’ll say something uber-cultured like, “The ad is very Pierre Auguste Cot, while the billboard is so Abraham Mignon. Neither will register on a post-conscious level with our client’s audience. They’ll have a negative effect.”
Everyone in the barn will agree with me even though they have no idea if the artists mentioned exist. One will say, “Totally, Mignon-esque. Can’t believe I didn’t think of that.” Another will say, “I thought I was going too heavy Auguste Cot. Damn.”
That cave? That’s where the copywriters work. I know, you probably think all post-branding boutique branding neo-interactive podshop houses all have the stereotypical copywriters: the ones who sit there and write their destined-to-fail screenplays in Movie Magic. Not here. Our copywriters use Final Draft. Or Celtx.
The cave is where you’ll be creating brilliant copy and concepts. Just one important rule: if our copywriters decide to sit outside for lunch, they must bring this copy of Finnegans Wake. Relax! You don’t have to read it. You just have to look at random pages and pretend. Every few minutes nod and chuckle aloud, “Oh Joyce, you devil!” It sends a message that says, “Yeah, I write copy for the establishment, but I also read books that no one understands.” Gives us a bit more intellectual cred.
If you’re interested, I’d like to see if you have what it takes to write copy for our branding den/ad grotto − and our progressive, independent-minded clients. We need a postcard written for a little neighborhood grill that just opened. It’s called Applebee’sⓇ. They want to promote their Carside to Go™ service. Go crazy with it. Have fun. Push the envelope—and get some papercuts doing it. Ha-ha. But seriously, just make sure you adhere to “The Applebee’sⓇ. Corporate Guidelines and Branding Policies,” which is a huge document. I’ll email you a PDF instead of printing it so I don’t have to write a post-Earth Earth posting on my blog. Damn, I’m clever.
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