It all started at our Monday morning stand-up meeting. John was firing off his typical laundry list of unusable, out-of-budget drivel when, out of nowhere, Tracy the account planner came up with the idea to reframe our cereal as crispy instead of crunchy.
It was immediately clear that we had an idea with legs on our hands. But what we didn’t know — what we couldn’t have known — was that it would soon develop an unquenchable thirst for human blood.
The rest of the week went as usual. I trudged through pointless meeting after pointless meeting, slogging through a combination of existential dread and unsatiated hunger from the kale salad I masochistically pack for myself each morning.
The weekend was a motion blur of Peloton and egg whites.
Then came Monday.
Nothing could have prepared me for what lay in wait through the elevator doors of the 11th floor. Our idea had grown into a fully-fledged, 360-integrated campaign, and legs were the least of our concern.
By this point it had sprouted massive, bat-like wings that dripped with noxious slime, sizzling and popping as it dissolved anything it touched into a black, acrid husk. Near the place where a head would be were crab-like claws that crunched through conference tables like saltine crackers.
Before we could so much as sob in terror, the idea lunged forward and tore Brandon from HR cleanly in half. At that moment, we realized we had more than just an idea on our hands; we had a Cannes-worthy case study, and there was no time to waste.
We fled to the corporate panic room, bolted the door shut behind us, and fired up Keynote. We crafted slide after slide of dramatic platitudes, bold stock imagery, and highly suspect conclusions. In just a few short hours, our award submission was ready.
But then, to our horror, we discovered that the Wi-Fi had gone down. Thankfully, we had just the person for the job: a graphic design intern. Armed with vague instructions and a walkie talkie, we threw him out of the panic room and sent him on his way.
We had virtually no faith in his ability to restore the internet, but we weren’t about to risk our own lives when we had an intern at our disposal; that’s Management 101. We screamed at him to hurry up through the walkie talkie every 15 seconds without offering any actionable feedback until, finally, the Cannes submission page successfully loaded. Moments later, we heard a blood-curdling scream rattle through the walkie talkie speaker, followed by palpable static.
“That’s the job. He knew the risks,” said an account director in the room.
She was right. We’re marketers, after all. We dictate the collective action of the world. Without us, how would anyone know what to buy? How to live? The world would come to a standstill of indecision and the world’s economies would collapse into a black hole of forbearance—
Before I could finish my thought, we were interrupted by a deafening silence. We waited a few minutes before cautiously cracking open the door of the panic room. Lying in the middle of the floor was our idea, burning alive in a pool of its own acidic slime. And standing over its decomposing corpse was none other than our Chief Creative Officer, sucking down a Marlboro red.
“It’s dead,” he muttered through the cigarette before slamming the door to his corner office behind him.
And just like that, it was time for our Monday morning stand-up meeting.