We have a massive opportunity here, guys. A REALLY huge client has asked us to help turn their brand around. I’m talking about an ancient practice that every one of us has experienced countless times. The client is Sitting. And right now, it’s in trouble. Apparently, a lot of health nuts are claiming that Sitting is the “new smoking.” Do you guys remember smoking? It’s that thing used to be cool, but thanks to advertising, is now banned in public. So, yeah, you can see why Sitting is flipping its shit.
What’s the plan? Well, per usual, we need to take a broad view of Sitting. We need to find out who’s doing it, where they’re doing it, why they’re doing it, and what they’re saying about it on Facebook. How is Sitting portrayed in movies? Is Rihanna instagramming about it? Has it ever trended? Right now our Cultural Insurgency Team is out gathering data and conducting surveys that — once compiled — will get jammed into at least four Keynote slides that, along with our basketball court and quirky workspace, will convince Sitting that we don’t just know its brand, we fucking LIVE IT. The setup is clutch. If we can we can hook it with unverifiable stats supported by a table full of artisanal scones, it’ll buy whatever creative we present. And I don’t want to jinx it, but I could see the Cannes judges going apeshit for something like this. (Also: I’m on the jury.)
Keep in mind, Sitting has never had an agency, so it’s not accustomed to how we operate. It’s used to being a thing that people do and don’t think about. Sitting has never had to actively manage their brand, so things like social engagement and paid media might be weird for it at first. But we’ll hold its hand, and if we need to explain what Vine or SnapChat or — don’t laugh — Tinder is, we’ll just take it slow. So Digital Ninjas, you guys should do a social audit and then spend at least two hours bookmarking websites and making a graph.
OK, Creatives: this brief is wide open. Banners. Viral videos. Out-of-home. Guerrilla street teams. Those planes that fly over the beach. Anything goes, because We. Are. Changing. Culture. And we need to take convention and flip it on its head. Like — and this is not it — maybe we make Sitting the new thing-that’s-not-as-bad-as-smoking. The “new” breaking your glasses. The “new” double parking. The “new” interrupting. Just ideating here. Or maybe — and don’t turn this in — we show the face of Sitting. Like, we get real people — your friend, your neighbor, your grandma to “come out” and admit in gorgeous Gondry-style Hulu pre-roll spots that “I Am a Sitter.” Or maybe instead of rebranding Sitting, do we rebrand the chair? Petition congress to establish National Chair Day? Create an online gallery of celebrity chairs that people can virtually sit in? Sneak into Beyoncé’s house at night and steal all her chairs, then get Gondry to film her reaction? Is that buzzworthy enough? I don’t know.
I do know that the tag is gonna have to do some heavy-lifting. So copywriters, start blowing stuff out. We need something sticky, like… SITTING: A THING YOUR BUTT DOES, or SITTING: HOW AMERICA RESTS, or SITTING: BECAUSE STANDING SUCKS. Okay, those are terrible, but you get the idea. Art directors and designers, I want to see logo concepts when you turn in your rounds. This is really an awesome opportunity, because Sitting has never had a logo. So whatever we come up with could become the next Nike swoosh, Apple apple, or Handicap bathroom icon. Just try not to get too literal — everybody knows what Sitting is, so the logo doesn’t have to explain it. The logo needs to elevate it.
Think about what Sitting represents to our target: rest, relaxation, a break from standing or walking or pretty much anything else that’s not Sitting. It’s probably best to stay away from stuff that feels too office-y or food-related, since those are client watch-outs. Sitting is concerned about being associated with immobility, so consider playing with active constructs like recumbent biking or squats or that thing when you’re about to get off a ski lift and one butt cheek is kind of lifted. Shit like that.
So, we don’t have a formal brief yet, but the account team should finalize one in the next few weeks. I know it’s Friday afternoon, but we need to get ahead on this if we want a shot at a VMA spot — so the first round is due Monday morning.
Finally, as you work, try to do some Sitting yourself. Experiment with it. Think about what Sitting means to you. If you were the target, why would you do it? And, if you don’t know what smoking is, ask a planner. As Abraham Lincoln — a dude, incidentally, who sits eternally on a big-ass chair in the National Mall — once said, “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make it a friend.”
Any questions? OK, cool. If you need me I’ll be in my office writing a manifesto at my standing desk.