June 9, 2009

"See if you can work the word 'trillion' in there."

This flyer was at our bank, the-soon-to-be-eliminated WaMu, just 2 days after the bank collapsed and Chase swooped in and picked up the pieces.  Just a plain 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper, laser printed, a stack of 'em at the counter when you walk in.  

chasehastrillions.jpg

I'm imagining in the panic of the collapse and all of the machinations around one global bank acquiring another domestic firm practically overnight, crammed into some warren of cubicles is the team responsible for communicating something, ANYTHING, to WaMu customers.

In marketing, they usually have a creative brief which will capture what the tone should be, some key phrases, who is the primary audience, objective, etc.  It's the initial framework for a campaign a client might send to an agency.  Except when your entire business has crumbled to pieces and you don't even know if you're going to get your paycheck, let alone have a job tomorrow.  Writing a creative brief is the last thing on anyone's mind.  So I think it went like this.  Someone barks into a speakerphone:

"WE NEED FLYERS!!  SIMPLE!  LOTS OF THEM!!  KEEP THEM UPBEAT!  AND HURRY!!  WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!"

So the copywriter, who is probably collecting unemployment right this second, rattles his brain. 

"Hmm, what is good about this situation?  Let me look at a fact sheet about Chase.  Hmm...no.  No.  AH!  Here's one, they have a trillion dollars!!!"  

And that is really, really how this flyer came to be. 

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