When I tell people I work in marketing, it probably conjures up images in their minds of exposed brickwork and glamorous product launches and handsome men in black polo-necks designing impossibly cool viral campaigns on their Macbook Airs.
In reality, I spend most of my time writing the blurb for those bits of paper that fall out of magazines, and which you immediately curse and throw in the bin without ever looking at them.
And as I work in B2B, rather than consumer, it's likely that you don't even look at the magazine itself, which is probably called something like Purchasing Manager Monthly, and you get sent eighteen shrink-wrapped copies of it every month despite the fact that you never asked for it and you don't even work in purchasing.
(I'm not bitter: I reconciled myself long ago to the profound and fundamental pointlessness of my chosen career. The money helps.)
Today, though, there must be something in the air, because two separate clients seem simultaneously to have decided that it's time to be a bit more 'creative'. The resulting tidal wave of conceptual free-association washed into my world as follows:
Client: Ooh hello Patroclus, I need you to do this thing, it's urgent.
Me: No problem. What is it?
Client: We're doing a postcard, an invitation to [some government computing show]. We're giving away free smoothies on the stand. I need you to come up with a headline that ties in the concept of a smoothie with the concept of government departments moving to a shared service operating model.
Me (trying not to giggle): Central or local government?
Client: Doesn't matter.
Me: Can I use the brand name of the smoothie?
SEVEN MINUTES LATER
An email arrives. It reads:
I have found a picture of some peas. Can you come up with a tagline that ties it in with the need to upgrade your call center infrastructure to include multimedia contact channels? This is urgent.
(He did sign off in capitals, as well. I suspect he accidentally hit caps lock in a frenzy of unadulterated creative excitement.)