When I was at YR/NY I was fortunate to work with a terrific young creative team, Ted McCagg and Stu Garrett. They did great work on the Bronx Zoo and the Coney Island Aquarium. They also polished the biggest turd in the world…a campaign we inherited from FCB, featuring the unfunny comedian Carrot Top for ATT.
Let me just say, there is nothing an agency hates worse than having to work on another agency’s campaign, particularly when it is a total and complete POS!
Knowing no senior team would tackle such an assignment, Ted and Stu were quickly summoned to my office and given a chance to “polish the turd”, which is a Fergism for “make it better”. I promised I would never hold it against them or ever bring it up on their performance reviews. It would be our dirty little secret. They could even take their girlfriends out to LA and live at the Four Seasons for a few months! The bribe worked. They accepted. At best, I would give the work at B, which is along way up from the F-double-minus they started with. What I liked was that Stu and Ted actually took on the project, knowing it was a total POS. Funny thing is, along the way, Stu and Ted became friends with CT, to the point of calling him “The Top”. Once, the team actually brought “The Top” to my office for me to meet. I think they thought it would be cool and a good way to suck up to me. It wasn’t. I hated “The Top” and told them keep him away from me, in no uncertain terms. Little did I know that “The Top” was standing right outside the door, while I spewed on and on about him and the horrible campaign. Oh well…
Today, Ted sent me a link to his blog that features his cartoons. They are good. Ted, I won’t be sending them to “The Top” to polish, I promise!