One of the lures of a career in advertising is the incredible variety of challenges that make up this job—it is still one vocational field that celebrates the true generalist. The job description for almost any position in the Account Service Department lists strategy development, analytic reasoning, creative problem solving and, in deference to the incredible variety of needs for most clients that cannot be captured in a simple phrase, our job descriptions also include the key phrase “other duties as assigned.” When new Client Service hires ask what exactly these “other duties” might be, we usually respond, “whatever it takes to get the job done.”
Recently, a Wahl TV shoot that involved a large cast using Wahl grooming products, electric clippers, trimmers and shavers presented a bit of fast pre-work for the shoot. This “Day in the Life” TV concept was built around real people using Wahl grooming products in real time. So when we distributed the product to everyone, each clipper, trimmer and shaver had to be charged-up and ready to go.
Pre-charging may sound like an easy task, but it actually requires a bit of a team: each clipper, trimmer and shaver had to be carefully removed from the package, plugged into an outlet, charged and then repackaged for distribution to the cast. And, as most things involved with any big TV production, time was tight—all of this charging activity had to happen in less than 24 hours.
But the team in Account Service was more than up for this challenge. Wahl product was taken from its packaging by one team, while another team set up power strips all over the agency and began the recharging. Others set up an assembly line to repackage the grooming products as soon as they were charged. For a brief time, the HY Connect offices looked a bit like auxiliary Wahl manufacturing facility with clippers, trimmers and shavers snaking out from every available electric outlet, packaging boxes neatly stacked alongside and tens of people from almost every department at HYC tending to one step or another. The flurry of activity pushed into the evening, but the clippers, trimmers, shavers and boxes were all neatly packed up and ready to load onto the van headed for the shoot the very next day.
Not everybody who pitched in worked directly on the Wahl account. In fact, not everybody was even in the client service department. Strictly speaking, this task had nothing to do with advertising—it was just a pre-shoot detail. Yet, nobody asked if this was part of their job—everybody simply jumped in to get the job done. It became just another example of the true team effort that is required to deliver superior work to all of our clients. And a good example of “other duties as assigned.”