‘The Suit with the Tyrolean hat’
So. Does anybody else out there get the Sunday-Night Blues? Well, I certainly do. Guess it’s a holdover from those Omigosh-I-Haven’t-Done-My-Homework-Yet Days. This particular Sunday it means my Weekly Post is staring me in the face. But I did think of a good story, just now. Whew.
It’s one from my Golden Olden Days of Advertising. And it’s about an Account Guy and his hat.
See, back then there were (basically) two kinds of people: the Creative People, who were the writers and art directors (and producers and music people and many talented others, but for the purposes of this story I am limiting this to writers and art directors), and the Account Guys, who were the men and women (though usually men) who worked with the clients in mysterious ways that involved Business.
You could tell the Creative People and the Account Guys apart easily enough. The Account Guys usually looked really serious, and wore suits. So we called them, affectionately enough, the Suits. The Creative People, both male and female varieties, wore jeans and leather and tee-shirts and much longer hair. And, (if you were female and a Creative) sometimes very short skirts with tights.
I take it back. Creatives sometimes wore suits. I once wore a Chanel Suit (thrift shop, but still) with Converse sneakers to a Big Job Interview. (I didn’t have time to change into the heels I’d stowed in my bag; I got the job. Maybe the low-tops clinched the deal.) But most of the time, if you were wearing a suit, you were the one carrying the bags and driving the car to the client meeting. (Er, conducting Important Business with the Client).
Well, back to the hat. There was this one Account Guy (no name, of course) who came to work one day wearing not only his suit, but sporting (and ‘sporting’ is really the only verb adequate to the occasion here) a Tyrolean hat. You know the kind I mean: greenish felt, snappy looking, complete with a feather in the hatband.
This Account Guy (er, Suit) worked with two extremely funny Creatives, Alan and Roger. (That’s the other thing about the Creative People — they were extremely funny. More on that in a future post to be called ‘Short Men and Flat-chested Women’. Stay tuned.)
Anyway. Alan and Roger spy the Suit sporting his Tyrolean hat. They admire said hat, and ask to see it. The Suit obligingly removes it and hands it over. Alan makes approving noises while surreptitiously noting the make and the size of the hat. Roger asks the Suit where he bought it. Then they hand the hat back to the Account Guy, who puts it back on and goes merrily about his client-related business.
Well. What do you think those mischievous Creative People did? Alan and Roger went to the store where the Suit got his hat and bought two more identical hats: one a size larger, and one a size smaller.
Then, every day, they switched the hats.
Which slowly drove the Suit crazy. Some days, the (too-big) hat sort of sat on the top of his ears. Other days, the (too-small) hat kind of left a ‘pinchy-hat-ring’ in his hair. And other days, the hat felt just right.
The Suit never found out about the Switching of the Hats. But he did mention to Alan and Roger one day that his head ‘felt funny’.
I say the whole episode was funny. And it was just one of many. Stay tuned for more.
And if you’d like to catch up on some more Adland Lore, click on that link in the sidebar. Or, if you’re feeling a bit Mondayish, just click right here: ‘Old McDonald had a Silo’, ‘Winning Money Isn’t Funny’, ‘Karl Malden’s Nose’. And, if you’re interested in how I got to Ogilvy in the first place, there’s ‘Take a Letter, Miss Henry’. Oh, and there is a cure for those Sunday-Night Blues. It’s called ‘Dad Eggs and Ham’.
Happy reading. Enjoy your Monday. And watch out for Account Guys wearing hats.
New York City. November 2014