Arnell Document Just A Standard Creative Brief on Steroids


Oh how we just wanted to let this one go. Really, we did. And we thought it would just go away like every other occasional unveiling of an agency's always-embarrassing internal workings.

As idiotic, far-fetched and plain absurd as the Arnell Group Pepsi document is, anyone who's ever worked in the industry knows this brand blatherific crap is the norm when it comes to a renaming/rebranding/logo project. It's. Just. The. Way. It. Is.

We're not defending the document's overblown inanity but pick up any creative brief or major rebranding document you've ever written and read it. Then multiply the idiocy you just read by about 100 and it makes perfect sense, given the size of the Pepsi account, the Arnell/Pepsi document is as hilariously verbose and mind-boggling as it is.

Think about it. You know you've been in a concepting session when the white board becomes "explosive" with white hot catch phrases that describe the vision, mission, essence and position of the brand and how people would DO ANYTHING to have a "relationship" with the brand. And then, after this kumbaya you all suddenly feel elated and part of a cult and can clearly identify with the brand like it's your new found soul mate you've been waiting for your entire life. You know you've had this feeling at least once in your career. I you haven't, you will.

And then, breaking up this collective come to Jesus love-fest, the traffic manager - the only person with even the remotest sense of reality in an ad agency - walks in and says, "What the fuck is all this useless bullshit? I have to deliver this shit tomorrow. Quit fucking around!"

Sadly, it seems Arnell has no traffic managers to reign in the rampant brain farting that apparently occurs on a regular basis over there...and, to be clear, at most every ad agency.

And seriously, is it any wonder a document like this came from Arnell? One look at the agency's homepage very quickly confirms the agency has more than mastered the art of bullshit.

This document is like the budding puppy-love between two high school lovers. It's warm. It's beautiful. It's precious. It's goose bump-inducing and it feels really really good and right and wonderful. Until a friend happens upon or hears about the sicky-sweet obsessive love parade and then, to the friend (us in this case), it very quickly becomes an extreme case of TMI...which is exactly what happened then the Arnell document was unleashed upon the ad industry at large.

Likely, the document was a true and effective summation of the months and months of work that went into building the Arnell/Pepsi relationship and the resultant love-child logo it spawned. Though, like the horror of walking in on your parents having sex, the ad industry, when made privy to the document, collectively barfed at the sudden and extreme expression of love we had no business witnessing.

Sadly now, the industry's mind will forever be stained by this unfortunate over-share. Or next week Arnell will tell us the whole thing was a joke and we'll all look like the idiots We made Arnell out to be.


by Steve Hall    Feb-11-09   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Strange   

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Peter Arnell is a windbag. The kind that comes around once every hundred years. He knows that a sucker is born every minute, yes deep in his heart he KNOWS it mothafuker.

Posted by: Krank on February 12, 2009 12:31 AM

I don't know about you, but the first thing I thought of when I saw their unique "dissection" of the pepsi logo was the steps necessary to draw Mickey Mouse...

Posted by: rpfiii on February 12, 2009 10:55 AM

1. Irony: one of your more verbose posts laments the inefficient windbaggery of the industry.

2. Irony: the document itself. Nobody in the presentation would be enough of an intellectual to grasp its content, yet not identify it as utter puffery.

Posted by: Nobody of Consequence on February 12, 2009 12:46 PM

I can't express how much admiration I have for the Arnell presentation.

One usually sees this level of obsessive hyperawareness and cryptological analysis of the mundane scrawled on the apartment walls of a delusional psychopath in a David Fincher movie.

That they have been able to sell this fevered cultist vision to a corporation like Pepsi is both magnificent and terrifying to behold.

That said, I'm jonesin' for a Diet Pepsi...real, real bad.

Posted by: Howard Margulies on February 12, 2009 2:05 PM

Arnell is the A-Rod of advertising.

Posted by: ralph on February 12, 2009 8:40 PM

Okay, Arnell's a hack. No doubt. But, if I can make that much money spewing that much BS ... I have but one question: Where do I apply?

Posted by: Edward on February 12, 2009 9:25 PM