The Founding Partner of McMann, Tate, and Stephens Has A Few Thoughts On The Ad Game

I mean no disrespect—Larry Tate is a hell of a guy,

But if you can’t wrangle up a showgirl or hooker on short notice,

You have no business calling yourself an ad man.

Likewise, the Stephens kid gets results—and God only knows

How he carries off some of the last-minute miracles

He pulls out of his ass—but you gotta keep him away from the money clients;

Too skittish, too much of a loose cannon.

No, every agency needs a core principle, a philosophy to anchor itself on;

You remember the first big campaign we did?

“You call that a suit? Mine’s an Irving Freibush?”

That was my baby, and let me tell you, I didn’t need a focus group

Or some fifty-thousand dollar demographic study

To figure out if the goddamn desk the model was leaning against

Should be oak or cherry. I knew it would work,

Because I knew what every ad man (and preacher and politician,

For that matter) worth a damn knows as well as he knows his own name;

That everyone, deep inside, feels they are not quite right,

That they’re a little slow, a little shabby, a little less than their fellow man.

We just—quietly, mind you—reinforce that notion a bit,

And present them a shinier, newer band-aid to cover the blemishes.

Anyway, the ads worked like gangbusters,

And it always gave me the jollies that both Hef and Billy Graham

Each had a closet full of those suits.

Look, what we do isn’t rocket science or parlor tricks,

But a bunch of big black figures on the bottom line of the ledger book?

Now that, boys and girls, is fucking magic.


2 thoughts on “The Founding Partner of McMann, Tate, and Stephens Has A Few Thoughts On The Ad Game

  1. good heck, i actually real-life snort-laughed at the first three lines. how you wrangle poetry out of a second-rate supporting character from a nick-at-night special… that boys and girls.. fucking magic.

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