I was feeling rather despondent. I had waited my whole life to get a job in advertising, and now I had finally landed it and in my first week I hadn’t made one single sale. The job was selling steak knives to prospective customers. I had been given a sample of the product, and then had to come up with the advertising campaign to see them. I was really happy with my idea. The slogan was “It steaks two to tango,” along with an image of a couple having a lovely dinner date after a meal had been prepared with the knives.
The ad had been printed on all kinds of pamphlets and flyers and other paraphernalia in order to convince people to purchase. I had been given three days to design it, one day to find a few customers, and on the last day of the week I would report back to my manager on the response of the campaign.
But the response had been poor, and I hadn’t sold a single set, or even had anyone interested. Now it was Friday and I had to front up to my boss with an explanation as to why it had all gone so awry.
The meeting time arrived, and I made sure to be there early. The meeting room was bland and lifeless—a simple white room with fluorescent lights and just one desk with a few chairs. I sat there nervously, twiddling my thumbs and worrying for ten minutes before my boss showed up.
“So, how did the out of home advertising campaign go?” he asked. I immediately panicked. Had he said ‘out of home advertising’?
I had spent the whole day trying to sell these knives in my home. I ran them past both my dog and my cat, and then I spent a few hours just calling people and describing the ad to them over the phone. Suddenly, it all made sense. I thought it was supposed to be an in home advertising campaign, and that explained why I had not made any sales. I began to think my career in advertising would not last much longer.