By James Briggs
What better way to start the day than to release a bunch of dolphins. Unfortunately they're not native to Clerkenwell, so we visited the local tennis court to release endorphins instead.
They say the morning is the best time of the day. But it’s also the coldest. The smell of freshly cut grass, strawberries & cream and Jeremy Bates were absent as dusty racquets were drawn from covers, and desk-bound bodies wedged into acrylic clothing. We'd scraped together four begrudging racquet owners for the BestEverTennisClub’s inaugural match.
Andrew ‘All about the work’ Stirk.
Gareth ‘Erratic slice’ Rice.
Kate ‘Enjoys a satsuma’ Blumer.
James ‘Legs like twigs’ Briggs.
Early exchanges saw balls fly. Over the fence. A lot. Shots spitting from frames at impossible angles landing anywhere other than their intended target. But rhythm is a dancer, and before long CEO, Andrew, went all BYO and brought his A-game. Missile after missile raining down with Blumer and Briggs powerless to return them for fear of losing their hands/jobs.
All this pre-work exercise was awakening the creative process, a notion echoed by the philosopher Henry Thoreau who claimed his juices flowed, "the moment my legs began to move". Indeed, it's a little known fact that most of advertising's great slogans were first blurted out on the tennis court. 'Taste the rainbow', for example, was mouthed by a New York ECD as he launched a 130mph serve at his wife's midriff. 'Ch-ch-charmin', was sarcastically muttered by a junior writer after taking a ball in the head from her art director. And, a disputed line call between warring account managers produced the gem, 'Have it your way'.
It's unlikely our shouts of 'Sorry', 'Stupid tennis racquet' and 'I think i've pulled a hamstring' will be gracing Campaign magazine soon, but 'Wallop' might have a chance. 15, 30, 40 minutes had passed without so much as a deuce, so someone suggested we 'Have a break, have a Kit Kat'. Our time was up and our balls were bare. The fur-filled court looking like the floor of the Honey Monster’s hairdressers.
With arms aching and brains cells boosted it was back to the office. Our first creative task, to explain why we were 15 minutes late. Perhaps we 'Say it with flowers'.