The Thunderbird Six Syndrome

Hugh’s latest includes this observation:

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with somebody very high up the global Digital Advertising foodchain. He was telling me about how once he was pitching for a ten million dollar account with a large international client. The client basically said, “I love the idea. Let’s do it. But… can you scale it to a hundred million dollar spend?” My friend sadly had to confess that his idea did not scale that large.

It’s a good insight into an interesting phenomenon. It reminds me of Thunderbird Six.

That was a movie I enjoyed as an eight-year-old. You can see the trailer here. (Side note: why don’t the folks at MGM let me embed this clip, it would drive more traffic. I guess they’re still in the walled garden mindset.)

Jeff Tracy and the team at International Rescue are up to their usual heroics. The subplot is Jeff demanding the hapless Brains come up with a sixth thunderbird. As the movie rolls on, a series of ingenious but daft models for the new machine are presented. Jeff disses each in turn, and we see each model swept off the table and breaking up like so much lego. In the end, one of the Tracy boys has to improvise a rescue with an old biplane which then gets jokingly referred to as T6.

Even aged 8, I thought this was barmy. Jeff never says what he wants the new Tbird to do, just that he must have one. Like the client Hugh talks about, he seems to think that spending money is more important than getting a result.

Poor Brains exerts much jerky, string-pulling energy in an effort to help Jeff empty his wallet. As Hugh observes, this kind of thinking creates opportunities for vendors, but today’s Jeff Tracys should be made to stay logged into Twitter until they start to get the real power of the small intervention

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