Andy Flemming's now expected Adfest diary

FLEMMING-IMG_9676.jpgSurely, SURELY, everyone now knows that you can check into anywhere on Facebook from anywhere else. Give it a go. You can convince your mates you're at the summit of Everest, The Great Pyramids or, in my case, the Qantas First Class Lounge. I checked in there whilst in the main concourse toilet. A toilet that was at least two hundred metres from First's beautiful gleamy one that, I'm sure, didn't look like someone had exploded in it. Although it did give my fellow Adfest delegates a small frisson of jealousy, I did, in fact, travel to Thailand in economy, sitting behind a small boy who spent the the entire flight violently smashing his seat backwards and farting repeatedly without due care and attention. I tried to watch 'Dr Strange' but the screen was about three inches from my face. I eventually fall into a deep and heavily medicated sleep dreaming of a larger seat with a fully flat bed and better cheese.
They say the road to Adfest is long and difficult. They're not kidding. Route 36 from Bangkok is as straight as a runway, presumably to help the numerous speeding Porsches get airborne once they hit a bump. Like a vast jet display team, we constantly jostle for position at incredible speed with just inches to spare. I land at the hotel both relieved to be alive and in desperate need of the toilet. (Arguably, that had more to do with not being able to climb over my neighbour on the plane, but combined with the near-death driving I am now reaching critical mass.)

FLMMING-IMG_9681.jpgAnother year, another diary entry that features yet another international travel plug completely encased in thick, unbreakable plastic. My fingers can't rip it open so I use the prongs of my Macbook's plug, bending one of them alarmingly backwards. I end up bashing a corkscrew into the plastic repeatedly before the fucking thing eventually falls out. Of course, once my ridiculously heavy Macbook plug is attached, it just falls out of the wall, meaning I had to prop it in with the hotel directory. Apple. Industrial design at it's best.

The Adfest staff are wonderful. Thais are the nicest, most hospitable people on the planet and make sure we all know where to go and when. One of them stifles a giggle due to how obviously and uncomfortably sweaty I am, although that's because I'm wearing jeans. All the other delegates have brought light cotton shorts and I haven't. A quick trip to the mall and I now own a pair designed for, well, people a hell of a lot smaller than me. By inhaling deeply I can squeeze them on, but I'm pretty sure that at some stage the button will explode like a bullet and kill someone. Let's hope it's the German who was being an absolute cock at breakfast.

Saturday. A couple of games of pool and many, many Singha beers later, I meet my fellow judges, a remarkably talented cross section of some of the great Asian agencies. A photographer is roaming around. He says he wants to capture some 'candid' shots of us. As long it's not the moment my shorts go, I'm cool with it. It's about this time that the aircon goes down across the entire hotel complex due to a blackout. As someone who finds Sydney winters uncomfortably warm, the thought of sleeping in a room that's rapidly approaching a balmy twenty-eight degrees is utterly terrifying, so most of us hit the town, the mutual decision that near unconsciousness is, clearly, the only way to deal with the hotel room situation.

The aircon is back on by the time I fall through the door. I forget to drink water and don't have any Nurofen Plus. I shall deeply regret this in the morning.

FullSizeRender.jpgSunday. Yup. The beer/wine/heat hangover. A familiar and almost religious pain that only an omelette covered in chilli can partially dent. Don't ask me why, it just does.

We start judging at 9:00. The quality of the work makes everything better. I'll get to that another day.

Andy Flemming (pictured top, second from right) is Group Creative Director of M&C Saatchi, Sydney.


Lover said:

Love your work Andy.
Keep them coming.

Wayne said:

As usual, absolutely laugh out loud stuff.

Top notch.


ad critic said:

Facebook check-in FTW!

Hilarious, as always

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