PODCAST: EP201: How to Buy a Gorilla w/ David Meikle.


Guest: David Meikle, Founder, The How to Buy a Gorilla Company

How to Buy a Gorilla?

The good news is that it is a figurative question rather than a literal one!  In fact, it is the title of the book written by today’s guest on the Art of Procurement, David Meikle.

David has a deep background in advertising, including work with some of the world’s most iconic brands, for agencies such as Ogilvy and Mather, where most latterly he was the Managing Director of their Russian business.

The gorilla in question was an award-winning 2007 TV advert in the UK created to advertise Cadbury’s chocolate.  The advert in question was a 90-second shot of an actor dressed up in a gorilla costume, playing the drums, to the Phil Collins song “In the Air Tonight”.  The ad was considered a runaway success.

In short, How to Buy a Gorilla is all about buying creative services – using advertising as the example – with a focus on creating productive relationships between procurement, internal marketing, and advertising agencies.

While our conversation is based on the advertising business, the principals we discuss can be applied to any people-based creative services where success may be difficult to define, but that requires an alchemy that goes way beyond the contract to create an environment that enables creative individuals and teams to do their best work.


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