Newly appointed regional sales manager and art-house power-point auteur, Jean-Claude Cavaillier, has won a victory for creative integrity by releasing his original 35 slide version of “2012_EMEA_Sales_Forecast.ppt”, hailing it as the true crystalisation of his vision for 2012 sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Forced by bosses into cutting the presentation down to 20 slides for the annual global meeting, Cavaillier was so dissatisfied with the slimmed-down final product that he chose to remove his name from the cover slide and credit the work to ‘Alan Smithee’, a fictional pseudonym often used by middle-management sales specialists who feel that their artistic control of a slide-show has been compromised.
“The narrative became so linear that the audience did not have time to question the true meaning of market segmentation and tailored sales promotion, removing all depth from the story of our new product release,” complained the creator, exhaling smoke from his Marlboro Light outside the Basingstoke business unit where the sales meeting was held. “It was a travesty of what I wanted to say.”
But it is not just the unnerving competitor analysis and truthfully stark customer lead-time expectation slides that have been restored in this full-length exploration of a man at odds with his sales targets. Cavaillier’s ‘2012_EMEA_Sales_Forecast.ppt (version intégrale)’ also features cutting edge animated fade-ins, and an alternative ending, a bleak, apocalyptic interpretation of Q3 and Q4 sales figures that he believes will haunt the audience long after they have returned to their hotel to check their e-mails.
“With the first release, I was basically forced to finish on a more commercially appealing ending, despite the reality that life seldom delivers on expectations and Chinese competitive pressure will continue to get stronger as our cost base remains high. That, more than anything, betrayed the essence of the project.”
Thankfully, though, fans of his Microsoft Office 2007 enabled work will get a chance to see the full breadth of his vision for next fiscal year’s budget at a special screening in meeting room 2A at 4pm Thursday, or as a pdf attachment if they can’t make that.