Value Beyond Savings

201: How to Buy a Gorilla w/ David Meikle

a strategic buyer is a supplier with whom you have a mutual interest in your mutual success. There is a mutuality of creating a longterm, ever improving, ever managed relationship of value creation. A critical buys is seller’s market, a leverage buy is a buyer’s market. And in the middle is this one which is meant to be symbiotic.

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, 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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About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.