Creative Under Quarantine: Terri Meyer delivers on pandemic ads, has ice cream for dinner and scores at CVS
In our series Creative Under Quarantine, we’re asking agency and other creative execs to document their lives in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic—from their new work habits to the mundane or farcical moments that come with being cooped up at home.
In this installment, New York agency Terri & Sandy co-founder and CEO Terri Meyer sees success under lockdown as her shop continues to deliver campaigns for its clients under crisis conditions (including one that got a shoutout on "Access Hollywood"). But in her downtime, she enjoys the more quotidian victories, like self-made meals and scoring at CVS.
If you have a quarantine story to tell, get in touch with Ad Age’s Creativity Editor Ann-Christine Diaz at [email protected].
5:50 a.m. Wake up before the alarm. Is this a dream? Crap. It’s not. I really am just commuting to the couch this morning. Or the table? The day’s big decision. A real puzzler. I brush my teeth. Take my vitamins. Make coffee. Shower. And commute to the couch. (My final decision.)
6:30 a.m. Turn on the news, crossing my fingers it’s something good this time. But, alas, I hear: “The White House coronavirus task force will start winding down its operations by the end of the month.” WHAT??!!??! No more Dr. Fauci, heartthrob of America? Are you telling me we’re going to have to settle for seeing Brad Pitt play him on "SNL"?
7:15 a.m. Decide to go out for a brisk walk before the day starts. It is so quiet. The streets are empty. The tulips are in bloom. La-di-da, it’s so beautiful but then—WAIT—is that guy not wearing a mask??? Ahhhh. He’s barreling towards me at 1 mph. I feel like Carrie Mathison on "Homeland," inching away, head down, putting six feet between us.
9:00 a.m. We’re about to show rough cuts to our Phonak clients in Switzerland. This job was meant to be filmed all around the world. Obviously that didn’t happen. So, we got creative. PIVOT, as they say. It’s now a mix of stock film and animation thanks to the talented crew at Psyop. Looks great.
9:25 a.m. Threw on earrings, a necklace and some lipstick. I’m good to go. I sit down in-view, neck up....in my T--shirt and sweatpants.
9:30 a.m. Client call. Clients are very happy. We are ecstatic. No changes to the video. When does that happen? Maybe this is the end of days.
10:30 a.m-12:00 p.m. Join a call to discuss a video we sold to our client, BJ’s Wholesale Club, last Monday. Awarded the job to The Selby on Wednesday. Selby filmed himself and his family Thursday and Friday. Edited with Mike Sobo from Lost Planet Saturday and Sunday. Reviewed the rough cut Sunday. Presented to the client Monday. We’re looking at the color correct now. Not so easy when it looks different on everyone’s computer. Now, the team is going back to do a Zoom with the colorist so they can look at his screen together. The spot ships tomorrow. This is all absolutely nuts. This would NEVER have happened pre-COVID. Hats off to our BJ’s clients.
12:00 p.m. Decided to make a brussel sprout salad for lunch. Insane that I actually have an hour and can cook something. Ina Garten would be proud.
12:45 p.m. Just read that banana bread is the “official comfort food of COVID.” Now I want banana bread.
1:30 p.m. The afternoon went by in a blur.
6:30 p.m. Watched the news. “Too hard to tell if U.S. will loosen international travel restrictions this year.” Guess I should cancel that trip to Bora Bora, huh? Maybe if I slap some palm trees on my Zoom background. Wait, how do I do a Zoom background again?
7:06 p.m. Had ice cream for dinner. (That’s what happens when you’re a grown ass woman living by yourself.)
8:00 p.m. Watched the new episode of "Mrs. America" on Hulu. Cate Blanchett really hasn’t aged a day?
5:50 a.m. Wake up before the alarm. Again. Brush my teeth. Take my vitamins. Make coffee. Shower. Commute to couch. Seems I’m more decisive than yesterday morning.
6:40 a.m. I empty the dishwasher. Who knew a single person could have so many dishes?
8:00 a.m. Make a quick run to CVS. There is no line so I can dash in and dash out. Toilet paper and paper towels are back in stock. AND I scored a spray bottle of Lysol!!! Grateful for the cashier who gave us the hot tip Lysol was back.
8:01 a.m. Can’t believe I just typed all that and this is real life.
1:00 p.m. Review the BJ’s mix and conform. YAY! It’s out the door. In just two weeks. We wrote and produced Freshpet even quicker. Score one for COVID for speeding up production.
3:00 p.m. Presented credentials to a potential client. Had to take a bathroom break midway, but I paused my camera and I don’t think anyone noticed I was gone.
4:02 p.m. Three more meetings to go. When is the appropriate time to have a cocktail?
6:07 p.m. Ahhh….bourbon and grapefruit juice. With a splash of simple sugar. Heaven.
8:10 p.m. After three days in "box" quarantine, I unpacked my new Buffy comforter. I feel like I am sleeping under a cloud of marshmallows. Highly recommend. Once you go Buffy, you never go back. You can quote me on that. And, no, they’re not a client.
5:50 a.m. Wake up before the alarm. Again. Brush my teeth. Take my vitamins. Make coffee. Shower. Commute to couch.
10:00 a.m. Meet to discuss some digital and social work for a new product. We named this product and created the intro campaign. When will the world see it? Who can know? It’s delayed, delayed, delayed. Why are we meeting about this??
1:00 p.m. Zoom call with our Freshpet clients. Freshpet was one of our first clients when we started our agency 10 years ago at my dining room table. It’s strange to be back at that very table presenting to them again.
3:00 p.m. Perusing the “What to cook this weekend” in the NYT. Ali Slagle’s recipe for "Oven Bacon" sounds easy and amazing. Also, it’s bacon. 'Nuff said.
4:15 p.m. Another NYT email: “What to watch this weekend.” “Dead to Me” is back for Season 2. And it’s on Netflix, so it’s the whole series. I see a binge watch in my very near future.
7:00 p.m. I’m watching "Access Hollywood" because our CD, JP Gomez and his husband, Xavier Cruz are about to be featured. They own Barba Men’s Grooming Boutique in Chelsea for which we recently launched a campaign called “Quarancuts.” Basically, a virtual hair school. Complimentary haircut training via Zoom with Xavier, a master stylist. His first client? Billy Porter. Yes, THE Billy Porter. The press has been AMAZING. And now, we’re on "Access Hollywood." I could scream! AND I AM!!! Here! Alone! In my apartment!!! Hey, I’ll take any great way to end a week.
11:02 p.m. Well, someone told me it’s Friday. Which means we’ve finished week 8 of quarantine. I’m sure I’ll wake up tomorrow, before my alarm, believing it’s all a dream. Then realize it’s not. Brush my teeth. Take my vitamins. (Not shower, because f*** it.) Make my coffee. And sit anywhere I damn well please because it’s Saturday.