Legend has it that in 2010 Collyer Bristow paid vast sums of money to Mr Lord Saatchi, the adman extraordinaire, for a revolutionary rebranding.
For the next nine years and despite hundreds of increasingly irate voicemails, the firm heard nothing back.
It is a Summer evening. Time has run out. Collyer Bristow must launch its rebrand tomorrow.
Chief Executive PHILIP PALMER sits at his desk, biting his nails and weeping as he stares at the sheet of paper in front of him. His wastebasket is full of crumpled drawings and snapped pencils.
A TRAINEE knocks on his office door. Palmer looks up, grateful for the distraction.
PALMER: Youngster! Come in. How can I help? Do you know how to draw logos? Or what to draw? This is the best I can manage.
The trainee takes one look at Palmer's effort and vomits.
PALMER: Steady on, it's not that bad.
The trainee starts shaking, spraying vomit around the office. Palmer ducks behind his desk. The trainee freezes, breaks wind and then EXPLODES. Blood and guts plaster the walls.
PALMER (whispering): It wasn't that bad.
Slowly, Palmer raises his head above the level of his desk.
PALMER: Hell's bells.
In a puddle of feet and skin - all that remains of the trainee - stands a man wearing a Lycra bodysuit, dripping with gore.
PALMER: S...Saatchi? Is that..is that you?
SAATCHI (flinging one of the trainee's feet at Palmer): It is Lord Saatchi!
Palmer shrieks and falls back against the wall of his office. Saatchi takes Palmer's overcoat and uses it to towel off the worst of the viscera.
PALMER (horrified): What did you do...
SAATCHI: Now THAT was invigorating. It is a chore getting inside without them noticing. But what an entrance!
PALMER: You're a murderer!
SAATCHI: I am a murderer - of expectations! You expected boring old Lord Saatchi to come strolling in.
PALMER: No I didn't. You've ignored my calls for nine years.
SAATCHI: Regardless, you will not forget what just happened in a hurry, will you?
PALMER: I'll never forget it. Oh Christ, I'll never forget it.
SAATCHI: Exactly. So you will be delighted to know that I have designed Collyer Bristow's new look with the same effect in mind.
PALMER: No, please.
PALMER: What's that?
SAATCHI: Your new core values. To make it true I have written them in really big capital letters.
PALMER: It's twaddle.
SAATCHI: Nonsense. I have also added a claim, like every law firm, that you believe you are different to other firms.
PALMER: Are we?
SAATCHI: You have a different name to them, and different staff. Also - this is different - I have included on your website an enormous amount about the rebranding itself. Methodology, aims, typographies. Pages of it.
SAATCHI: In case people do not notice that you have changed your look.
PALMER: If they don't notice we've changed our look then what have we paid you for?
SAATCHI: Peasant! This wasn't just about changing how you look!
PALMER (breathless with anticipation): What was it about then?
SAATCHI: More than a rebrand and therefore worth every penny.
PALMER: What, then?
SAATCHI: A 'Corporate Facial'.
PALMER: Excuse me?
SAATCHI: 'The Same But In Black And White Capitals.'
PALMER: Hang on-
SAATCHI: An 'Identity System'.
PALMER: What does that mean?
SAATCHI: You do not like it?
PALMER: It’s boasting about being clear, in a very unclear way.
SAATCHI: Ingrate! It took nine years to craft that guff!
PALMER: Exactly! And where's our logo?
SAATCHI: I FORGOT TO DO IIIIIIT!
In a rage, Saatchi sweeps Palmer's computer onto the floor, smashing it. Static buzzes on the fractured monitor.
Ripping open the crotch of his bodysuit, he begins to urinate. A bright green jet strikes the carpet in front of the broken computer's flickering screen and, such is its velocity, bounces off the floor.
SAATCHI (through gritted teeth): Draw...it.
SAATCHI: You heard.
Baffled, Palmer picks up his pencil and starts to sketch, hesitantly at first.
Five minutes later, Saatchi is showing signs of strain.
SAATCHI: Are you done yet? I cannot pee forever.
Palmer is now scribbling feverishly, swapping between his crayons, checking angles and muttering to himself. He has rediscovered his muse.
PALMER: Just a few...more...seconds.
Seven hours later, Palmer finally lays down his pencils.
PALMER: It is done.
Saatchi's eyes bulge momentarily and his powerful flow subsides, then stops.
SAATCHI: Give it to me.
Trembling, Palmer passes him the sketch.
Saatchi examines it, then takes a pen and prints the firm's name in the middle of the page.
SAATCHI: Behold. Your new logo.
PALMER (eyes shining): We made it, together.
SAATCHI: Individuality. Creativity. Collaboration.
PALMER (awestruck): The logo is true.
Saatchi winks and starts to wade slowly through two feet of piss to get to the door.
PALMER (holding up the sketch): Wait! How do I explain this?
SAATCHI: With utter, utter tripe.
PALMER: But I don't know how.
SAATCHI: Look on your website.
Palmer, confused, checks the site.
PALMER: "A series of 'Citron Green' lines that bounce and break out of the square patterns in different directions to represent thinking unconventionally outside the box". Brilliant.
SAATCHI: I even animated it so that my waste water hits the firm from different angles.
PALMER: Amazing. It really hurts the eyes. But I don't understand. How did you know all this would happen?
He looks up, but Saatchi is gone. There is nothing to indicate he was ever there at all, aside from a sodden carpet, a broken computer and the disintegrated corpse of a trainee washing into the open plan area on a tide of wee and sick. A CLEANER groans.
PALMER (smiling wistfully): Classic Saatchi.
The cleaner's eye twitches and she EXPLODES, revealing the furious adman.
SAATCHI: It is Lord Saatchi!
Palmer and Saatchi stare at each other, and then burst into laughter.
Collyer Bristow’s Identity System launches the next day. No-one mistakes it for a mere rebranding, or mentions that the logo is someone slashing on a telly. It is a huge success.