Zulu Alpha Kilo Lampoons Return to Office Policies

By Kyle O'Brien 

Return to office policies are being met with a good deal of resistance, with some agencies mandating several days a week while others stay hybrid and employees scrambling to figure out what to do. In recent surveys, it’s been reported that nearly 90% of them have or soon will be implementing a return-to-office policy, with some companies factoring employees’ in-office attendance as part of their performance reviews.

Zulu Alpha Kilo skewers return-to-office realities in a timely new video, “Living from Work.” The satirical film is set in a fictitious agency where the staff are told that they’re expected to be in the office not two or three days, but an outrageous seven-days-a-week.


While the staff don’t initially take the news well, they are soon sold on the advantages of living from work, as the sternly perky president and CEO delivers “the pitch of her career.” With no more daily commutes, no more mortgages, staff are encouraged to raid the boardroom after meetings for leftover food, thereby reducing their grocery bills.

By living from work, staff receive workplace perks like spending Christmas morning together brainstorming on a pitch and kids being part of the creative process, whether they like it or not, including writing “20 TikTok scripts” and “15 banner ads” by end of day.

“Living From Work” debuted at last night’s Agency of the Year competition in Toronto. The annual awards show is hosted by Strategy magazine, Canada’s largest trade publication. As part of the show, the country’s top agencies are invited to create their own self-promo videos about whatever subject they want.

Zulu Alpha Kilo has often used these videos as a platform to push back against the industry’s sacred cows. Last year’s “Left-Handed Mango Chutney” video poked fun at the industry’s awards obsession. One of the most well-known examples was the viral sensation “Say No to Spec,” which started a movement against spec work in new business pitches and garnered millions of views on YouTube and Facebook. Other comedic videos have included “Awards Gone Wild”, highlighting what would happen if other professions resorted to the same tactic to win awards. “World’s Worst RFP,” satirized the RFP process, and “Billy’s Lemonade,” lampooned holding companies while celebrating agency independence.

Like all previous videos, agency founder and creative chairman Zak Mroueh once again got behind the camera and both wrote and directed this year’s film through the agency’s in-house production arm, Zulubot.

The video is loaded with easter eggs. From naming the manipulative CEO “Karen Sly” to the empathetic human resources director named “Jay Hart.” According to Mroueh, there are a few more easter eggs in the post-it notes scene. For example, if someone blows up the post it notes scene, one of the notes says “Zooming in? Get a life.” In this sequence, an employee finishes his work week with an afternoon brainstorm and then commutes home in seconds, only to discover that his Friday night dinner is leftover sushi from “Monday’s meeting.”

For the sixth year in a row, the shop was also nominated in the three biggest categories at the show: agency of the year, digital agency, and design agency of the year. Zulu Alpha Kilo also won silver for Agency of the Year and bronze for both Design Agency of the Year and Digital  Agency of the Year.