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Don’t Stop Believing
By: Brian Keller
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Stop Believing
Ads that say: I’m a sports drink that will enable you to smash your opponent and be victorious. I’m an athletic shoe that will give you that extra step and to allow you to smash your opponent. If you drink the drink and wear the shoe, you will smash your athletic opponents and go on to riches and fame. You will go on to riches and fame without a smile on your face.  
 
Believe Reality
Well over 90% of you will not go on to riches and fame in professional sports. You’re not that good. Live with it.
 
Most ads make performance promises. The athletes look miserable. They look ready for war. They are described as generals, arsenals, weapons, and warriors. Actually, most are between 21–30, wear tight pants, and play a game.
 
Stop watching. Go outside. Play a game. Wear what you want. Drink what you want. Go on in obscurity having fun.
 
Stop Believing
Ads that say: I’m a great beer. I’m so good you need to open me faster so you can enjoy me just for the taste. You need to open me in fun ways at amazingly cool parties and events with amazingly cool and beautiful people in the most unusual locations on earth.
 
Believe Reality
Beer companies want you to drink more beer, faster. They don’t care if you urinate in public at sporting events in stadiums named after them. Enjoy your beer in front of the TV for the one hour you have to yourself before nodding off. Enjoy your beer at a party. Have one or two.
 
Stop Believing
Ads that say: We’re having our biggest sale ever.
 
Believe Reality
There are no sales.
 
Stop Believing
Ads that say: Zero money down and 0% interest for qualified buyers, lessees, etc.
 
Believe Reality
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett qualify. Are you them? If you are them, believe. If you aren’t them, don’t believe.
 
Stop Believing
Ads that say: 100-calorie snacks are amazingly satisfying and women who snack on them will manifest the bodies of the women who snack on them in commercials and men will have the bodies to go shirtless and wear a tool belt.
 
Believe Reality
You will eat 10 100-calorie snack packs. If you want to look good, exercise and eat properly (reality sometimes sucks).
 
Stop Believing
Ads that say: Yogurt is a go-to dessert. It is so good.
 
Believe Reality
It is not so good or you would not be eating it against your will in a valiant but futile attempt to lose weight in a few hours.
 
Stop Believing
Ads that say: Only 15 minutes a day to 6-pack abs.
 
Believe Reality
There is only hard work and nutrition to 6-pack abs. You are not going to do that. Continue your exercise regimen of getting up from your chair to get ice cream.
 
Stop Believing
Ads that say: The $11,000.00 compact car from one company performs as well or better than the $65,000.00 convertible from another.
 
Believe Reality
You may have a friend who has the convertible. Drive your compact over and inquire as to the possibility of sitting in it. Don’t worry about how many times you go over; you get good gas mileage. Don’t take your spouse or anyone you would not like to cheat on you.
 
Stop Believing
Ads that feature a cast so funny and spontaneous that Chris Rock would look slow and illiterate.
 
Believe Reality
Strangely neurotic but very funny copywriters who spend most of their time avoiding the writing and the other part trying to bully account people into allowing all their obscure references...actually write ads.
 
Stop Believing
Ads that are so beautiful you are left breathless.
 
Believe Reality
Ads are constructed that way by strangely neurotic but very talented Art Directors who spend most of their time trying to get their copywriter partners to write and the other part trying to bully account people into allowing all their obscure visual references.
 
Stop Believing
All you have read in this column.
 
Believe Reality
It’s advertising. It’s really fun to use your imagination and strategic skills to create an invitation to negotiate with the public on behalf of your agency, your client, and your paycheck.
 
Keep the work coming. We all believe in it and none of us are cynical in the least.


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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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