|Random Stops on the Way to Advertising Apocalypse
By: Brian Keller
A group of twits, some of whom are actual Knights, stirred a few pots by pontificating on ads they’d bring to a desert island. These musings actually got ink our "trades." Gee whiz. Most people would bring a boat or some food. Be passionate about your work, but the line between passion and overinflated ego is sometimes thin.
From January 1 through November 14, 2013, these P&C insurers spent:
Liberty Mutual – $394 million – Campaign – giant baby?
Progressive – $526 million – Campaign – Flo (a waitress?)
State Farm – $778 million – Campaign – Don’t remember. OMG! Discount Double Check with Aaron Rodgers and other people who know who he is. We know who he is.
Allstate – $829 million – Campaign – Allstate’s been represented by, and been in good hands with, Dennis Haysbert. In an ancillary and popular campaign, “Mayhem,” Dean Winters portrays squirrels, teenage girls, and others about to do damage. The brief for “Mayhem” (begun in 2010): "We wanted to kick Flo's ass.” Who spent $303 million more last year? Kick that ass.
Geico – $1.12 billion – Campaign – Cavemen (got their own show for a day). Owls, guitar guys, lizards, and so many others that we don’t think Geico knows them all. It’s the largest expenditure by any Berkshire Hathaway company. Does Warren know?
Call President. Call Senator. Call Headhunter.
In November we called the President of the United States. A representative returned a note with the answer to our question and a handsome portrait of the First Family.
In November we called one of our Senators. She called back and followed with a handsome portrait.
In November we called and emailed an “NYC Headhunter” whose website consists of an address, phone number, and a request for folks to email. We’ve not received call, email, or handsome portrait.
We love bodily functions.
Incontinence is fun with the "TENA Twist." But it’s not incontinence, it’s an unexpected leak. We loved the music, as most people who remember the Twist may not remember what they had for lunch today.
“The Unexpected Leak™ happens for a lot of reasons — from pregnancy to laughing or even as a natural part of aging. But it doesn't have to stop you…” – from dancing happily.
“Strength and protection designed with men in mind. Our Fearless Protection™ will get you back to the active life you're used to.” Like going to Afghanistan to hunt Taliban fighters.
When we bodily function, we need to have our parts clean.
Charmin asked animated bears “Do you enjoy going to the bathroom? One bear answers, “They don’t call it relieving yourself for nothing.” Another: “It’s five minutes of me time.” All were pleased with his or her very clean and fresh butts.
Human respondents to Cottonelle’s spokesperson Terry felt “ultimately clean” and “awesome” when asked about their “bums.” All were urged to talk about “your bum” on Facebook. We enjoyed the integration of social media.
Knighting Ad Guys in England
Sir John Hegarty (BBH) and a memorable statement: “Headphones are bad for creatives. If you walk around cutting yourself off, you are eliminating influence. You are eliminating the possibility you are going to pick up stories, ideas, thoughts that are happening all around you. As a creative person, that's all wrong." Yes, creatives should be worrying about what ads to take to a desert island.
Highlights of a career: Sir John picked a young model/actor called Brad Pitt to star in a commercial for Levi’s.
Not-Ad-Guys Turning Down Knighthood
(Not) Sir John Lennon (Beatles) and a memorable statement:
"Your Majesty, I am returning this in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon of Bag."
Highlights of a career: (Not) Sir John picked name for young musicians, called them: the Beatles.”
Want Ads by Non-Ad-People
Here are 93 words written for a Trauma Surgeon. We have room for the whole ad. There is no mention of fast-paced environment or surgical chops.
Indiana: Excellent opportunity to join a well-established group of 10 Surgeons seeking another Trauma Surgeon. The hospital is a state-of-the-art, Level II Regional Trauma Center. Practice in a collegial environment and a technologically advanced medical community. Very competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits including signing bonus, loan repayment, paid malpractice and much more. Located in a thriving award-winning city with excellent public and private schools, University/Colleges. This city offers an abundance of cultural and recreational activities. Enjoy an excellent quality of life and low cost of living. Apply Now.”
Want Ads by Ad Professionals
Here is part of the 618 words written for a Creative Director (Outdoor). We have room for only excerpts.
Creative Director (Outdoor)
Reports to: Global Executive Creative Director
“Fast paced environment”
“Must be able to sit for extended periods of time.” Is that in or outdoors?
“Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.” Is that in or outdoors?
“Please indicate the specific position you are applying for. NOTE: We thought it was Creative Director Outdoor
“The Creative Director works in collaboration with the Director of Creative Production to produce all marketing collateral and deliver creative assets and direction globally. In addition, the Creative Director will partner with the Global Executive Creative Director and the Creative Director, Brand and the Global Marketing Director, Outdoor and with the Director of Visual Design, and Art Director for Web…”
“Employee Conduct: It is the responsibility of every employee to contribute to a positive work environment through cooperative and professional interactions with co-workers, customers and vendors.” NOTE: If this last paragraph weren’t here they would not behave.
Ad folks, lets relish what we do. We’re pretty smart, but as you can see, not all the time. So, let’s temper our egos with a little more humanity and humility because it's not trauma surgery.
Whoever talks about your bum on Facebook pays for dinner. Also, headphones would be good on a desert island.
Brian Keller is a Creative Director/Copywriter. Brian likes being a Creative Director as he can always blame someone who is not him. Brian is strategic and thoughtful. He graduated from the University of Maryland, went to graduate school at Tisch School of the Arts (NYU - Cinema Studies), and attends the University of Baltimore School of Law. Find him online here.
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