Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


The New Advertising Breakthrough. Scene Two: Craven's TV audience rant.

Craven, the account man at advertising agency Blake Browning Burns, has been working in secret with the strategy planners to develop a new concept in advertising - two clients sharing one television commercial.

He is briefing the creative team in the small meeting room known as 'The Cupboard'. The creative team are not impressed and, after June the tea lady interrupts, the argument resumes. Language warning.

GUY: That is fucking INSANE, Craven.

ROB: Totally nuts. It can't work.

GUY: That's the stupidest idea I've heard since ... your last stupid idea.

ROB: For example, the clients would fight over owning the end frame.

GUY: Yeah. And whose typeface would you use?

ROB: And what about logos?

CRAVEN: Pfffffft! Minor details, guys. We have huge fights about all that shit now. An extra client in the ad isn't going to make a huge difference.

GUY: Apart from that, where are you going to find two clients who want to go into one commercial?


Easy. You just put the proposal to each client, ask if they'd like to be part of the biggest thing to hit advertising since broadcasting began, and they're already eating out of your hand.

GUY: Whose idea was this, Craven?

CRAVEN (A SLIGHTLY NERVOUS PAUSE): Ah, it was mine, Guy. Why?

ROB: This 'concept' could single-handedly destroy the advertising industry as we know it, Craven. You know that, don't you?

CRAVEN: That's crap. I'm not going to destroy it, Rob, I'm going to re-invent it. The advertising industry is a dinosaur at the moment. It's populated by creatives who look so cutting-edge it's not funny - primped up little fast boys dressed like edgy homies, wired to the gills with technology and spouting jargon like there's no tomorrow ... but what do they actually come up with?


Thirty second commercials for half-dead brands running on free-to-air television that nobody watches, that's what.


You know what, guys? The mantra of the thirty or sixty second television commercial being top of the hierarchy is bullshit. It's not even yesterday's thinking. It's 1960s thinking. 1950s, even. Have you seen daytime TV lately? It used to be watched by housewives in the days when they stayed home and spent their time productively making their lives better by sitting around watching TV in between drinking sherry and screwing the milkman. Now the only women at home are single mothers who haven't got any money, and if they have it's stolen, and then they just spend it all at the casino or on drugs. Goodbye, daytime packaged goods advertising. Yet you guys still come up with cheesy shit portraying cosy households sitting around drinking instant packet soup because no-one's got any time to cook any more. The mother's a lawyer and the father's an idiot and the kids are in childcare. And media still runs it on daytime TV.


That's like Ford continuing to make the Model T.


It's the same at night: everyone's either online or not home. And if they're home they haven't got the TV on. Or if they have got the TV on, they're drunk. Or if they're not drunk, they're channel surfing during the ads. And if they're not channel surfing during the ads, that means they can't move. And if they can't move, that means they're ninety-five year old patients with dementia in a nursing home ... and that dribble running down their chin onto their laps isn't because they're salivating at your instant soup commercial, it's because they can't help it.

See? The industry as we know it with cutesy little commercials on prime time TV is stuffed, Guy. Totally stuffed. There's no audience any more. So we have to think outside the square.


GUY: Thinking outside the square is one thing, Craven, but you're thinking outside the entire Venn Diagram. You're in another dimension. You're on another planet and it's not even in our solar system. Probably not even in our galaxy.



Melbourne Girl said...

Ah these TBC.

paul kennedy said...

It all really happened: I've just changed a few names to protect the innocent. Language in the advertising business used to be peppered with expletives, although it's probably changing with PC corporates taking over the industry.