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


The New Advertising Breakthrough. Scene Three: Buffalo Finance agrees to take part.

Craven is trying to convince the creative team that his radical plan to change the face of advertising will work. He even has some clients in mind who, he says, are prepared to share a spot in order to reduce the cost of television advertising.

GUY: Instead of jamming two clients in one thirty second spot, you could just run a fifteen second spot for each client, Craven. Have you thought of that?

CRAVEN: Well you could, of course, Guy; but then you also have the possibility of placing two clients in each fifteen-second spot as well. Bear in mind the production cost savings. Two clients, one production. Plus, we can charge each client more than half the production cost so we make extra there as well. Moreover, we feel that the longer on-screen exposure will more than compensate for the fact that two clients are sharing the time.

ROB: It's still nuts, Craven.


And you're a crook if you're using it to expand the margins.

CRAVEN: Crap, Rob. It's called making money. Whatever it takes. Why don't you take the blinkers off? Open your eyes to the possibilities.

As I mentioned, Buffalo Finance are already happy to do it. Their commercial will be the first Shared Airtime commercial off the rank. They have agreed to split the cost of both production and airtime with another company. As an edgy client, they want to dissociate themselves from normal, traditional, boring financial services advertising, and they feel that this new initiative will help them break the mould.

GUY (OFFENDED): The script we've already written for them isn't boring or traditional, Craven. Now you want to go and fuck it up by sticking another client in it. It'll be like having Jackie Chan doing kung fu in the middle of The Sound of Music. Or a bunch of orcs chasing six hobbits along a mountain pass in The Italian Job followed by Gandalf driving a Ferrari.

CRAVEN (LAUGHS UPROARIOUSLY): HA! EXACTLY! You've nailed it, Guy! That is exactly what it will be like! And people will love it! They'll sit up and take notice! They'll look for the difference! And compared to that, normal single-client commercials will all look totally boring! Like your instant soup spot – who's going to sit through that shit when you already know it's about soup and nothing else?

ROB: It's not our fault that spot was boring, Craven, as you very well know. And it wasn't boring because it only had one client in it - it was boring because Harrison Soups is the single most boring client in the world. You know we wanted to film the soup spot on Everest using that guy who lost his legs to frostbite but still scaled it on prosthetic legs. We wanted to show him drinking soup on top of the mountain and warming himself up. You know that, Craven. But nooooooo – the client rejected the idea and wanted to shoot it in someone's kitchen like every other soup commercial. They wrote that commercial, Craven, we didn't.

CRAVEN (UNFLAPPABLE): There was a certain budgetary issue involved, Guy. Helicopters and Sherpas don't come cheap, let alone airfares to Nepal. Anyway, getting back to Buffalo Finance ...

GUY: What do we do with the script we've already written for them?

CRAVEN: The Mick Jagger testimonial one? You have complete freedom to adapt it or come up with an entirely new concept.

ROB: Have you another client in mind, Craven? And has it a similar positioning in the marketplace, a shared target market, a synergy of styles? Is it going to be compatible in one commercial with the staid, sober Buffalo Finance, Craven?

CRAVEN: Yes, I do have another client in mind, Rob. And of course there will be synergies. You'll invent them! After all, you're the creative geniuses!


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