Saturday, February 13, 2010

new career options #4

I'm one of those people who talks back to television. I especially talk back to ads, when they speak to me in some special way, or when they seem to miss a golden opportunity of some kind. I wonder sometimes if I haven't missed my calling to be in the advertising business.

I couldn't do market research, which would bore me to death. I'd have to work on the creative side, coming up with taglines or writing copy. I'd re-write all the ads for Progressive insurance, for example. Here's my idea. Same set-up with the bright white fake big-box retail electronics store, same actress as "Flo." Same great big nametag. The main difference - it's subtle, but I think it would be very effective - is that when "Flo" leaps out at an unsuspecting customer to chirp manically about Progressive policies, they punch her in the face. Every commercial would have the same basic script. "Flo" pops up. "Can I he-" WHAM! Memorable, eh?

I can obviously write better than the people who are putting together the awful ads for Bud Light and Chevy. The Bud Light ads where the guys express their love for Bud Light more freely than for their women? Half-assed. In my Bud Light ad, we pan over piles of greasy pizza boxes and discarded aluminum cans and brown bottles - about 4 cases' worth of Bud Light. We discover a disheveled, greasy guy in a greasy Barcalounger, apparently passed out. See? Simple story, told with bold, indelible images. Perfect.

And then, Chevy. Here I think we want to identify our target audience. Sell Tahoes by showing them in use - being driven very badly on crowded freeways by people who are totally oblivious, or possibly comatose. Avalanches being driven aggressively, tailgating and swinging wildly from lane to lane, with, of course, nothing in the truck.

Not only am I a veritable font of brilliant advertising ideas, I also have experience in the very similar field of higher ed. All we really do in higher ed is persuade people to believe things without any evidence or reasoning, right? Right?

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