Register Wednesday | June 20 | 2018

An Advertiser in Hell

Have I come to the right place?

What you hold in your hands is a product, not unlike many others. It has its drawbacks, and it has its benefits. It was created for a specific purpose, to serve a need, to aid in some manner. You could say that the product was altruistic, if it weren't also that it is inanimate. So, in the end, it is only just a product.

We picked you because we believe you understand the innate utility of this particular product. You get its width and girth, its smooth surface and the satisfaction it brings to normal, everyday lives. Lives not unlike yours.

It's an easy idea, but we've experienced frustration of late with the other agencies we contracted to help us. We asked for truth, they gave us exaggeration. We asked for accuracy, they offered loud music and set shots. What we want out of you is just an advertisement. Just a simple little advertisement. That's all. Nothing else.

Of course, like any client, there are caveats to be explained, stipulations agreed to, and contracts to sign. After all, just because what you do is somewhat obtuse, does not mean we don't have the right to our expectations.

To wit:

  • There will not be, at any point, animals involved in the sale of our product. No kittens or monkeys. Even if they monkeys can act and laugh and seem almost human, we do not want primates. No dogs or talking horses. No whales jumping from the ocean. Even if you feel a whale jumping from the ocean would serve as an adequate metaphor for the product; I do not care. No animals.
  • I'm really not interested in how sexy you can make our product seem. We admit from the get go that our product is not sexy. More to the point, we hope you understand that our product does not need to be sexed up in order to sell it. Since it seems we can both agree on this, I have no interest in sitting in a meeting 3 weeks from now to see story boards that detail a young man just getting into an elevator. He has just used our product. Within the lift is a buxom, plasticized young thing. She is so turned on by the young man that as soon as the elevator doors close, our bouncy maiden pulls the stop switch. This is not the commercial we need.
  • No voiceovers. Okay. No metaphysical, philosophical, ontological queries provided by vocals that the audience strains to recognize. "That's what's his name, from that movie, remember honey?" We don't need someone spending their time identifying a voice. We would rather have them remember the product.
  • No humor for humors sake. I'm tired of ironic distance, and I certainly don't need sarcasm. If you can find something that is innately funny about our product, by all means, that would be great. I can tell you, however, having been involved with this product since its inception, that I do not find anything innately funny about it. I find it helps people to a certain degree. Would you agree?
  • If you don't mind, I'm kind of off the whole CGI thing. I cannot think of a futuristic scenario that would be applicable, and if you have to create a background or area that cannot be easily found within a 100 mile radius of the city, you're probably trying too hard. It's just a product.
  • Please don't ask me about buying the rights to some great song from my childhood to use over a slow motion image. If nostalgia is necessary, you're coming at this from the wrong angle.

I can tell from the looks on your face that you are befuddled. Or perhaps bemused. I came to you because, in short, all I'm looking for is a commercial, and I have been told that your agency helps create those. I'm not bothered by simplicity, nor am I worried about domesticity. I think the majority of our customers will live in homes in the suburbs. These are our people. You need not tell them that they need our product. They will either want it, or they won't. What we prefer is that they be aware of it. Nothing more, nothing less.

It's just a commercial. If you can come at it from a creative point of view, that would be wonderful. I would pay good money for a creative and original perspective. So what I want to know now is simple.

Have I come to the right place?