what were they thinking

July 15, 2004 — Leave a comment

i work in advertising, i have for over 12 years now, that means i have been privy to some of the most stupid ideas in the history of creation. 

if you think you`ve heard idiotic utterances you haven`t heard anything until you`ve sat in a creative briefing session. i think there is a special sort of vacuum created in these meetings by the combined efforts of the spreading of copious amounts of bullshit and the simultaneous effort of trying not to swallow any of anyone else bullshit. 

at any give time in one of these meetings there at least three simultaneous levels of bullshit going on, there is the BS that is fed to the general public; which the crux of advertising and marketing; there is BS that ad agency, pr firm whatever feeds to the client; they know what they`re doing, they have a clue and they`re really thrilled to be doing this and finally there is the creative bullshit which is the copy writer, graphic designer or whatever creative representative who know we`re going to get screwed on the short deadline and our design and copy is going to get fucked with, but we still put on the shiny happy face because we want to pretend; at least for a moment; that we enjoy our job; when in fact what we do enjoy is the regular paycheque and not starving to death. 

every once in a while the creative team exacts it`s revenge and this generally falls into the `what were they thinking` category. for a brief, shining moment, the facetiousness or flippancy of a comment is lost and everyone higher up on the food chain buys it, wholesale. this is not a reflection on my current job, this is just an observation made over the years and the relevance of which will present itself now. 

this morning i was assailed for an ad for the Ben-Gay patch. the first thought that popped into my mind was, people have Ben-Gay addictions? i got the sense that the creative team had been stumped at every turn, or at least i`d really like to hope so, but that holds no candle to the following gem 

i have been privy to what i hope was an advertising in joke that somehow managed to slip past everyone and escape unfettered into the wilds of the consuming public; i was at vic`s nephew`s graduation when the valedictorian mentioned the name of the high school anti-drug programme; drug enforcement and teen health.

i deliberately typed without the initial caps to let it sink in for a moment, now with the caps; Drug Enforcement And Teen Health. that`s right the anti-drug programme is called DEATH. i know you want to discourage them from drugs but that might be a little excessive. plus how do you send your children off to DEATH camp for a weekend without a second thought?

keifel

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