The shallow man, the elegant but annoying nuisance that should go back to London, loves the TV series Mad Men. Set in a Madison Avenue ad agency in the 1960’s. I’d go as far as to say that the beautiful suits worn by Don Draper in the programme were partly inspired by my stylish self, or did his style inspire mine? Who knows?
Recently, on behalf of my readers, the shallow man has spent too much time watching Dutch TV. Due to this, I’ve been exposed to a lot of advertising, something I can normally avoid due to the joys of Netflix, HBO and regular use of my UPC Horizon DVR (when it works). So instead of skipping TV commercials I’ve been actively viewing them, the things I do for my readers!
Having voluntarily sat through a number of adverts I’ve realized that unlike Mad Men, in which creative types spend a lot of time agonizing over how to create the most original and creative adverts possible, that sadly this really is nothing but fiction. Based on some of the ads that I’ve had to sit through, modern creative types, come up with their ideas on the back of a stamp, in between sniffing large amounts of white powder and trips to top up their glasses with extremely strong booze.
Creative vision for selling a ready made product for Italian tomato sauce
(Notes from an Ad Agency creative meeting for a Dutch TV advertising)
So the product is supposed to be Italian right? It’s a disgusting powder produced in a chemical factory in Zwolle. We need to make sure that our consumers forget about this, so what we’ll do is go visit a Dutch inburgering course and find an Italian that can barely speak a word of Dutch. Then we’ll get him to stutter his way through the voice over for the commercial. Just to make sure that the viewers fully believe that it’s an authentic Italian product, we’ll get an actor to dress up in a Chefs outfit (as if any self respecting chef would have this industrial product in his kitchen) and then talk in terrible Italian accented Dutch with as many cliches as we can cram into a 30 second spot. Come on guys, let’s brainstorm, get out the flip board, what phrases should he say?
“Just like mama used to make”
One last thing, for filming the advert let’s go to a proper Italian restaurant such as Roberto’s at the Apollolaan Hilton Hotel and sneak the food out of the building and use if for the commercial. We can hardly film with the filth that will come out of the packet. Job done, another million Euros from the client, Hup, Hup Holland!
Creative vision for selling Tea
Ok team, we have a pretty exotic product to sell, something that isn’t used much here in the Netherlands, it’s called Thee. Well I’ve tried it and because the multi-national chemical concern which produces it likes to maximise profitability at all costs, there’s hardly any actual real tea used at all per packet. However, they want to tempt women away from drinking coffee, so they’ve gone to great effort coming up with flavors that will appeal to women and children. Banana and drop flavor. Raspberry and lemon, Honey and Cinnamon. Yes they are like a chicken wearing lipstick……………..pretty fowl, however we have to sell these. So how can we distract the consumers from the terrible flavor?
Quick whip out the flipboard and let’s brainstorm.
Weela, Art Director. “I have the most original idea. Tea comes from India right?”
Martijn, Creative Director. “Yes Weela, I’m glad that the money spent on your University education wasn’t wasted.”
Weela. “Ok so why don’t we take a holiday, sorry, I mean film the advert in India. We can take lots of poor but happy looking peasants and show them making the tea. But we have to be careful not to scare Henk and Ingrid with too many dark faces, so what we can do is send a typical Dutch girl, you know the type, blond, big boobies, wearing denim, and with a really loud voice that can order a drink in an eetcafe while still being 1km away on her bike. We’ll get her to go and patronize the local backward workers, who in reality would be under the age of 12 and working 22 hours a day so that we Europeans can have cheap tea.
Martijn, Weela, you’re a genius, pass the white powder and let’s celebrate!
No patronizing coked up advertising executives were hurt during the making of this post.