Slinging Delight. For me that phrase conjures up images of an old diner, where they used to sling burgers etc. Slinging Delight — it’s like slinging beans and hash, but in an advertising/e-commerce way. And it generates a lot more results. A lot more.
In fact, Slinging Delight is the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket to creating any kind of commercial communication. Or to rephrase the words of the guru of gurus (yet again, sorry Howard Gossage wherever you are) — “People don’t read advertising, people read what interests them and sometimes it’s an ad.”
Even if something is: depressing (much public service work), boring (much business to business work), or dumb (much package goods work) — you better find THE DELIGHT in it. So, sugar coated corn flakes get a giant tiger who roars, “They’re Greeeeaaaatttt!!!” Delight. A computer goes from being beige to bright white (or even rainbow colors) and says “Think Different.” Delight.
Delight doesn’t mess around. You know it when you feel it. You know it when you create it. And, if you’re trying to connect people with stuff they aren’t really looking for IT IS THE ONLY GLUE THAT WILL MAKE THEM PAY ATTENTION.
Think about it. Feel about it.
And start slinging some delight yourself. (Can you refill my coffee while you’re at it?)
Those clever Oreo creatives! They get the best ad during the Super Bowl for FREE! (Remember when they tweeted during the blackout!) They are killing it in social media. And then, they delight my Monday addled eyes with a splash of fun and color in the oldest media form known to mankind (next to carving ads in stones). Art direction! Copywriting! Media planning! Bold thinking! They blast a full page ad in the … newspaper! It’s different. It’s fun. It’s bold. It doesn’t matter what it says. What it says is, “We’re Oreo, we’re here, we’re proud, say it loud!” And it made me think an Oreo might just go well with coffee at breakfast.
You might say it’s a wake-up call.
I don’t expect this blog post to get many hits.
Mentioning the word “account executive” is like mentioning colonoscopy — poison. It’s a traffic killer. (Even worse would be mentioning “account man,” but even I have my limits.) Nevertheless, that iconic “man in the gray flannel suit” is the missing link it today’s ad world. IMHO.
And this is coming from a creative director – me – who was trained from my earliest days in the business to HATE the suits.
But think about it. Creatives? Well, everyone’s freaking creative these days aren’t they? We’re all latte sipping iPhone surfing Android obsessed hang-gliding Tom Waits-listening hipsters, aren’t we? We are all liberated geniuses, right. (If you detect something snarky in that last sentence you are paying attention.) At any rate, based on what I’ve been seeing in the business lately, I have to ask one question: “Who is minding the store?”
Truly, the lunatics are running the asylum. When everyone is a genius, who is around to make sure the client gets what they need, when they need it, and how they want it? Or even better, get what they need, even better than they want it?
I’ll tell you.
I can count the truly great account executives I’ve worked with on the fingers of one hand. And each of them has gone on to run a SUCCESSFUL huge agency. Some have even bought pubs in Ireland as a result, just for fun. They are the people who are grown-ups, but who also GET creative.
They are magic. They are much maligned. And boy do we need them these days.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or on the South Side of Chicago, you no doubt have heard about how the owners of the Chicago Cubs baseball club want to take the most beautiful inner city ballpark in the country (yes, that includes that park in Boston) and dwarf it with a television screen the size of a Boeing 747. It is upsetting to the baseball purists, the neighbors, just about everybody — except, I think, advertisers. Ricketts sees dollar signs. And that is only fair. It’s his park, he can do with it as he pleases. He who pays the piper calls the ads.
But if you take a look at the Cubs, a team that manages to pull in the crowds without winning, I think Ricketts is missing a huge opportunity. Get rid of the team altogether! Get rid of the stadium. Just put up the largest flat screen television on earth and SHOW ADS FOR CAR DEALERS ON IT!!! Why stop with that parcel of land on Addison and Clark Street? Take over the entire north side of Chicago. I could see a Bob Rohrman ad extending from the Lincoln Park lagoon to Waukegan. Make that screen so big astronauts can see it from space!
Maybe they can even show some movies about baseball teams that win on it.
I kid you not.
A short post today. But true. Back when I worked in Hong Kong for a couple of years I won the Golden Junk award for best copywriting, best campaign, best blah blah. And the award, bestowed by the Hong Kong 4A’s, an excellent group, was called The Golden Junk.
I cannot think of a better name for an advertising award.
Over and out.
Miracle Whip is a product with troubles. It tastes weird. Always has. It ain’t Hellman’s Mayo. BUT — if you are the agency charged with working on it…WHO CARES??? You have a job to do. Make this stuff palatable, at least in the mind. And whoever is working for it is doing a pretty darn nice job — especially in the much maligned medium of radio. They are breaking some new ground using a kind of wry, kind of Patton Oswalt/This American Life humor approach. Dry. Deadpan. Channeling a sort of Gen X person having an imagined dialogue with some French Fries. Very engaging — and even more delightful for me, well cast, well written. And then they top it with a refreshing line, “From the Twisted Minds of Miracle Whip.” I like. It is twisted. And since they acknowledge it, I might accept that it is a funky tasting alternative to Mayo. So I go to their website, to see if the fun continues there — AND IT DOESN’T!! It looks like a corporate site!! It links to a Facebook page (of course!) that has some kind of unconnected video. I’m sorry, I don’t have the time!!! And worst of all, IT HAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT TAG LINE. “Keep and Open Mouth.” Not a bad line. But why two of them??? I am confused, as a consumer. And as someone far smarter than me once said, “people don’t study your ads.” So, you do all this good positioning and creative work, and then you shoot yourself in the foot???
Oh well, half-right (or should I say half-write) is better than nothing.
Or is it???
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I noticed a squib in the paper over the weekend that caught my eye. Seems like the Gekko is about to overtake Allstate as Number 2 in auto insurance. This struck me for a couple of reasons. 1) I would have thought Gekko was Number 1 (but of course it’s the one zillion year old State Farm) and 2) I would have thought that the Gekko had demolished Allstate aeons ago. This despite the Mayhem Man and the might of Allstate. So I paid some attention to the car insurance ad wars of the weekend and learned something else. The paper had pitted Mayhem Man against the Gekko as the duelling critters of insurance, but in fact, Mayhem Man isn’t the car insurance campaign for Allstate. It’s something else, another campaign where people mouth the deep voice of the actor who is the spokesperson for Allstate — a lame, forced, invisible series of rather unfunny commercials. And a light went off in my sleep deprived brain. Of course — Mayhem ISN’T the voice of Allstate Car Insurance. No wonder the Gekko is cleaning its clock. The message is muddled. Even the newspaper put Mayhem Man forward as the image of Allstate. If only Allstate would.
Which is a long way of saying — in communications it’s all about the story. Alignment, truth, veracity, the product — most of that stuff doesn’t mean anything. The best critter and the best story wins out in our cluttered, addled minds.
Or as Jimmy Stewart said in John Ford’s classic film, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence,” — “when the truth disagrees with the legend — print the legend.”
Or, to put that into an advertising context, forgive me if I repeat (and no doubt mangle) my second favorite Howard Gossage quote: “The purpose of advertising is not to sell your client’s products, it’s to scare the hell out of your client’s copywriters.”
Happy Monday to you.