June 30, 2008

Lawyers and Research Ruin Everything

For those of us on the creative side of advertising, there is nothing more infuriating than having an idea nibbled to death by ducks. It doesn't take much to turn something good into shit.

Just one wrong word, one extra word, or one bad thought and an idea that's unique and memorable becomes just one more bad ad.

A million years ago, there was a very effective campaign for Band-Aid. It consisted of kids singing a silly jingle:
"I'm stuck on Band-Aid,
Cause Band-Aid's stuck on me"
I admit, it ain't "Hamlet", but it does have the elements of effective advertising: it's simple, it's memorable, it's clever. The other day I was watching tv and I saw the latest iteration of this campaign.
"I'm stuck on Band-Aid brand
Cause Band-Aid helps heal me"
I wanted to kick the tv. I'm just glad I had nothing to do with the original campaign, cause if I did, I would hunt down the agency and shoot everyone involved. The one thing that made the commercial palatable-- the parallelism of "stuck on/stuck on"-- has been removed and replaced by a focus-group approved "reason to believe" -- helps heal me. Which is what language?

The insertion of the word "brand" just serves to remind everyone that they're watching a commercial. Kids singing "Band-Aid brand?" Bullshit.

I know some lawyer told them they had to put "brand" in to protect their copyright, but you know what? You're allowed to say "screw you" to lawyers.

Thats's what Tiger Woods would have done. Just before the U.S. Open he and his caddie went to see his doctor. His doctor told him he had a torn ACL and two stress fractures of his leg and that he couldn't play in the Open. Woods said, "I'm playing, and I'm going to win. C'mon Stevie, let's go."

I don't know why I get upset about an idiotic jungle. Does this stuff bother anyone else?

It's Monday and I have to go to Denver. Maybe I'm just cranky.

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