April 25, 2011

True Advertising Tales, #2

Today we have our second installment of "True Advertising Tales."

It comes to us via the great Vinny Warren over at The Escape Pod in Chicago. 

This tale first appeared about a year ago in Vinny's blog. Remember, all tales featured in "True Advertising Tales" are certified 100% black angus true agency stories.

I actually heard those exact words uttered in a meeting about Budweiser superbowl advertising.   It was my first Bud superbowl meeting. Not my last. I had just been re-hired by the agency to work on beer again. My first stint two years earlier had been working on Bud Light. But I preferred Bud. So I considered working on Budweiser a step up!

So I walk into a tense, packed conference room in a Chicago skyscraper a few minutes late. Just as the Group Creative Director, rubbing his brow in an exhausted tone said “ ’…Marlon Brando’s Monkey’ is dead. That’s the good news… ”. And nobody in the room even reacts to this absurd news. They just nod silently.

I burst out laughing. “Uh, what the f**k does that mean?” I exclaimed. He explained that our co-agency on the Budweiser account, fellow Omni-Comrades Goodby Silverstein, had already sold a superbowl idea that involved a chimp voiced by Marlon Brando. The chimp wouldn’t come out of its movie star trailer until it got a Bud. And the name on the door of the star trailer read “Marlon Brando’s Monkey” (Pretty funny!) And that Goodby had even gotten Marlon Brando to agree to do the voiceover of the chimp. But that the brewery didn’t want to pay Marlon’s asking price ( a million bucks) and so they had killed that idea.

I laughed my ass off at this. That this craziness was just yet another meeting to them was hilarious to me. I was fresh to all this again. I’d had a rest. They were jaded. There and then I knew I had the title of my autobiography -- 


Big thanks to Vinny. If you have an absurd "True Advertising Tale" send it to adcontrarain@gmail.com. We will protect the names, clients, agencies and monkeys... but the stories must be told!

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