If there’s one thing I can tell you about advertising, it’s that commercials would consistently be awesome if there weren’t any pesky clients around to rewrite it and tell you the word “not” is a negative so you can’t use it, and that they’d like to put the head of HR’s kids in the ad, and that their CEO would be upset if you presented something with the word fuck in it.
Nate used to tell me he hated copywriters. Haaaated them. Just thought they were the biggest hack writers of the universe, all failed comics and failed novelists, devoting all their time to figuring out something that rhymes with “Zestfully clean.” (And that would have been me, circa 1992. Forgive me.)
Then, after a few months of seeing me come home depressed from meetings where The Single Greatest Idea In the History of Advertising Ever was reduced to hey, can you do something with a monkey in it? he realized realized he was mistaken. There are a few hacks in the bunch, but there are also a whole lot of smart, creative people trying to make something entertaining and artful. Sort of like bloggers?
That’s why I always give credit to great ads, in part because there was a smart marketer somewhere in there willing to go, “Sure, let’s give it a shot.”
This week a reader sent me a link to this NPR story about the new Fling chocolate for women, and their test campaign in California and I have to admit it cracked me up. Also because I am predisposed to like ads that I think I’m supposed to be outraged about.
Now let’s overlook the fact that the woman is skinny and gorgeous and does not look for one second like those of us who might have the kinds of issues that would force us to sneak a chocolate bar in the dressing room. I am dying to try it, and I love the tagline Naughty, but not that naughty.
And kudos to the agency for the restraint. Because if Mars had put, say, the Mominatrix and me on the case, they might have ended up with something like
Fling. You know you want it.
Fling. Oh yeah, just like that baby. Right there.
Fling. What, you can’t handle a Snickers?
Got any others?