Janesville66.1°

No giant pigeons?! (The Super Bowl next time)

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Rick Horowitz
February 5, 2008
(In an office high above Madison Avenue…)

“OK, everybody’s here…let’s get started. First things first: Great game, people! Karin, why don’t you run the numbers for us?”


“Sure, Jerry. We had our best Ad Meter numbers ever—all three spots over 7.5. Test-audience retention was off the charts. And the dealers are already seeing an uptick in key demographic segments.”


“Bottom line?”


“Bottom line: We rocked. World o’ Widgets is now officially in the big time!”


“Super job, you guys! So how do we top it?”


“Top it?”


“Absolutely! Once you’ve been to the Super Bowl, there’s no turning back. We’ve got brand I.D.”


“And buzz!”


“Tons of buzz!”


“So the question is: What do we do next year? You know, to beat expectations. Break though the clutter. If we stand still, we’re toast.”


“‘Widget Toastees—America’s Snack.’”


“Very funny.”


“Hey, with the right ads…”


“Jer?”


“Yeah, Becca…what have you got?”


“Well, I haven’t worked it all out yet, so it’s still kind of rough…”


“That’s what these sessions are for, Becca—spit it out.”


“Well, what if we had a guy—or a woman, it could be a woman, too…”


“A woman’s good.”


“Guys sell stronger, Jerry. Unless there’s cleavage.”


“Any cleavage, Becca?”


“No cleavage.”


“It’s a guy then. Go ahead.”


“Well, what if we had this guy, and he’s sitting in a chair—you know, at a desk or something…”


“And he gets carried off by a giant pigeon! Great idea!”


“There’s no giant pigeon.”


“There’s no giant pigeon, Phil.”


“So anyway, this guy’s at his desk, and he looks right into the camera, and…”


“Suddenly a hundred dancing lizards come right across his…”


“No lizards.”


“No lizards, Phil. Go ahead.”


“So he looks right into the camera, and he starts talking about the product—you know, what it does, and why he likes it, and maybe even how it…”


“Whoa! You’re talking about…about…”


“Information.”


“I don’t know, Bec. I mean, I know we want to be cutting edge and all, but giving information about the product? That’s way out there!”


“Very edgy, Jer.”


“Too edgy, Jer, if you ask me. They’ll never buy it. Now, what if while the guy’s talking, he gets punched out by an enormous rat, and then…”


“No rats, Phil. Also no Clydesdales, no Dalmatians, no screeching squirrels, no sleeping badgers, no Richard Simmons…”


“No Richard Simmons?!!”


“I’m serious.”


“She’s serious, Phil.”


“If we’re going for it, we ought to go for it. Just explode the rules.”


“She could be on to something, boss. I don’t think it’s ever been done—not in a Super Bowl anyway.”


“‘Information.’”


“Talk about breaking through the clutter!”


“So what do you think, Jer?”


“I think Becca’s on to something. I say we do it: The guy’s at his desk, and he’s talking straight to the camera. About the product!”


“Way to go, Bec!”


“Great idea!”


“What if the lizards didn’t dance?”


“Phil!”


Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.


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