There isn't a copywriter on the planet who hasn't started off, or tried to start off, a commercial with the following sentence:
Open on a lush, beautiful tropic island.
It doesn't matter whether the product is a flea powder or a molar-whitening toothpaste. The lush tropical island is the perfect setting for any boondoggle-loving adman or adwoman.
Few, if any of us, have actually brought a script like that to fruition. I say this without boasting, but I count myself among those fortunate few.
The week we spent at the Mauna Kea hotel on the big Isle was what advertising was meant to be.
Several months ago, my partner tried to pull off the other half of the advertising exacta. We wrote a car spot that included monkeys. That was before the Creative Director informed us that the higher brass at the agency had issued a "no monkey" policy. They literally committed those words to ink.
Well, this weekend, while cleaning out some files I found a picture of myself at a shoot about 40 lbs., a head of hair and 10 years ago. I had forgotten all about the commercial for Earthlink, but it turns out I have triumphantly fulfilled the dream of all American copywriters -- I've actually done a commercial with a monkey, a chimpanzee to be technically correct.
Here's the picture of me and extraordinarily-strong Mr. Muggs.
I'm the one on the left.