Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I hate when that happens


That's the only way to describe the experience of the other night, when I came across a VW commercial. Why? Because I had written the EXACT same commercial for Infiniti three years earlier. Of course, my script never progressed past being a script.

Either it wasn't presented correctly.
Or the Infiniti client couldn't see the same brilliance that the VW client did.
Or, and this is most likely the case, my script never left the building.

This snakebit feeling is quite common in the ad industry. It has happened to every writer and art director I've ever known. It's particularly common among those of us who toil in the automotive world.

And is commonly referred to as the 100 Monkey Phenomena.

The theory states that if you put 100 monkeys in a room with typewriters (or computers) that in 1000 years two of those monkeys will type the exact same thing. There's also the Bard Corollary, which states after a million years, one of those monkeys will type out a replica of a Shakespearean masterpiece.

It boils down to the math.

There are 26 letters in the alphabet. The average human being only uses 28, 000 words in the English language. After a while all those seemingly infinite combinations become less infinite.

Why do I give credence to the 100 Monkeys? Because I wrote about them right here on R17 about two years ago. And look, now I'm even plagiarizing myself.

So here's the commercial in question. Instead of the VW picture a muscular Infiniti M35. And instead of the couple in the slow moving hybrid, picture an older couple lumbering up the hill in a Lexus 350.

The Deutsch team did a fine job with my spot.
I like it.
I'm even tempted to slip this one into my portfolio.

But I won't. Mostly because I don't need to.
As I pointed out to a colleague the other day, I'm at a privileged point in my career where nobody even looks at my book anymore.

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