Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Funny is no longer Money.
Last week I was paid one of the highest, though useless, compliments I've ever heard.
Friend and competitive copywriting colleague, Jeff Weakley stated in his review of my recent book…
"Rich is the first freelance copywriter I would hire if I needed to write something funny."
High praise, right?
The problem is, nobody seems to need to write something funny.
When was the last time you saw something truly funny on TV? Or heard something funny on the radio? Or read something funny in a magazine (dinosaur alert)? OK, came across something funny on the interwebs?
You see, with the exception of Weiden & Kennedy, the absurdist fare from Gerry Graf and the unbeatable deadpan delivery by Blake Griffin in those Kia spots, it seems laughter is no longer in vogue.
Today brands are all about attaching themselves to causes. As if corporate altruism were some magic panacea.
"When you buy a Carrier Central Air Conditioning unit, we'll donate a nickel to the Feed the Children Foundation. So now you can feel good about feeling good."
There's also a lot of tear-jerking going around.
"Your assignment today is to craft a 2 minute short viral film that will tug at our target audience's heartstrings and make them feel different about our Monroe Shock Absorbers."
And finally, there's this unfounded belief that brands can be built online, for no money, by offering consumers a warehouse-sized toy store of frivolous, fuckwadian digital knick knacks.
"Upload your headshot and Kelloggs will turn you into a Lucky Charm."
As recently as last year, I was brought in to an unnamed agency to come up with a sharp, observational humor campaign for an unnamed client. Work that had the same vibe as our earlier ABC campaign. So that's what I gave them. I wasn't around for the presentation but I'm told the client thought the work was, "too smart."
I've seen what they put on the air. And I'm proud to say that client was 100% right.
Damn, I miss the days of "That's a some spicy meatball."
If funny ever comes back, you know where to reach me.
I'll be at my keyboard whoring my book.