Monday, January 29, 2018

Please me don't tease me

We're less than a week until Super Bowl XVZXVIIXXV.

And you know what that means. The Super Bowl commercials that no one gives a rat's ass about, will be teased with Super Bowl pre-commercials, which impossibly, command even less attention.

I don't know how this phenomena came about. But as you might suspect, I have my suspicions.

I've been in a million and a half advertising meetings. And in my modest 44 years, I've seen it all. Screaming matches between agency principals. Mid afternoon drunkenness. Narcolepsy. Sexual harassment -- not by me, mind you, but by pigs pulling down 7 figure compensation packages. And raging incompetence, Trumpian-level incompetence.

People who are incompetent are not dumb. They recognize their own shortcomings and tend to over compensate with ruthless anal retentiveness. From this, we have the birth of a corporate archetype that I like to call Bobby Boxchecker.

Of course we're not playing any gender politics here, it can also manifest itself in female form, as in Bobbi Boxchecker.

Mr. or Ms. Boxchecker is fond of electronic meeting invites. Agendas. Taking attendance. And lists. Oh god, they love their lists. Particularly the list of creative deliverables. The list endows them with a certain power they possess no where else in life. Hence they go back to their precious little list over and over again.

Years ago I was in a meeting that started with the reading of the creative deliverables and ended with the reading of the creative deliverables.

If memory serves me right, during the bathroom break when I went to "dump all my shares of Hometown Buffet", Bobby Boxchecker saddled up in the stall next to me to give me one additional echo-y rendition of the creative deliverables.

Mostly, they love this list because it chock full of work they don't have to do. Consequently, they have no compunction adding to it.

"Hey the client wants three directions, let's give them four."

"They said they don't have money for a brand manifesto, but we should give them one anyway."

"With data targeting we can customize banners a hundred, maybe a thousand different ways."

And this my friends, is where I believe the Super Bowl pre-tease commercial was born. When some account executive/coordinator, short on skills but long on ambition, mindlessly blurted...

"People love the Super Bowl commercials, why make them wait a week. Let's give them more to love."

To which I wish one clear headed creative would have mentioned that people don't love commercials and shown Bobby or Bobbi Boxchecker this:

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