Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Oh, oh, oh, it's magic


My wife and I are now both at that same delicate age, 44, when we are subjected to a ton of pharmaceutical advertising. Ads that once pimped Michelob Ultra, the beer for athletes, or Tinder, or even the Gap, have been replaced by commercials for Keytruda, Trylesta and Ozempic.

Ozempic is our favorite, because it features a song that mimics that old 70's pop hit Magic by Pilot.

Oh you know the spot:



Catchy, no?

If I'm not mistaken I think the fine makers of Ozempic, doctor's recommended choice for diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and dismemberment, dipped deep into their pool of Big Pharma money and actually got the band Pilot to come out of retirement and croon the new lyrics.

Listen again. The melodic harmonizing. The unmistakable hooks. Even the guitar riffs are the same as Pilot's signature 1974 sound. The sound that went on to launch such magical hits as....OK, so the negotiations with the band manager probably didn't last longer than 2 minutes.

OZEMPIC: "We'd like to use your band's song, MAGIC, in our next commercial."

PILOT: "Done."

OZEMPIC: "Any chance you guys could sing it for us?"

PILOT: "How about next Tuesday?"

It's been said that pharmaceutical advertising is where old copywriters go to finish out their careers. And while I've dipped my toe in that field, I've been fortunate enough to avoid a steady Monday through Friday, nine to five, diet of this stuff.

For starters, I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to pitch a spot like the Ozempic one to clients.

"Close your eyes. Picture a diverse group of youngish, middle aged people, people, going about their lives free from the debilitating effects of diabetes. They're playing miniature golf, exercising, and putting new 393 cubic inch engines into classic cars like the 1967 Dodge Coronet. And throughout this incredible montage we hear...

SFX: PILOT SINGING OZEMPIC

Worse than that is what happens after the client signs the estimate and sends you on your way to produce this 90 seconds of diabetic bliss.

Because if you know anything about advertising, TV or film production, you know it is a long and laborious process that moves from focus groups (where the song is played 178 times) to the shoot (where the song is played another 427 times) to the edit bay, (where some poor editor has to frame fuck this thing and the song is played 2,936 times) before it reaches your tv screen.

Those are the kind of sacrifices we have to make for art.

I won't labor this any longer, suffice to say, this where my career is going.

I can feel it in my arthritis-free bones. And while I bemoan my fate, I'll leave you with this, so that the earworm I have placed in your head can find its way down to your alimentary canal and make a quick egress.

You're welcome.



























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