Monday, November 22, 2021

The Molden Age of Advertising

A few prefaces before today's post.

Astute readers of R17 will no doubt notice that I am prone to typos, missed words and sloppy syntax. I type fast and I'm a terrible proofreader. I try to fix the mistakes on the fly, but apologize if I've offended, particularly you other writers out there. I know how that can be a pet peeve.

Today's post may contain slightly more  than normal as I am hunting and pecking and clicking and clacking at the keyboard with my one good arm. The left arm is still in recovery from my Covid booster shot, which did quite a number on me. Nevertheless I am triple vaxxxed and grateful for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Preface #2 -- lately I've been writing more about advertising (as I will be today). A quick scan of my analytics -- for juvenile reasons, I like writing that word -- and noticed that web traffic is up. In the past I said I don't care about that kind of stuff but who am I kidding? I like knowing that 8 people, now 11 people, come here for their morning semi-laugh.

Today, we are addressing the leitmotif found in many commercials of people in chairs falling through the floor. Haven't noticed it? That's alright, because I have. Here's one for Philadelphia Cream Cheese, a product that's near and dear to my salty lox loving heart.

OK, Rich, but one spot does not a trend or a leitmotif make. Indeed, but I have also noticed it the conceit used in an Apple commercial.

To be sure, I know the magic in the power of Threes. And so I give you yet another commercial featuring, well, you know...

Now, at this point you might be thinking, "Geez Rich you should develop a hobby. What about whittling decoy ducks out of wood or take up skeet shooting, something!" Well, I am happy to report that after a 3 month layover because of my hip replacement, I am now back in the garage, pushing plates and regaining my previous age-defying strength.

In any case, what's the deal with people in chairs falling through floors in order to escape their current environment. The junior psychologist in me says it has something to do with Covid and our homebound lives for the past two years-ish. 

On a completely different note, what is with the word 'Yes'? A different but even more annoying leitmotif.

It was even codified by the esteemed and scholarly planning department at one unnamed ad agency I used to work for. They called it, "The Yes Strategy." The spot that exemplified it featured vignettes of random people, all cast from the Overexcited Cliche Actors Casting Agency, answering questions written by the Clueless Clients Posing As Copywriters Club.

"You mean I can get two medium pizzas for just $5.99"


"Two pizzas with one topping?"


"And that includes Garlic Knots?"


Now, yours truly could not locate a copy of this advertising classic. But I did track down a 15 second version using the same vaunted Yes Strategy. Just imagine the dullness and insipid contrived situations doubled for your viewing pleasure.

I only mention this old ad because with my increased viewing of college and professional football games,  there have been copycat (GASP) advertisers now employing Pizza Hut's proprietary strategy of having clownish actors pimping mayonnaise, fizzy soda water, or some new lime flavored douche, by claiming, "Yes", "Yes" and "Yes." 

For the love of god, "NO."

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