Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Sheep of Madison Avenue

HBO is currently airing The Wolf of Wall Street. 

And as they do with all movies, it means it's also running on HBO 1, HBO 2, HBO 3, HBO Max, HBO Super Max, and HBO Super Max Deluxe. It's even appearing on the underside of HBO Hard Seltzer.

This is by no means my favorite Martin Scorsese movie. It's long. Way....too....long. If you ask me, Marty could use a good editor. In fact, the movie is much more enjoyable now that I am watching it in smaller bite size scenes every time I find myself channel surfing.

I caught the Margot Robbie party entrance scene last Wednesday.

The scene where Leo tips Jonah off that he's wired on Thursday.

And the Sell Me This Pen scene early Saturday morning when I was struck by a bout of insomnia. Later that morning, after dozing off, I caught the movie's finale where Wolfie asks members of his audience to sell him this pen and they all stumble and rehash the same the awkward dull as stagnant pond water pitch.

Here for your enjoyment is the first pen escapade:


The brevity and the clarity are simply brilliant. Sadly, however, we in the ad business don't sell pens anymore. Or cars. Or beer, Or burgers. Or anything. 

We twist ourselves into knots to tie our clients to some bullshit social justice purpose and hope to ride the karma brownie points to the sales register. 

Or, and you might have noticed this going on, we shimmy up to pop culture, woo dancers & rappers and try to appropriate their street cred and fleeting coattails of fame.

The last time I spent inordinate amounts of money for a car, I was not swayed by freewheeling ballet dancers or lithe, hair tossing hip hop girls. I was much more interested in learning more about the significant difference between supercharged and turbocharged engine performance. 

HINT: I'll bet there's a great campaign in that. 

You know, if ad agencies were doing campaigns anymore.

The greater truth in the Sell Me This Pen scene takes place at the very beginning, when Jordan reveals what really drives us: "We all want to be rich. And we want to be rich now."

I'm 44 years old and it may be too late for me. 

But if I did have oodles of money, I'd gladly spend some to buy a plane ticket & hotel accommodations and sneak my way into the Woodrow Wilson Conference Room where the agency was unveiling the aforementioned luxury car commercials to their national dealer association.

Oh, to be a fly on that wall.

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