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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sales 101

Advertising has got to shift.

If you wish to advertise now, you have only one mission. People have got to want to look at the advertisement itself. Nothing else answers. Super Bowl ads are fantastically expensive not because so many people tune in, but because it's common that many, if not most of the audience, is going to watch the commercials for the entertainment value that's in them.

I don't have an opinion one way or another about Evian water. I rarely drink water out of a bottle. When I do, only its temperature and the shape of the spout would matter. There is no important difference from one bottled water to the next unless it is carbonated. Even then it's pretty much all the same.

All that being said, I can't imagine that Evian is produced by soulless rapacious oligarchs after watching the following. Even if management had nothing to do with the production of the commercial, if they were heartless people they would have watched the video as a pitch from the ad company and said: That's sappy. Can't we have Chuck Norris or Britney Spears or something?

The most creative people in the world work in advertising. Always have. After all, Michelangelo Simoni Buonarroti's statue of Moses is just an advertisement for the dead Pope Julius, isn't it?

I imagine the reason why all the greatest visual work you're ever going to see is advertising of one sort or another is because a person that wants many others to like them or be interested in them hires the most talented persons in the visual and audio arts to make sure it happens. And artists go there to yoke their horses to a cart that's going somewhere, and has hay for the horse, too. All the frauds are in the art gallery.

I'm pretty sure it happens about the opposite of the common image of advertising for the most part. It's not the callow businessman ordering the nice artist to fool the public with pleasantries. Really callow businessmen always appear in their own ads and bark at you to come on down. No, I imagine that the immensely talented artist that wishes he was doing something else sorta edgy brings the businessman his idea for the campaign: "How about a dystopian future, where global warming has desertified the planet and a few tribes of Neo-cavemen battle it out with cudgels in a bone-strewn desert trying to kill one another for the last bottle of Evian?"

There is a short silence and some polite eye-rolling.

"I don't know..." says the executive. "How about some nice babies?"

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