In article <1995Apr15.firstname.lastname@example.org>,
email@example.com (Matthew Carey) wrote:
> Speaking of infomercials, I recently had this brain flash for
> an advertising campaign. It's probably never been done before,
> because it's probably extremely expensive, or complicated at
> What you do: Tape about 400 different 15 second commercials.
> They should all be nothing more that the president of your
> company saying "Hi I'm so-and-so from such-and-such and" and
> then saying whatever it is that the writers decide to have her
> say that time.
> The trick is to saturate the airwaves with these things.
> People will ignore them for the first week or so, but will
> eventually realize that not a one of these commercials goes by
> that isn't *different.*
> But each time one of these commercials comes on, there's the old "send
> $1." After a month's repetition of this command, the consumers will be
> incapable of *not* sending a dollar. Soon enough, they'll be writing down
> that address and the next thing you know DOLLARS DOLLARS DOLLARS.
Rev, now you're scaring me. Because THIS WOULD WORK. Maybe TOO
WELL. I'd stake my professional reputation on it, if I had one.
The effect would be devastating. If only we could be sure what
that effect would be.
Everybody would be talking about it. Remember Herb, the Burger
King pinhead? You don't? God, you're lucky. He was the
centerpiece of a campaign that was highly visible at the time
although, paradoxically, it had no detectable effect on sales.
We do not want THAT to happen to "Bob".
Dollars would indeed roll in by the mailbagful, if only the ad
schedule could be continued long enough. But before a week (let
alone a month) was up, every news broadcast in the country would
be trying to find out what's behind it all, and then control of
the PR blitz would begin to slip from the Church's grasp. Next
thing you know, Connie Chung is standing outside Church
headquarters, flacks are rummaging through the garbage, and
everybody from George F. Will to Kenneth Copeland to Diane Sawyer
is throwing "Bob", Stang, and the whole HEE-HAW gang to the
wolves on coast-to-coast TV.
There's another, more immediate problem. TV stations will get
nervous about airing messages that ask for money and promise
nothing in return. Why, it's downright UnAmerican. People have
been kicked out of TV sales offices for much less. one group
tried to air spots in NYC that said fairly innocuous stuff like,
"Don't drive your car any more than you really have to, if at
all," or "Turn off your TV and go out for some fresh air." You
can't just come out and tell people what's on your mind like
that. It makes 'em jittery. You've got to come up with ad copy
that seems to say one thing, but actually says something else
entirely. You've got to escort your message past the ad people
and broadcast people who can't digest something that's JUST WHAT
IT APPEARS TO BE.
Then again, I could be wrong.
Mark E. Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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