Creatively empty

I saw a mass email the other day.It was from an ad agency. They were working on a Holiday campaign for a major car manufacturer. They wanted to know if anyone had any footage, knew of anyone that did, or had any ideas on a Christmas spot. As they email said:

“One of the  ideas is to utilize “reality” (or staged reality) footage of a customer giving the gift of a new car, wrapped with a bow, to someone they love.”

Wow I thought! I haven’t seen such “ingenious” an execution since last year. And the year before that. And the year before that. It brought tears to my eyes, but not because it was sweet. Rather, because it was so played. Are agencies so dry and out of ideas that all they can do is continuously recycle the same schlock over and over yet pitch it as a miracle in creative thought? Or maybe it’s summer and so hard to think about the winter. Even worse, asking for any free ideas that might be offered from the outside as was pitched in the email. Yet another example of old-school advertising, recycling something so cliche that you know long before it’s made, it will be about as memorable as Christmas is each year.

PS If forced to come up with a bow concept, here’s my idea. Shot of a guy going into a Christmas lot. It’s got to be big he says. Cut to the lot guy with 7 foot tree. Guy shakes head.  Cut to the lot guy standing next to a 25 foot tree. It dwarfs him. No, not big enough  says the shopper. Shot of him in a car driving in the wilderness looking at a map. Cut to him shaking hands with an older guy next to two horses. Cut to them coming over a ridge. He looks up and says, Yep that’s it. Cut to chain saw cutting 2 foot wide tree base. Cut to him and wife Christmas morning. He opens blinds. She smiles. Cut to outside (camera moves gracefully). A huge tree is over a new car (with bow). Announcer says something to the effect of, a special gift for that special person this Christmas might require a bit of thinking out of the box. The 2008…

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