April 06, 2014

Talking Babies And Babbling Baboons


I am not a fan of either the talking animal or the talking baby genre. They've been done a million times and rarely have they been anything but awful.

However, every now and then someone does it well. They take a clich├ęd idea and make it into something good.

One of the cases in which talking babies were done well was E-Trade. Before I go too far, they weren't all gems. But some of the writing was excellent and very entertaining. I don't know who the writer(s?) were, but at some point Grey had some excellent talent on this business.

But, as always, good advertising can't withstand the relentless onslaught of baboons in the marketing suite.

A couple of years ago I wrote the following...
Marketing people just refuse to leave shit alone. Somewhere they got the idea that everything they see needs to be changed and everything they change is an improvement...
Whenever I read in the trades that a successful advertiser has hired a new CMO, I know a festival of laughter is on the way. They (the new CMOs) always say the same thing: 
"X Corp has been very successful. I am not here to change that. My focus is just on making sure that we ______."
Amazingly, making sure that they ________ always seems to require that they change everything.
Recently E-Trade got a new CMO, which, of course, meant a new agency which, of course, means a new campaign. And what an inexcusable piece of excrement it is.

Of course, this horrible, disgraceful, odious (am I making myself clear?) campaign is being justified with the usual steaming pile of hogwash about "consumers" and "research" and "control" and "spaces."

Just reading this crap is so depressing. It has to make anyone with a sense of what advertising should and could be disgusted that advertising decisions are in the hands of such philistines.

When are these people going to learn that a distinctive campaign idea is worth ten-thousand of their vacuous strategy documents and hinky research reports?

The new CMO, in the time-honored tradition of insolent duplicity, gives the old campaign the obligatory counterfeit high praise while sticking an ice pick in the heart of something good in support of something unspeakably horrible.

I hate to do this to you on a Monday morning, but take a look at this monstrosity and try not to lose your breakfast.

And if the spot isn't bad enough, these flat tires have sullied the name of my company  (Type A) for their loathsome new campaign, "Type E."

There are so many things I want to punish these people for.

12 comments:

Martin said...

Your warning was not explicit enough! I watched it at my desk at work, still cleaning up.

DenTarthurdent said...

Sell E trade shares. Now. Sell sell sell...

Mike said...

Yep, total guff.

Carl Zetie said...

While we're on the subject, could you take a moment to condemn the "fake-folksy CEO appears in ad for his own company" genre? I'm looking at you, Bush's. I'm guessing that these ads exist because nobody has the balls to tell the CEO that his idea sucks.

Rob Hatfield said...

What a profound embarrassment. Just makes me feel tired all over...

Rob Hatfield said...

Let's add the eHarmony guy to the list, as well as friggin Papa John, who lately appears to be fairly coked up.

Cecil B. DeMille said...

There is nothing in all of creation so great as it cannot be condemned to utter ruination by an idiot with too much influence.

Sonny said...

Sorry - couldn't get past the 15 second mark. At first I thought is was a joke but at 15 I realized to save those last 15 for myself.

Jay said...

I saw this over the weekend and had no idea what the ad was for. My best guess was that it was leading up to being one of those anti-smoking campaigns and "Type E" (I couldn't tell what they were saying, but knew it was "Type ___") was a horrible disease you get from chewing tobacco.


Managers have the horrible problem of always coming into a new job thinking "They hired me because things were broken before, so everything needs to change." If that's what you think, you're an idiot.

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Dan Plant said...

Is it just me that looks in the eyes of these poor jobbing actors in these atrocities and sees the pain of ritual humiliation that they have to go through to earn a crust.

To think, they probably had to audition for some "strategist" to make sure they were suitably over-enthusiastic and shame free. And if that's not bad enough, they have to re-live it over and over again every time they turn on the TV.

uglymugagency said...

Saw this on Sunday and couldn't get past obsessing over why there was a female cosmonaut singing in what looked like a biohazard containment lab. Then again, every other scene in this POS is a hack scenario so I guess they needed to toss a WTF into it. Just awful.