Daryl and I have a code phrase for bullshit ad ideas that have never really seen the light of day. When we come across one, we just show it to the other and say, ‘Throughout the month of June…’
That’s because agency films all have a voiceover that says something along the lines of, ‘Throughout the month of June hundreds of bollards were painted pink…’ or ‘Throughout the month of June we placed sandwiches near all the penguins in London Zoo…’
It’s the description-y bit that seeks to give size and status to ads which have none, and are the explanatory equivalent of the obligatory shot of three people WHO ARE IN NO WAY MATES OF THE AD CREATIVES looking at the brilliant ambient idea with an impressed smile on their faces.
LOOK! PEOPLE SAW WHAT WE DID AND LIKED IT! WHILE WE WERE THERE TO CAPTURE THE MOMENT WITH OUR CAMERAS! THIS IS NOT, I REPEAT NOT, BULLSHIT!
This will be closely followed in the agency video by a V/O that says, ‘Hundreds of websites picked it up’ over a shot of many websites that the agency in-house dept have fabricated to cover up the foetid stench of indifference from a sensible public.
Then there will be a newscaster from a minor TV channel (possibly a TV PA who has been made to look like that in the agency basement) who explains how traffic ground to a standstill while Johnny Cockbreath danced on a motorway to publicise My Little Pony, or how the police were called to a fake horse wanking ring that was set up to publicise Pantene Pro-V.
Then there will be some specious stats that claim enormous success for the camel that was glued to an artichoke in Trafalgar Square in aid of Oxfam, or the helicopter that dropped lamb bhuna all over Buckingham Palace for Marmite.
In short, the whole thing will almost certainly be 94% bullshit.