Monday, March 26, 2018

JELLYFISH AND OTHER ‘FACT BASED’ ADVERTISING CREATIVITY

Lately I’ve been writing a lot of melancholy self pitying stuff.  I decided the antidote was some pure unadulterated silliness.  If this is too “over the top” for you, I can only suggest you learn to jump higher.  Or not.

 JELLYFISH AND OTHER ‘FACT BASED’ ADVERTISING CREATIVITY

As a person who admires creativity, especially with regard to the written word, I have long been in awe of the endless inspiration of the advertising industry.  These writers are indisputably the pioneers of future fiction writers.

As I go through the various challenges of the aging process, I become more and more concerned about the growingly frequent little lapses of memory.  My doctor says they are just normal; not really indicative of any propensity to dementia. But I’m not convinced. 

So, a couple of years ago, a new product appeared on my TV screen:  A “Brain Supplement, with an ingredient first discovered in JELLYFISH!” 

Would this scientific breakthrough be the answer to my (and probably millions of other ’seniors’ concerned about Alzheimers, or other debilitating degenerative mental conditions?)  My long term physician, and other professionals I trust asked me the question: “Do you really believe that an over the counter product, absent scientific studies, has the key to solving one of the most challenging medical issues of the twenty first century?  Let’s explore two possibly important facts:  #1)  The primary composition of jellyfish is water.  #2)  Did anyone ever equate jellyfish with brain health?  Ponder those two items, reader.

But even the clever prose of the advertising copywriter needs an impressive voice to be successful on television.  So we viewers get (I hope my use of capitalization and exclamation points can drive the impact home.)  “With a substance originally found in….(pregnant pause)…..JELLYFISH!!, Prevagen can”…turn you into a blooming genius for life.
Wow, for a few bucks I can improve my reasoning capabilities to become as smart as a jellyfish!

Yes, I exaggerate.  I don’t know if Prevagen is an effective product or not.  But connecting this transparent seagoing  creature to human cognition is the result of superb creative writing in any case.

I’ve always found humor in some of the pitches of New York’s Madison Avenue Ad Agencies.  One of my favorites follows.  It is from the 1970’s and while I don’t remember the product’s name, it was one of those liquid ‘meal replacement’ supplements that were used as weight loss panaceas.  Here it is, and it may take a few seconds to realize the inanity within:  “Our magical product contains FIFTY PERCENT of the nutrition of a full healthy breakfast, …but only HALF of the calories!” 

So, while there seems to be a case for cutting breakfast in half or doubling up on the magic powder, what is the benefit?  The beauty of this commercial to me is that it is probably factually accurate, it really says nothing.  (With the possible exception of the premise that the reason you will lose weight is that you will eat less.)  Hardly an earthshaking major scientific revelation!

And, oh yes, one of my more recent reviews of the work of the men and women of the Gray Flannel Suit persuasion.  MILK!

During the recent Winter Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, the following TV ad appeared over and over.  I only discovered it because I wasn’t quick enough to fast forward through it while watching the prior day’s competitions. I am in awe over the obvious genius it took to come up with this:

 “Over eighty percent of American Olympic Champions drank milk while growing up!” 
 This one, I believe, has the very essence of believability in it.  I am confident that it is true in every respect.

But would it be equally true that “Over eighty present of serial killers, and inhabitants of death row in America drank milk while growing up?”  Did drinking milk make for superb athletic ability and/or was it a major contributor to mayhem in our country?  Just a rhetorical question.

I recently spoke with my physician regarding the huge expenditure of money that is being spent advertising prescription drugs on TV.  What he sees almost daily is patients demanding what they’ve seen be given to them.  It is, he says, frustrating to have to explain WHY a certain medication is NOT for them.  But I still am in awe of the clever wording;  “Don’t take if you are allergic to this medication or any of it’s ingredients….(how would I know that?)  This drug can possibly treat your dry skin.  Possible side effects are instant death, severe depression and suicidal thoughts, INCREASE in wet skin, heart palpatations and severe bleeding.  If you have any of those symptoms, (or any other symptoms) stop taking this medication.
Stopping this medication suddenly will prove fatal in most cases.

OK!  Maybe this is an exaggeration.  And I only half believe the following bit of folklore:  Just before TV and radio stopped accepting cigarette commercials, it had become painfully obvious that smoking was causing horrible health problems…even some in the tobacco industry had given up the self denial of the scientific facts.  Again, this PROBABLY isn’t true, but it is said that one advertising account executive came up with the following slogan:  “Emphysema, Lung Cancer and heart disease are actually healthy and BENEFICIAL!”

As I said, I don’t totally believe that. 

So, not posessing the proper skills to create TV commercials, I too can profit from the ingenious products of those superior advertising minds.  I am thinking of opening a boutique restaurant which serves a limited menu of half portion breakfasts, composed of ONLY ingredients found it jellyfish.  The only liquids served will be water and milk. (To satisfy the hopes of future Olympians.) (Non fat for the diet conscious, of course.)  I will feature jellyfish soups and salads.  Fried jelly burgers in cream sauce, and, the piece resistance…my original concept “Peanut Butter and Jellyfish Sandwiches!”  Think of it, the benefits of peanut butter’s richness in natural fiber combined with the intelligence improving powerful brain supplement!  (The above statements have not been approved of the FDA (or any other organization, but nevertheless they are all true.) Takeout menu only available by prescription.

I invite eager investors to contact me before the rush!