When I were a lad
“So, what do you want to do?” asked my careers advisor.
Since I first started to plan my career I knew I wanted to make adverts. Two things swung it. The first was the unending joy that is the Cadbury’s Smash advert, you know, the one with the laughing robots.
Having been bamboozled into believing that beans means Heinz and hands that do dishes can…. erm…. something….errr… something … with mild green Fairy Liquid, the idea that an advert could be entertaining, even funny, was a revelation. Entire films packed into bite size morsels, carefully crafted to make you laugh, cry but mainly buy.
Adverts suited my adolescent attention span and a megalomanic need to influence people, or as others might put it, manipulate them. But if the twin incentives of mind control and creating miniature cinematic masterpieces didn’t fully convince me, my final call to action as a fifteen year old wannabe advertising man was my mate Simon Kaufman, well his dad anyway. Simon lived in the coolest house in the coolest road and had the coolest parents. He called them Mike and Val, for those were their names. And what was Mike’s job? Yep, you guessed it, advertising.
“I want to make adverts” I replied to my careers adviser without a hint of hesitation or dilemma.
Imagine my acute disappointment when he patiently explained as if to an imbecile, that no one person makes an advert. The adverts we see on TV are the work of legions, snaking in a long chain of command linking from the client to the advertising agency to the creative team to the pitch to the storyboard to the market focus group and eventually to the filmmaker who just points the camera and does what he’s told.
But things have changed. Nowadays we have a whole new way of dispensing commercial information, a far less costly process of utilising the most powerful medium of communication on the planet. And there I was, perfectly placed as a filmmaker of some considerable experience with a background in marketing and copywriting. My earliest career goals were about to be fulfilled.
A company can spend hundreds and thousands of pounds on an advert and no one will be interested or they can spend flumpence and have a viral video influencing millions of potential customers. Throwing huge amounts of money at a commercial film project is no guarantee of success. A successful film is all about the idea and it’s execution. Advertising has moved on. No longer do companies need to enlist the expensive and often needless help of an advertising agency or film production company. They have marketing experts devoted to that very task. And here I am with over fifteen years experience disseminating audiovisual information. Between my clients and myself we have truly cut out the middlemen, which means that together we can produce great quality ads for a fraction of the cost. We are truly living the dream.
Here are a couple of my favourites. One is older and more expensive, the other newer, and costing a lot less. Both of them are mini masterpieces, but more importantly they advertise their products perfectly and precisely.