Truly Groundbreaking Advertising Ideas.
BY Dan Kennedy
Client: Any major brand of pain reliever
OPEN ON: A middle-aged woman is doing the dishes, answering the phone, tending to the kids, and in general being Super Mom. At one point, we cut to her point of view and everything shifts to a slow-motion blur. She presses her hands firmly to her temples.
CUT TO: A shot of a jackknifed semi on a highway somewhere in the mountains.
Suddenly it’s daytime. We’re clearly someplace else now … a sunny meadow.
CUT TO: Close-up of a smoking, spent shell lying in the sun … we PULL BACK and realize there’s a target range in this meadow.
CUT TO: Night again. We’re looking at a wide shot of a man camping in a tent in a suburban driveway. In the tent, he is surrounded by sexy women in lingerie. He starts weeping.
Suddenly we’re back in the kitchen we saw in the establishing shot.
[The sitar music is getting frantic at this point … it peaks and then shifts seamlessly to Bob Dylan’s “Tombstone Blues.”]
Mom takes her hands off her temples and looks into the camera with a painless, stoic stare, just in time to silently lip-synch the line “The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken.”
CUT TO: Product shot on white. We see the bottle of pain reliever sitting there.
[The only audio under the product shot is a man laughing in the distance with a little reverb on it, and a 911 operator saying something about a vehicle catching fire.]
Client: Financial services—any major
OPEN ON: Nice sunny day, beautiful green golf course.
Two older men are golfing.
FIRST MAN: I never thought we’d retire, but I’m sure glad we planned for it.
SECOND MAN: You’re talking to me like I’m your wife. Like we’re a gay couple. Is that what I am to you? Your gay partner?
[Ominous cellos and low brass instruments looming in a minor key.]
CUT TO: Time-lapse footage of storm clouds blowing in.
CUT TO: Time-lapse footage of flowers dying, then blooming, then dying, then blooming. This footage continues to loop while:
Offscreen, our original guy replies in VOICE OVER: I’ve got well over $750,000 liquid. The next time I’m drunk, I could pick up the phone and have you killed.
We’re still on the footage of flowers blooming and dying. We hear the other guy reply in VOICE OVER: I would be concerned if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve taken full advantage of the complete line of [name of client] financial products and services. And with the money I’ve saved for retirement, I could buy and sell your wife and grown children all day long for the next 10 years … and still have enough money to have you smothered in your sleep.
CUT TO: Superfast flash-frame montage:
1. A dead frog in a jar of formaldehyde suddenly coming to life.
2. A sexy young woman with a huge prosthetic hand.
3. Betsy Ross.
4. Lime Jell-O and a medical diagram of a penis.
5. A Cheshire cat.
CUT BACK TO: The golf course, but the sun is gone. The golf game is rained out and nobody is on the course.
CUT TO: Client’s logo on a black background.
[Sound effects of thunder and lightning, rain pouring down in a storm.]
Over the sound effects, we hear the first guy finally reply in VOICE OVER: You’re not real. This can’t be happening … you’re already dead.
Client: Any brand of skin cream/moisturizer
OPEN ON: Young woman on the beach. Soft focus. She’s walking at the water’s edge, shoes off, and she’s smiling.
VOICE OVER: Stump. Want. Grunt. We long for malfunction. Fountain!
Camera PUSHES IN toward infinite horizon. Almost like a satellite or telescope, we’ve moved past the woman on the shoreline by hundreds of miles in one fast-forward push.
CUT TO: The deck of a large cargo ship.
Two Russian sailors wrestle on deck as a crowd of deck hands and laborers looks on, obviously with the vested interest of wager.
[While we’re seeing this we hear only the sounds of waves crashing on the beach way back where we started out.]
While we watch the wrestling, we also hear the woman back at the beach speaking in a breathy, INTIMATE VOICE OVER: We will kill what we need to eat, fight to preserve what we feel is ours. That is the law of our genetic code: to fight, acquire, reproduce, and leave here for someplace we came from but forgot the moment we were born.
CLOSE-UP: One of the Russian men falls in a slow-motion crush to the deck. He is pinned.
CUT TO: Fast montage:
1. A little boy at the edge of the Grand Canyon.
2. A newborn colt.
3. A man in an elephant suit handing out coupons in an American shopping mall.
4. Frozen rivers, Red Square, cookies, minibikes, a terrarium filled with newts.
Camera PULLS BACK all the way across the ocean hundreds of miles to the beach where the woman is still walking with her shoes off, smiling pleasantly.
She turns to the camera and delivers the tag line.
WOMAN: Sue the neighbors. I love you.
The skin cream’s logo FADES UP on a white background.
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