Perhaps the soundest advice for parents is: Lighten up. People have been raising children for approximately as long as there have been people. —George Will
I’ll admit that I’m taking some unusual risks with this particular post. I mean, it’s not every day I post a flaccid penis on these pages, not even in an artistic sense, which is what we were going for here. However, this being Saturday and, for a large part of the country, a very nice and pleasant day, I’m not expecting too terribly many people to notice. I know we’re going to be out working on the garden and I anticipate that most everyone else is going to be doing something outdoors as well. When the weather is as nice as it is supposed to be today, I don’t expect too many visitors to a silly and unrelated web page. You have better things to do.
I’m also aware that there have been some rather serious tones to conversations and such this week. I’ve especially seen that stress recently among my advertising colleagues where everything from upfronts to account reviews has had people on edge to the point that they’re second guessing what were legitimately good ideas. For example, the folks who manage the KFC account tweeted this image yesterday:
Personally, I found the ad hilarious. Look at how high the woman’s arm is above the man’s lap. She’s obviously removing a piece of chicken from a bucket. Yet, the immediate response on the Internet was so overwhelmingly negative that the tweet was deleted in less than an hour. Obviously, a lot of people need to lighten up, don’t you think?
Then, there was the case where AMC Theatres floated the concept that they might begin allowing people to text during movies in some of their theatres. Now, if you have been in an AMC theatre any time in the past five years you know damn good and well that it’s actually rare for AMC or any other cinema chain to enforce a no-texting policy. All the AMC statement did was confirm that they weren’t going to try to police the situation any longer. Oh, Americans are so fucking uptight that they went apoplectic over the very idea! After a couple of days of such nonsense, AMC reversed course:
NO TEXTING AT AMC. Won’t happen. You spoke. We listened. Quickly, that idea has been sent to the cutting room floor. pic.twitter.com/JR0fo5megR
— AMC Theatres (@AMCTheatres) April 15, 2016
The need for us to lighten up is so great that it’s noticeable to people in other countries. Sean Cummins, the lead behind that Doritos Super Bowl commercial “Ultrasound,” inadvertently setting off a whole wave of abortion debate, told AdWeek that commenters
“… need to take a chill pill. Anything that’s kind of funny and a bit out there is going to be controversial these days. Pepsi felt happy enough to run it. It was totally fantastic … about as realistic as dogs buying Doritos.”
After all that, the need to lighten up a bit this weekend should be rather obvious, and I can’t think of any better way to do that than to take a humorous look at our own industry and some of the lighter things that have shown up this week.
For example, The Variable, an agency in Winston-Salem, NC has developed a delightful set of short spots highlighting some of the far too real aspects of ad life. I’ll put a couple of them below, but you’ll want to check out the whole concept at AdLand Adventures.
Oh god, have we suffered through this one before …
And this one … every f’n day …
There are a plethora of heartfelt, emotionally wrenching ads out at the moment, taking an overly serious tone at selling products that really aren’t that serious. So, when a traditionally conservative client decides to lighten up and work with humour, it’s worth noting. In this case, it’s the Jewish Film Festival in Toronto making it clear that, yes, you’re Jewish enough to attend. Here are a couple of my favourite spots.
That last one .. yeah, For those who didn’t get it, that’s a reference to circumcision. Ouch.
Finally, there’s this two-minute piece from Dollar Beard Club. This is just so very much over the top that one can’t help but laugh a bit.
There we go. For the four or five of you who actually scroll past the opening image, I hope this has been enough to help you lighten up a bit and that the rest of your weekend has a little less stress than i might have. We’re all much too serious for too many hours of the day. Finding reasons to smile more are critical for all of us to survive.