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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

My little pony goes to college - with the usual results

One of the funniest comedians in this country did a sketch years ago which made me deeply happy.

It took place in an advertising agency, where a bluff northern client had come for a presentation.

It is hard to parody advertising presentations because the real thing is often so pretentious no fiction could outdo it, but this sketch managed to do so. The best joke was when the client addressed the creative director (who had a pony tail) as "my little pony".

I remember that around the same time I had got the creative director of Ogilvy & Mather to come and give my staff at the direct agency a presentation. Everybody attended to see what they could learn, which was not much.

David Ogilvy, who seemed to know everything, rang me and said, "I understand that mincing pansy at the advertising agency came to give you all a presentation. Will there be a return engagement?"

"Well, I offered to do one," I replied. "But only five people were interested. They know everything already over there."

There are more sins committed in the name of creativity than I care to think about. A good example is above.

What looked like a pretty bad grade (just above failure) was supposed to entice teenagers to take a closer look at the pluses of attending Drake.

This idea (which no doubt was sold in a presentation as a "concept") has had people all over the States laughing, with a smart local store selling loads of "D+ student" T-shirts to no-hopers - and delighted Drake students.

Five years ago friend who works for a university in California tried to get them to pay me to write stuff for them, but they wouldn't pay, so he had to do it.

He is no copywriter, so this short term saving has probably cost them a fortune. The good thing, though, is that he has no creative pretentions.

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