Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Advertising Edition: R.A.'s entry

INT. OFFICE - DAY

TITLE - Mitchell-Bell, Inc. New York 1962

GARETH MACLAREN (early 30s, wan with thinning hair) sits opposite BARRY NEWCOMB (a late 20s go-getter with moviestar looks). Hair and suit styles are appropriate to the mid-1960s. Whenever he's not speaking, Barry peers intently, like a detective divining motive.

BARRY

We're not the first agency you approached, are we Mr. MacLaren?

GARETH

No. No, I've been all over town. Spent an hour at Sterling-Cooper while their Creative Director waxed eloquent about something or another.

BARRY

Draper's very good.

GARETH

He certainly seemed to think so.

(Beat)

Took a meeting at McMann and Tate, but the copywriter never showed up. Sat in a board room with Tate while a crow kept tapping on the window like it wanted to come in and pitch. Very awkward.

(Beat)

I even met with Rock Hunter.

BARRY

He's become quite successful.

GARETH

Seems to have spoiled him.

BARRY

Well you certainly have a sticky problem, Mr. MacLaren. But I'm not clear why you think there's money in it.

GARETH

My father believed there was. He came to America with the clothes on his back and spent the rest of his life building a company by anticipating what the public wanted before they knew they wanted it. Before he died, he told me this was the one goal he never achieved.

(Beat)

I think I owe it to my father, for all he sacrificed and all he accomplished, to do this for him. Can you help?

BARRY

There's no ad campaign we can create that can help you.

GARETH

So you can't help me either.

BARRY

I didn't say that, Mr. MacLaren. I'm facing facts. No one else in town came up with anything either because, forgive me, the idea is just crazy.

GARETH

Maybe it is. But I've got to try. You won't help?

Barry ponders a moment.

BARRY

You said your father knew what people wanted before they did, right?

GARETH

Yes.

BARRY

Then maybe this is an R&D problem, not an advertising problem. At least not an advertising problem for today.

GARETH

I see where you're going.

BARRY

You see Mr. MacLaren, Mitchell-Bell is part of a much larger concern--

INT. OFFICE - DAY

TITLE - Mitchell-Bell, Inc. New York 1992

Barry and Gareth are joined by MELINDA RESTON (20s and casually dressed) in his updated office. Barry looks even more dashing with silver hair. Gareth is wiry and fit with a few wisps of gray hair all that remains. The two older men wear suits.

BARRY

Just skip to the bottom line, Melinda. How close are we.

MELINDA

At least another 30 years.

BARRY

That can't be! We've been running non-stop since '62.

GARETH

Barry, that's what my people are saying as well. I've just accepted that it's a bigger problem than we realized and I may not live to see the day.

BARRY

Melinda, is there anything we can do?

MELINDA

I think so. We've been seeing a lot of success with the campaigns on the new Hummers. We think maybe pushing in that direction might help. We can spur the public to embrace a whole new class of what we're calling Sport Utility Vehicles.

BARRY

How much will that help?

MELINDA

We think we can soften the ground considerably. Maybe cut the total time in half.

BARRY

That'll have to do.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

TITLE - Mitchell-Bell, Inc. New York 2010

Barry and Gareth are still plugging away. Barry's aging like Paul Newman, Gareth like Abe Vigoda. The lights are dim and the room is filled with young men and women in casual attire. The light of a monitor flickers on everyone's face.

From the speakers, the recognizable CLINK, CLINK of two ice cubes being dropped in a glass followed by the fizzy sound of a carbonated beverage being poured.

Zoom in on TELEVISION showing ad.

INT. BAR - NIGHT

ICE CUBES land in glass. Cola is poured into the glass.

NARRATOR (O.S.)

Mmm. Cool, fresh, invigorating. Nothing refreshes like MacLarens.

The glass sits on a black velvet tabletop. Nothing is visible beyond the glass. The ice cubes glint as they bob in the sparkling amber fluid.

NARRATOR (O.S.) (CONT'D)

MacLarens Ice. Now available in Alaska.

Zoom out to reveal...

EXT. STREET - TWILIGHT

The television is in the window of a small electronics store. The sign above reads NANOOK'S TV AND RADIO. An ESKIMO stands in front of the window watching. He wears shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops. As the commercial ends, he turns and we see a SINGLE TEAR run down his face.

BLACKOUT:

4 comments:

Daisy said...

Sniff. Lump in throat at ending.

R.A. Porter said...

Thanks, Daisy.

Hopefully there was at least a mild chuckle somewhere in there as well. O_o

air plane advertising said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
R.A. Porter said...

Oh, what's that? Your comment was deleted? Stop being a fucking worthless spammer and maybe people will give a shit what you have to say.

Oh, and as for your "aerial advertising" why don't you jump out your plane without a parachute.

This rant brought to you by...the fact that I fucking hate spammers.