The Ad Biz Needs “Extraordinary Purification”

JWT/London for Smirnoff
Via Adscam, where a person called “Grumpy” left a wonderful comment about the spot.

You only get this kind of class work if you:
Have a client who deserves it
Don’t believe the future is in user-generated shit and the blogowankosphere
Don’t listen to the no-mate geeks peddling social networking and the like as the second coming of marketing
Don’t live in SecondLife
Believe anyone who thinks planners are the new creatives should be shot in the neck
Passionately believe that nothing – NOTHING – can surpass the ability of film (however and wherever delivered) to capture people’s imaginations
Continue to believe that – despite the best efforts of advertising’s self-appointed New Age gurus – advertising isn’t dead
Treasure and protect your craft skills
Are prepared to put your cock on the block
And still give a fuck

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. yousaidit says:

    I second that comment with a hearty FUCK YEAH!!!
    And kudos to you, David, for posting it. A comment that many others in your line would ignore for pointing out that maybe, just maybe, the most artful executions of creativity in the ad world still require more than a high-speed internet connection, a webcam and too much free time.

  2. While I agree with not embracing whatever digital trend strikes purely for the sake of it…
    That is one scared copywriter.

  3. Kind of ironic though, that the video is posted on YouTube.

  4. Ironic maybe, but prudent. I don’t think that the comments on the spot are directed at YouTube, but at the social networking/Second Life arbiters. Marketing will not be saved through Web 2.0. It is another of the fads that will fade as the clients figure out that most people are sitting on their asses watching TV. The folks who control the pocketbook in the household.
    yousaidit is right on in that most folks do not have the time to generate content for their favorite brand, nor do they care enough to take the time.

  5. Noted, fortyver. Second Life is a sink pit, no question.
    HOWEVER, I’m not convinced that spending a king’s ransom on an HD spot PLUS another ton for media buys is, as you say, prudent.
    I’d wager the amount they spent on one CG plane that this ad will get more views and generate more discussion online than it ever will on TV.
    Case in point: us.

  6. Actually these images came in handy today. I was visiting the Kurt Vonnegut exhibition. If ever there was a author who stirred emotions till they find the pure unfiltered truth in your soul, it is he. Thank goodness i went after my workout as I was still sweating from the mile or so walk in the hot humid weather we are celebrating, being midwesterners in August. The drops of sweat from my brow mixed with the tears from my eyes, yes, all salt water. And then I cried till I smiled.
    I thought the touching note was from a elementary school child who sent a birthday card in November of 05:
    Mr. Vonnegut Happy Birthday
    Don’t be so Gloomy!
    And if there be a man to be watching my back from high heaven, I’d be pleasured to say it be he.
    What a marvelous, marvelous Hoosier.

  7. WAIT A SEC.
    Nancy just debunked Grumpy.
    “Passionately believe that nothing – NOTHING – can surpass the ability of film (however and wherever delivered) to capture people’s imaginations.”
    Vonnegut wrote brilliant books that NEVER worked as movies.

  8. his visuals and manuscripts and notes and newspaper clippings are even more delightful.
    but really, I think it was his grumpy old cynicism that melted when he saw or spoke to a child with childlikegrumpywonder that you can’t surpass nor give an award to.

  9. DB
    And as for Moives and cgc..
    I did one last year. It’s like Iinvented it, have you heard of it? 🙂
    you’d think I’d even get an escort and a free set of tickets to a concert at a state park…
    nah My movies must be schmaltz. not enough bacon grease, I guess.

  10. I thought the piece a little disappointing; the reaction shots had me hoping for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

  11. I’d say that you only write comments like that if you deludedly believe that advertising is anything more than a trivial part of most people’s lives.

  12. @ Johnnie Moore
    I’d say advertising is something more than trivial to the people who make it. This Grumpster simply wants to believe he joined a TV production unit, not an anything goes webula of chaos.

  13. hey david,
    I don’t know if you are a Kurt fan or not. And I know I am being a bit obsessive, but i walk past the spirit of all his writings nearly everyday.
    I gotta laugh when I read blogs now. Kurt would say
    Don’t use the semicolon, it only shows you went to college.
    I’ll add, don’t use that @ sign to speak to someone, it only shows you’ve taken on theblogging directive.
    Well, unless you are using it cartoonly to illustrate Kurt’s hair, or a list of ten other rules I could come up with , but wouldn’t dare because some might and might not take them.

  14. @ Nancy;;;;;;;
    Well, given that you’re channeling KV today, I’ll consider the collective wisdom put before me.

  15. @#*& DAVID,
    I don’t channel people. They got enough of that phoney Hocus Pocus going on in this area between junior colleges and spiritual psychologists. However, I do believe that at times the spirits interrupt my programming to bring you their public service announcements which follow me home the other day.
    (%$@#%@%#gosh durn it Michael Stipe, quit butting in)