Get ‘Em Ernie

Ernie Schenck is not impressed by Carl’s Jr., nor GoDaddy. Pointing to their “sex sells” approaches, Ernie says the tactics are, “a weak-minded crutch that lame clients like Carl’s Jr and GoDaddy and a thousand others invariably fall back on in a sad attempt to get noticed.” He goes even further in his comments section.

Ever since I’ve been in this business, there’s been creatively horrific crap that’s proven to be groinnumbingly successful, yea though it has never gotten within a whisker of a One Show pencil. Their numbers are legion. Everything from Mr. Whipple to the Aflac duck to those freakin leprechauns in the new Foxwoods spots. And, of course, GoDaddy and now Carl’s Jr and Paris.
It’s always been so and it will always be so. But this is one of those choices that I think we as advertising people have to make. If all we want to do is cater to the crudest nature of society, if we believe all we are is a reflection of that society, then by all means, Carl’s Jr is on the frequency and the rest of us are nothing more than a bunch of sniffling, whining, little Don Quixotes in black clothes.
But if you feel, on the other hand, that even the likes of us can play a part in elevating society, or at least in keeping it from sinking all the way to the bottom of the cultural food chain, then don’t we have some obligation to not give in to those crude natures?
I’ve talked in the past about Creative No Fly Zones. Places we just should not go. I know that Linda Kaplan Thaler knows what people want. So do I. And if Linda wants to give it to them, fine. But me? Not a snowball’s chance in hell.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.