Inside The Concepting For The E-Trade Ads That Ruffled Lindsay Lohan

With rare exceptions, such as Randall Rothenberg’s excellent “Where The Suckers Moon,” journalists and reporters rarely get a glimpse inside an agency’s concepting sessions.
But Esquire got an inside look, for Grey’s E-Trade campaign that is now the target of a lawsuit by Lindsay Lohan.
The article gives some insight into the concepting process and the changes made along the way. There’s one interesting sticking point, now that Lohan is looking to sue: Apparently, the girl was originally called “Deborah” but somewhere along the line it got changed to “Lindsay.” Here’s an intriguing bit from the article’s author, Joshua David Stein:

Well I was on-hand for the totality of the commercial’s creation, and documents and interview notes show that while E-Trade had been consulted on Grey’s changing the disputed character’s name to Lindsay, the celebrity parallel was dismissed early on. In December, I asked Grey’s chief creative officer, Tor Myrhen, whether “Lindsay” was a reference to Lohan. “Not at all. I don’t think we even thought of it at the time,” he told me. “Every aspect of that commercial was discussed in endless meetings with E-Trade. But we decided to keep it.” (An E-Trade spokesperson, Allison Jeannotte, declined to comment this afternoon, saying that the company was reviewing the case.)

Stein also talks about the changes that were made to how the girl is described. The agency ultimately settled on “milk-a-holic” but script notes show other names being considered.
Check out the article in its entirety. Very interesting stuff.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.