Friday, November 4, 2011

Selling Out: My New Life As An Ad Man

I moved to New York City for one very important reason: TO SELL OUT. Don't get me wrong, living the life of a scrappy, rambunctious short story writer with $8 in his checking account was not without its charms. There were many moments of artistic fulfillment and the sort of raw exhilaration that comes from suffering hardships in order to indulge a true passion. But within that dream, there was another dream of one day spending my Saturday afternoons wandering around a Crate & Barrel looking for a fancy end table with my live-in girlfriend Natasha.

In order to accomplish this second dream, I'm going to have to make a lot more money. Natasha doesn't work, because she's imaginary. So the financial burden of this fantasy rests squarely on my shoulders.

That's why I have decided to work in advertising. Like the poet Lew Welch (who famously coined the phrase Raid Kills Bugs Dead during a stint as an ad man), I've decided to use my creative powers to make a little folding money. I have put together a quick portfolio showcasing some of my advertising work. Unfortunately, since I haven't worked for any real clients, the products below are ones that I made up. In any event, please pass this portfolio along to anyone who you think would be interested in hiring me:

Product: Seth Farm Pigeon Butter
Slogan: Seth Farm Pigeon Butter. It's the pigeon butter that's a smidgen better.

Seth is seen walking up a gentle hill. He is dressed as an Amish person. He speaks to the camera, smiling.

Seth: Here at Seth Farm, we've been striving to bring you the best pigeon butter possible since 1994. It's something we take seriously.

Seth's face becomes gravely serious. His nostrils flare. Then, suddenly, he begins smiling again.

Seth: We use only the finest pigeon milk...

Cut to shot of pigeons, also dressed like Amish people, stirring giant vats filled with pigeon milk.

Seth: ...and the butter is churned by the pigeons themselves.

Slow fade to a shot of Amish pigeons dreamily churning butter.

Seth: But don't take my word for it. The proof is in the pigeon butter.

Seth spreads pigeon butter onto a piece of toast and bites into it.

Seth: Lumpy. The way pigeon butter should be... Take it away boys!

A jug band comprised of Amish pigeons clamors up the hill next to Seth and begins playing Stars And Stripes Forever.

Voice over: Seth Farm Pigeon Butter. It's the pigeon butter that's a smidgen better.


Product: Sethtel Baby Cellphones
Slogan: God bless the child that's got a phone.

Seth is standing in front of a piano dressed in a beautiful evening gown. He is singing in the style of Billie Holiday.

Seth: Momma may have ...

Cut to a shot of a woman talking on a cellphone.

Seth's voice (over the video): Poppa may have ...

Transition to a shot of a man talking on a cellphone.

Seth's voice: But God bless the child that's got a phone...

Transition to a shot of a baby chewing on the corner of a Sethtel Baby Cellphone.

Seth's voice: That's got a phone...

Screen shows video of the man and the woman putting the baby in its crib and kissing it goodnight. They turn to leave the room. Suddenly, the woman gets a text. It says, "I love you." They look back and see that the baby has fallen asleep with his Sethtel Baby Cellphone in his hand. They smile. Video transitions back to Seth standing in front of the piano.

Seth: He just worries 'bout nothing. Because he's got a phone.

Seth winks.