Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ad Writer's first project: Toilet Paper

Fresh out of college, Stan McCormick, 32, landed a job at an ad agency. The first project he got was the dreaded toilet paper account. The client is a long time toilet paper maker. Ads have evolved from the old days of squeezing to strong and other properties. What am I going to do with this?

First he had to watch a dozen of the old commercials. The main decision is whether to use cartoon bears or people in the ad. That all depends on the grand concept he comes up with. The concepts involve getting "clean", "underwear" , "strong", not clogging up the sewer pipe.

The strong one is the easiest to copy and spin into a new theme. Have they used Rapunzel yet? You know, the guy climbs up to her window on a rope made of toilet paper. Seems a bit complicated.  And will it use animation? Animation can be tricky as they need outside help. Live action is just talking to a director and being on the set a few minutes each day and looking at finished takes.

He thought they could use the strong theme, with the wet paper and a banana on it. "Too sexual", said Jane, his boss. A lemon? "We never use lemons, makes the product a kind of lemon as well."

Stan was left in the company machine shop at the end of the day, looking for heavy things to place on the toilet paper. Why couldn't they just give him the paper towel account instead?

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