Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The ugly truth behind "that" Pepsi Ad.

As you skid, out of control, towards the gaping abyss of a flaming garbage fire you might have pause to think how did it all go so wrong? 

Without fail a raging storm of fecal matter begins with one poor decision. The trouble is, at the time, you can’t see where that first step will inevitably lead you. Like following a trail of MMs into the dripping maw of a slavering failure beast that first choice seems so sweet. 

For instance, a group of people sat around and said you know what’s cool right now? Protesting. Standing up against the man. Everyone is doing that. Counter-culture that’s what the kids love. Then they took that thinking another step further. One more MM on the trail to disaster. 

What if we use protesting to sell our soft drink? 

This is the point where someone needed to stop the train of thought because that bastard was coming off the tracks and it hadn’t even left the station. I can only assume this “idea” came from someone in a position of power surrounded by drones that could only utter variations of the words “Yes, Sir, we love it.” 

That bad idea was soon followed by a succession of dreadful mind spews that included such gems as “Kendall Jenner in a blonde wig” and “An ethnic gentleman playing a musical instrument on a rooftop” and “A woman in a hijab getting angry at a pile of photos” and “A cop accepting a Pepsi rather than spraying pepper in faceholes.”

While everyone around me was reeling back in horror at the Kendall Jenner/Pepsi/Black Lives Don’t Matter clusterbarf I couldn’t stop thinking how on earth did Pepsi ever let this happen? So I started digging, I did what any good detective does. I asked the interwebs. 

Where was the creative genius behind this “ad”? A short time later I arrived at the virtual doorway of “Creators League.” Yep they actually called themselves that. What do we you? We create, because we’re creative. Who are we? We’re a group of people. Toby get the thesaurus and look up “group” - what’s the first word? “League”? That’s it! From this moment on we shall be known as “Creators League.”

They live in a 4,000-square foot content studio in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. Whenever the hell a “content studio” is. Soon my trawl through cyberspace turned up the ugly truth about “Creators League” namely it is an agency entirely staffed by puppets. That’s right, puppets., because there’s a corporate hand jammed up right their sock slot.

In May 2016 Pepsi proudly announced the opening of “Creators League,” in the hope it will let marketers, not agencies, sit in the creative driver’s seat. Before this stroke of brilliance, if Pepsi needed to get an edit made to an online film or piece of content, it would involve sending that piece off to an agency, who then in turn would perhaps send it an editor — a process that took, on average two weeks. Nowadays it takes an hour.

Just an hour. Awesome. Not a creative person comes near it. The marketers come up with a thought, something along the lines of; “Hey did you see those Black Lives Matter marches on TV last night? We should tap that.” Then some work experience kids wired to the eyeballs on energy drinks will take out the office camera, shoot it, edit it and put it online. Job done. 

They had removed all the pesky things that stop ideas skidding towards the world like a sledge loaded with TNT and piloted by a masturbating monkey.  Those things were 1) people who would’ve actually taken the time to craft an idea and, more importantly,  2) people who say NO to a bad idea. 

There’s a lesson to be learned here and it’s an old lesson. If you go to a restaurant and order a three star meal then don’t go into the kitchen and tell the chef how to cook it. If you create your own agency and tell them what to do then you will get something that looks like an idea, smells like an idea but dear baby jebus, it will not be an idea. In fact, chances are, it will a very bad idea. Yes it’s an idea you paid half as much for and it was created overnight but will that be worth all the damage it will do to your brand?