Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Backburner Category

The ad club from back home used to have a backburner category. That was the slot for entries that never saw the light of day for one reason or another. Read that - client didn't get it.

One of my favorites was for a barbecue place. It was shot like a Clint Eastwood Western and the restaurant's beef plates managed to distract gunmen from a showdown.

Flash to the present
I managed to create a backburner print ad this week. We have a doctor who's going to do a free forum on sinus problems.

Now, I should tell you our last free forum was about the connection between neurology and urology problems. We used a picture of a doctor's gloved hands pointing at--now old fashioned-- X-ray film of a brain. The headline was "Problems that start here may trickle down."

Ran in the paper, brought in a crowd. Didn't hear anything negative.

So, I'm thinking of clever lines and I'm making notes of things associated with sinuses and everything and I came up with -- "Do you suffer from Sinus Envy?" as the headline.

Free Sinus Forum, time date.

Jealous of those friends who don't get a runny nose when the flowers are in bloom? Come to our forum to learn about symptom relief.

The artist designed it, and I showed it around. Got some "It's cute" and "Sounds OK" remarks.

The Acid Test
Then I showed Christine who works down the hall. I really probably should have photographed the expression with my cell phone.

"You can't run that."

"Why not?"

"It's offensive to women."

"I showed it to a lot of women. They said it was cute."

"Did they know what it means?"

"I didn't, uh, get clarification on that."

My boss was at a meeting. I waited for him to get back.

"Remember the ad about the urology forum?"

"Yeah, it worked pretty well."

I held up the ad proof. "What do you think of this one?"

He came around a few seconds later when I used the ad proof to fan his face.

"You can't run that. Not here. Maybe in San Francisco."

"I showed it to a lot of people. They thought it was OK."

"Did they know what it means?"

"I'm sure they've heard of Freud."

"Yeah, why don't you go back to the drawing board? It's clever, but it's going to get us all fired."

Sometimes it does help to run an idea by other people.

Our ad will read - "Do you suffer from Nose Woes?" Rhyming dictionaries can come in handy.

But if our ad club had a backburner category. ;-)


Anonymous said...

How ironic. I personally prefer "Do you suffer from sinus envy?" I laughed out loud reading that.

But I don't take stock in Freud. I thought that the rewrite of his theory was brilliant. Sinus envy makes more sense to me.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't see why this would be offensive to women actually. Although Freud specified it in women, the concept has been discarded in psychology. Nowadays it's a joke term, used more against men than women. People shouldn't take Freud too seriously.

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