Monday 25 January 2010

Creative Magic.

I heard from an old friend last week.
We had lost touch many years ago and he found me through Google.
Chris Sharpe is a talented creative man who played the piano beautifully. He had been the creative director at Masius, then the second largest advertising firm in London.
BacoFoil was one of the many grocery brands we handled. Advertising appeared on television in November and December, because most of the year’s sales occurred at Christmas time.
The client came to the Agency for the annual pre-campaign meeting. My bit was simple. Television was the automatic choice of medium and there was little planning involved in the days when ITV was the only commercial station available.
The star performance would be the presentation of the TV commercial.
But Chris had not done the work and since the meeting could not be postponed, he had to think fast.
At the meeting he said:

"Gentlemen, you have a great product but despite our strenuous efforts we couldn't come up with a commercial that did your brand justice. Until last night. We came up with an idea that we liked so much that we threw out our earlier efforts to concentrate on this new notion. There was no time to produce storyboards, so I will just tell you about our advertisement.
First lets start with the proposition:
Wrapping a turkey with BacoFoil reduces dehydration losses. We have tested this and discovered that a BacoFoil wrapped turkey has an extra one and a half portion than an unwrapped bird.
Now we need a catch phrase.
Your oven ready turkey isn't ready for the oven till it's wrapped in BacoFoil
Every time we mention BacoFoil, the word will shimmer out of the foil.
Now we give it pace and wrap it around a Christmas carol.
Your oven ready turkey isn't ready for the oven till it's wrapped in BacoFoil. (Imagine this and add the shimmer of the brand logo on the screen).
The camera shows a warmly lit home with the family around the table which features the Christmas turkey. Outside in a snow-covered garden, two boys are singing the BacoFoil carol.
One is tall and his friend quite small.
The end shot shows the young boys invited to join the family at Christmas dinner. The voice-over makes it clear that this generosity is possible because BacoFoil has delivered one and a half extra portions"

Chris Sharpe sat down to enthusiastic applause.

Could this happen now in our over researched world?


chris pearson said...

The name struck a chord ( no pun intended) as he did write for Royal Doulton and as a pianist myself I was envious that this guy said he had a piano in his office!

Reminds me of the Peter Groves story about a pitch to Mcvities. No slides, no discussion with agency execs beforehand, all seated at the Cafe Royal in front of client. Curtain up, solitary man on stage. Silence. Man bites biscuit and utters 'Ah McVities'. Curtain falls.

Winning pitch!


Only Don Draper can get away with it nowadays!

Christopher Fowler said...

Not only is Chris Sharpe a name from my past but yours too, Daz. I was an undisciplined young copywriter then, and Chris mentored me, teaching me to control my writing. By coincidence he also mentored my future business partner, and we went on to run a successful film agency for the next quarter century.
When I last spoke to Chris he was being cared for in a hospice, but sounded exactly the same.