Jul 2018 05

It has returned. Got an email from an industry friend informing me that ‘IKEA – Start the Car!’ is back on the air. My one-hit wonder. My ‘Barbie Girl’, ‘Mambo #5’. Like Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’.

I know I should be proud and happy that a spot I wrote is still effective, brings happiness to people, and has entered the pop-culture vernacular, but it’s always strange when it comes back.

So, for anyone stopping in here because they Googled the spot (you need to get out more, but who knows), here’s a tidbit about the spot:

As the writer, no, I do not get paid residuals every time it runs. That’s not the way it works in advertising. Which is too bad, cause it has run in so many countries and those USA residuals would add up to serious ka-ching. The director, film editor, set designer, etc don’t get paid again either. But you know who does? The actors and musicians. Yes, whoever played the Glockenspiel on the music track gets paid. How cool is that?

We tried many original music tracks on that spot before we hit the right tone. Nothing was quite working great and then I had a weird thought … Could we try something in the same vein as the old Star Trek ‘Captain Kirk’ fight music theme? It seemed to have the right zany, campy, anxiety-filled energy to it and so the music house (RMW) gave it a go.

The right cast. The right performances. And the right music. It may never happen again in my career, but it’s fun to see it come back every once in awhile. Like a rash that’s oddly satisfying to scratch.

 

Nov 2017 21

I’ve been adulting hard the last week with no time for personal writing. Passport, business year-end receipts, organizing. Sounds like I’m gonna flee the country, but no. Just taking advantage of this few weeks off to get stuff done, and hopefully have time left to write. However, just talked to a friend who told me she’s on her way to a first-date, and I recalled this story from the pointless Andrew-anecdotes and thought I’d share…

About a decade ago, a woman I worked with was dating. A lot. Looking back, I have to hand it to her. She was tired of dating guys in advertising and decided to get out of her usual sphere (definition of insanity – doing same thing over and over and expecting different results). ‘Dating apps/services were just starting to branch out from ‘LavaLife’ and she was on one of them.

There were a lot of first dates. And not many seconds. She was being smart about finding someone she really clicked with.

She comes in one morning after telling me the previous night that she was off to another first date.

‘How was the date?’

‘I won’t be seeing him again.’

‘What happened?’

‘Well, we’re having a first drink and he says ‘I need to ask you a question. Just want to get it out of the way, cause there’s no point in going any further if we’re not compatible.’

Bold, I think. But respect.

‘What was it?’

‘He says ‘Are you into watersports? Cause I can’t be with someone if they aren’t.’ And I tell him ‘Well, I snowboard a lot. I guess I’m interested wake boarding or waterskiing.’

Good for her, I think, going with it. Finding a middle ground.

‘He says ‘No, I like women to pee on me. And I like to pee on them.’

I never asked my friend if she walked out or finished her drink. I just left it at that. So although unlikely, it is still within the realm of possibility that she summoned the waitstaff and ordered a large pitcher of waters for the table, but I doubt it.

Well, you’re into what you’re into. Why wait to be yourself, I guess. In this on-demand, fast-paced world, there’s no time to pretend to be someone else perhaps.

 

 

 

 

Nov 2017 08

A probably interesting-only-to-me day-by-day account of one freelance advertising copywriter’s transition back to civilian life as he takes time off, and gets back to writing other stuff as soon as he tackles a long list of domestic/life things to take care of.

So last night I was reminded that: after 6 months in ad agencies where life outlooks are liberal, language is shot from-the-hip, and there are no children present, I am not quite fit for normal, domestic-minded (AKA: vanilla), citizens yet.

What happened? Well, I was at my sister’s and in charge, solo, of waiting for my niece to arrive.  She’s 10 and was being walked home from Scouts at the nearby community centre by another kid, and said other kid’s father. Other kid’s father is apparently one of those adult helper Scouts whose titles slip my mind right now but are things like: Blue Owl, Wise Sensei, or Aged Cheddar.

Anyhow, doorbell rings – niece isn’t entrusted with house key, yet. I open the door to see my niece and her friend, both in Scouts uniforms. And…  Aged Cheddar in adult Scout garb.

ME: Hello niece!

NIECE: Hi Uncle!

Niece’s friend introduces herself. Good handshake. Nice, polite kid.

AGED CHEDDAR: Hello, I’m (AGED CHEDDAR’S NAME). Nice to meet you.

We shake. He seems like a very decent man. Kind eyes. Hint of English accent. 

ME: Thanks for walking her home. So niece, did you learn those Scout things tonight like I told you to?

NIECE: Like what?

In hindsight, I now know she was hoping I would just stop talking at this point. But I’m too me. Sorry, niece.

ME: Oh, y’know. Life skills. Like… throwing an axe. Or, how to pick a lock.

NIECE: Oh, Uncle. No, I told you. We don’t learn that stuff!

Aged Cheddar’s kid’s eyes go wide.

AGED CHEDDAR: Those… are interesting life skills you describe. Not sure where they’d need those.

ME: Oh, you just never know. Right?

Nodding. Silence. 

AGED CHEDDAR: Well, daughter. Um, don’t you have homework to do?

SPAWN OF CHEDDAR: Nah. Only a bit.

AGED CHEDDAR: It’s getting late. We should go do it.

More handshaking. More nice to meet yous. They leave. Niece and I go into the house to see if the dog and guinea pig will play together.

 

My acclimatization to this planet will be slow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 2017 07

Until I get fully free of advertising commitments (finishing up a project from home for a couple of days), I’ll just give interesting-only-to-me updates of how my transition back to civilian life is going. Then onto some real writing, hopefully.

So, I must be easing back to whatever mindset I was in back in April before returning to contract advertising work. Cause this morning on the dogwalk, I made mental notes to email my city councillor and the Mayor about the lack of SmartTrack progress, and the need for a GO Stop here at the bottom of Roncy. Also, I was outraged to find a lack of diversity in the people depicted in a piece of advertising mail I got from a Canadian Retailer. More on that one later, as I’m investigating.

Also, noticing there aren’t enough hours in the day to really get stuff done.

I have no idea how my neighbour, with 2 young kids, functions at home. Cause it’s taken me over 2 days to do a load of laundry. Respect.

Stay tuned. Sadly, no Cheetos Corn Twists for breakfast today.

Nov 2017 06

Well, after 6 months of being in the ad world, I’m taking a break. Gonna try to remember how to be a normal human and frustrated, under-performing writer. Stay tuned.

Day 1 – Eating Cheetos Corn Twists for breakfast and have gone through whole piece of leftover chicken unsuccessfully trying to teach Dog #2 how to give a paw. It is 10:15 am. It can only go up from here.

 

 

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