General Script posted December 7, 2017


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A rare behind-the-scenes peek at how TV ad plans are made

This Is Advertising!

by Ogden



THIS IS ADVERTISING!
Setting: Conference room in Creative Department of major NYC ad agency.

Occasion: Ad hoc brainstorming session for Geico TV commercial campaign.
Personae:  
Jim: The Geico client rep, a young man on his first assignment
Franklin: Agency Account Executive for Geico account 
Cliff: Agency Creative Director 
Stan: Senior Writer 
Sheila: Staff Writer 
Gloria: An art director 
Fred: Outspoken junior writer, invited to sit in, observe, and learn
 (Several other writers and art directors are participating, but none have dialog in this scene.)

Cliff: Ok, let's get started. Jim says the Geico big boys claim they're not getting enough bounce for the buck anymore. Sales are off, and Barlow's having kittens. We need a new approach! The pressure's on us now. But hey, I'm sure we have what it takes to nail this one! So, feel free to speak up. 
Stan: Can we kill the gecko? He's getting a little long in the tooth. 
Jim: (WORRIED) Um, Isn't that kinda radical?
Franklin: Cliff, we'd better not. We did a focus group last week, and it was was pretty unanimous that they really like the gecko... but, unfortunately,, he's always saying the same damn thing.
Fred: Yeah, Geico can save you 15%! Geez, you have to be a dumbass if you're already paying so much that a lousy 15% is a good deal. How 'bout 40 or 50%? 
Franklin:  Hold on, Fred. That's way off base. Geico's a business, you know! 50%!!
Cliff: C'mon guys, let's get creative! (Sorry, Sheila.)

Sheila: Thanks boss. But maybe they've heard 15% so much that they don't believe it anymore. Maybe we shouldn't mention it at all.
Franklin: The focus group sure didn't believe it. But the 15%'s gotta stay.  Big Barlow loves it. Right, Jim?
Jim: That's the truth. Last night at dinner, he said, "That agency better keep their hands off of my 15%!"
Cliff: Ok, case closed! Thanks, Jim. Tell your dad not to worry about 15%. Tell him we touched on it a little, but please, don't tell anything you heard us say. Except this: Fred! Say, "I love that 15%!"
Fred: I love that 15%!
Cliff: Jim, tell him you heard that
, but not that Fred said it.
Jim: All right, I'll just tell him somebody did. I hate it when my dad gets mad.
Stan: Y'know, we've gotten a lot of mileage out of the gecko's tiny size. Let's do some more of that. It's easy. Even Fred could do it.
Fred: Thanks a bunch. Can I, Stan?
Stan: No.
Sheila: The one when the big guy mistakes the gecko's little bitty suitcase for his own at the luggage pick-up, was really funny. Let's do more like that.
Cliff: Thats a good idea, Sheila....Didn't you write that one?
Sheila: Yeah.
Cliff: Do some more.
Stan: I think I'll write a couple more about the little guy taking so long to walk short distances.
Cliff: Great, Stan. You do that.
Gloria: If the focus group really liked the gecko, how about introducing his mother, and maybe a sister. I'd love to create them! And think of all the story lines we'd have, right off the bat!
Cliff: Good thinking, Gloria, but.....uh, everything is....um,,,going smoothly now, and we don't want to upset  the applecart.......and we'd have to take on another writer and art director, and we don't have the budget for that. Maybe down the road........Well,  I think this has been a productive session. Let's all take the rest of the day off. I want to see some good stuff before we knock off tomorrow.
Fred: But we didn't come up with anything new. We're in big trouble, and we're gonna stand pat?
Cliff: This is advertising, Fred! The campaign's in great shape, artistically. We won't change a thing.
Jim:: I think Dad will be pissed, Cliff. What should I tell him?
Cliff: Look, Jim, we'll get a new focus group, and show them the funniest spots we've done. They'll love 'em!  We'll be fine. Tell Dad to put that in his pipe, and smoke it.
Jim: (UNHAPPY) He doesn't smoke, but smoke will be coming out of all his orifices.   (ASIDE, AS HE EXITS) He already doesn't like you, Cliff.



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