Pot calling the kettle hack

Posted on November 21st, 2005

I am soooo the wrong guy to rail against shock tactics. We once pitched a beer campaign that revolved around a group of twentysomething friends – one of whom just happened to be a face-eating robot. Every spot basically climaxed like this:

KILLBOT: Killbot not know true meaning of friendship… until now. Video: They hug. Then Killbot's bear-trap head rotates sideways with a whirrrrrr and slams shut on Steve's face.

Half my hard drive is scripts just like that. Out of nowhere, WTF-style stuff, because that's how my sense of humour works. It's beer, it's humour and nobody gets hurt. Except Steve. Steve gets hurt pretty badly. But even I have a line.

Using a dying AIDS patient to sell clothing. Fashion models brandishing skinned animal carcasses. An infant with a cockroach crawling out of its mouth.

You know exactly the ads I'm talking about, even if you don't work in advertising. They're just that memorable. Here's the scientific reason why.

The horror movie cliché of the cat jumping out of the closet with a screech of violin strings? That works too. Directors still use it, because it still makes you jump. But nobody respects it, because it's a cheap trick and the hallmark of a lazy filmmaker.

You know what would really shock me? A beer ad with no T&A. A sportswear ad that actually talks about sportswear. But I'd settle for a PETA ad that didn't try to rip off my eyelids and rape my skull.

Patrick Collister said “You can come to a party with your dick hanging out. Everyone will remember you, but will they invite you again?” Well, I suppose that depends on the kind of party. But you are officially off the guest list for my little girl's birthday.

- Graham

Cast your vote for shock or talk at graham@wordsandpicturesonline.com

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