With the new series of Mad Men hitting the screens it seems like a perfect time to dig out this gem from the archives. Made in 1966 as a Creative Circle initiative, this film brilliantly highlights the dangers of producing advertising that underestimates the intelligence of your audience and won't cut through or get noticed. I was first exposed to this as a fresh faced graduate trainee and I'm delighted to have found it after a rummage on YouTube. It certainly stands the test of the time.
It's worth a warning that the piece is over fifty minutes long but it's worth watching every second if you can spare the time.
Yes it looks dated and feels a bit like an overlong Harry Enfield sketch, but I'd go so far as saying that every client and agency person involved in the making, buying and selling of creative work should be forced to watch it.
I'm 100% sure that the world would be filled with better advertising if that was the case.
For the truly time poor, I recommend skipping first to 22:50 and watching from there. There's a brilliant passage where the classic "Man In The Hathaway Shirt" ad is presented to clients played by Jeremy Bullmore and David Bernstein. On the surface, their observations and objections to this ad all seem rational and reasonable, but when their requested changes are implemented it ends up making a right old dog's dinner of an iconic ad.
The description beneath the film merely says;
Clients and their agencies must embrace risk responsibly if they are to avoid the ultimate risk that nobody will notice what they are paid to do.
This film may be nearly fifty years old but the advice it dispenses has never been more relevant.