The Day the Funny Ad Died

Planning for the Super Bowl of the Future

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Writer: "Hey what if we did a spot that had a four-leaf clover that this guy finds and then proceeds to pluck its leaves while saying, 'She loves me, she loves me not.'"

Art Director: "Nah, remember that spot that had a leprechaun who got mugged by some garden gnomes? The Society for the Preservation of Leprechaun Lore sued the advertiser for suggesting that a leprechaun was incapable of defending himself."

Writer: "Oh yeah . . ."

Art Director: " I know, let's do a spot that shows someone stepping on a piece of chewed bubble gum and . . ."

Writer: "Nope, remember that spot where someone stepped on a gummy bear and the Association for Endangered Species Portrayed in Candy boycotted stores that sold rotor tillers until they got an apology?"

Art Director: "Yeah, but they didn't sue them, they just made a stink and the advertiser pulled the spot."

Writer: "I know. Hey, let's show a bowl of oatmeal sitting on a breakfast table and the brown sugar is sitting on the counter and you cut back and forth with this romantic music playing and you just know that they are longing for each other . . ."

Art Director: "Wait. Last year that Super Bowl spot where the goldfish was winking at the gerbil in the kid's room . . ."

Writer: "Huh?"

Art Director: "You know, the Society for the Protection of Small Animals in Cages Lined With Wood Shavings got all up in arms saying that the ad suggested domesticated rodents have loose sexual morals. It was on 'Nightline.'"

Writer: "OK. So what are we going to do?"

Art Director: "I know! Let's get that guy that was on 'I Dream of Jeannie.'"

Writer: "The guy that played Major Nelson?"

Art Director: "Nah, the other guy, you know, the stupid one."

Writer: "Okay, what do we do with him?"

Art Director: "We'll have him just sitting on the bed and telling how great the bed is and how he dreams the greatest dreams. Get it?"

Writer: "Yeah, well I guess that will work."

A few days later

Writer: "Hey, did you see the email from legal?"

Art Director: "Yeah, they're worried that People for the Abolition of Inner Coil Spring Mattresses are going to take offense to the ad suggesting that an astronaut would have a better dream on a mattress than in a weightless atmosphere."

Writer: "So, what now?"

Art Director: "Hmm . . . Ooh, I know. This guy finds this four-leaf clover . . ."
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