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1. Which Ad Experience Do You Prefer? by River Clegg
- An ad with an attractive, middle-aged woman and her overweight husband. The husband displays a comical ignorance of the product being advertised and its benefits, and his wife gives him a sort of no-nonsense look. A look that says, “I realize the situation is humorous, but you need to get it together. Please. For me.” He is destroying her life.
- An ad where a famous person assures you that the product is reliable and good.
- An ad for a car where the car is doing cool maneuvers that you have neither the occasion nor the ability to duplicate.
- An ad where a trustworthy-looking man, graying at the temples, well-dressed, walks slowly toward you. You’re not sure what the product in question is yet, but for a few fleeting moments, you feel safe. Then he mentions stock portfolio management. You don’t know what that means.
- An ad where the product and its leading competitor are presented side-by-side, and they engage in a funny little dialogue that suggests consumers who purchased the inferior product are always sad.
- Where are you right now, geographically speaking? Would you rather go somewhere else? An ad telling you how to do that.
- An ad with hang gliding!
- An ad for the latest mobile device. The setting is an independent (or “indie”) rock concert, but it quickly shifts to a funky-looking art gallery, then a rooftop barbecue where some of the burgers have kale on them, then the peak of a mountain, then a laundromat, then a subway platform, then your childhood home, where you had no worries and to which you pay the occasional visit but may never truly return.
- An ad with men in their 50s and 60s fly fishing.
- An ad for orange juice that exaggerates the role orange juice plays in most people’s lives.
- An ad where it’s just text and no actors. The point being that the product is so vital that a dramatic presentation of its benefits would be unnecessary and, in a weird way, offensive.
- An ad with a laid-back, twentysomething man and his attractive but uptight girlfriend. The man is trying to enjoy the product in question with his similarly laid-back buddies. Light beer, say. But his girlfriend is PMSing because she wants to do something lame like watch a movie together, since it seems like forever since they’ve had any real alone time, and maybe this is just her being paranoid, but things don’t feel the way they used to. In three years, they will marry. He will destroy her life.
- An ad praising you for your refusal to be swayed by other, lesser ads.
- How do you look right now, physically speaking? Are you happy with everything? An ad telling you how to fix that.
- An ad that stirs a longing deep within you, one you didn’t even know was there. At first it’s a vague, almost tingling desire, but it soon becomes intoxicating. You need the ad — not so much the product being advertised, but the ad itself. You come to enjoy the ad more than the programming you intended to watch, and now you call your loved ones into the room when it plays. You deliberately seek the ad out on the Internet, and you click the “replay” icon without thinking. The ad visits you in your dreams. You worship the Ad. But the Ad is an illusion, of course, and this will not dawn on you until it is far too late. Your spouse no longer recognizes you, your children are become alien. The Ad is all there is. It’s for deodorant.
- An ad with Jeff Goldblum.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 8:01 AM
10. Official Meeting Minutes From the Last Supper by Chas Gillespie
[Originally published March 29, 2013.]
- - -
A Holy Thursday in Late March/Early April,
0033 CE, 6:46 PM
This dude Romaine
Set a course for the saving of all humanity.
Minutes are being taken by Billy McCann, Matthew’s work-study intern.
The meeting is called to order. Jesus asks Romaine who he is and what he’s doing here.
Romaine asks if this is the meeting for Creative.
Jesus sayeth upon him no. That’s tomorrow.
Romaine thanks Jesus and announces he’s going to a club called Wicker Baskets tonight. He exits the conference room.
Jesus puts forward that he wants to sit in the middle of the table, and everyone should sit facing the same way.
The motion fails 7-6. But then Andrew changes his vote because Jesus has an ominous look on his face. Everyone now sits facing the same way.
Jesus begins by predicting that Peter will deny knowing him three times before rooster crows the next morning.
Peter looks up from his BlackBerry and says, “Sorry, what?”
Jesus passes out snacks and refreshments.
Bartholomew hesitantly eats a lot.
Jesus says that the snacks and refreshments are actually his body and blood.
Judas asks how that is possible.
Andrew says it was a bad investment decision to kick the i-bankers out of the Temple. He displays a 3-D, multi-color PowerPoint histogram indicating that Jesus’s P/E ratio is distressingly low.
Jesus stands by his course because his Miracle/Cost ratio is doing amazing.
James the Less agrees with Jesus and says that Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem while riding a donkey and wearing a hoodie got him major cred with twenty-something startup CEOs.
Jesus tells Judas he’s aware Judas has been posting on anti-Christian message boards under the handle “BeleagueredBeliever69” while he should have been working.
Judas says it was actually during his lunch break. He was sent a link by a friend and didn’t know what it was until he clicked it. But now his computer won’t start.
Matthew says if Judas betrays Jesus, he’s no longer invited to use the Apostles’ skybox at Gladiator Stadium.
Judas asks for a vote; the motion passes, 10-2. Peter abstains for political reasons (anarchist, believes only in consensus).
John shares numerous Excel bar charts indicating a statistically significant correlation between the Beginning, the Word, and God; and between John (he’s talking in the third person now), the Light, the true Light, and all that was made by God.
Peter asks John if he’s been Skyping with the Gnostics again.
John tells Peter to shut his stupid fish mouth.
Andrew tells John: you mess with my brother, you mess with me.
Thomas recommends that everyone watch the Gnostics’ latest webinar because about half of it is useful.
Simon the Zealot starts surreptitiously playing Angry Birds on a stone tablet and then excuses himself because he has to go to his daughter’s piano recital.
Jesus says that everybody should transform their frustration into Focused Strategy Attention—rule three from The Winners’ Guide to Winning Everything Imaginable. He offers everyone a relaxing foot bath.
Matthew calmly announces that he likes Jesus because Jesus is nice to people even when they’re mean to each other; he asks Jesus if he wants to come to karaoke night on Saturday at Wicker Baskets. Jesus says he’ll think about it, but hopefully yes.
James the Elder recalls the meeting to order and says that spreading the good news is all about the Three L’s: Learning, Leading, and famiLy.
John gets confused about the third L; and what if people don’t have families?
James the Elder appeals to his credentials: he used to be head of marketing at Antony & Cleopatra (before the asp-induced restructuring).
Matthew says fine, but is there any way to operationalize the Three L’s, possibly by thinking outside the box?
James the Elder says yes and passes out a Creativity Schematic with many, many arrows.
Jesus concludes by telling his disciples that some might not take kindly to their ideas about love, forgiveness, and worship.
Everyone says they’re strong and don’t mind.
Jesus says they might be heckled. They might be laughed at. They might get flailed, their skin might peel off their body, and then they might be crucified upside down. They might even be called mean names.
Everyone says they’re strong and don’t mind.
Philip says wait, what was that third thing?
Someone has to betray Jesus, though it’s still somewhat up in the air at this point. TBD next meeting.
Evangelize the masses.
Next meeting, John is in charge of snacks. (Taquitos)
Friday, April 3, 2015 8:39 AM