I was just reading a book and had an epiphany. I lived in the era of the greatest ad campaign. I saw it. Lived it. Saw thousands of people believe it. Blindly. You lived it too and didn't notice. This ad campaign, though, didn't get any award whatsoever. No Clio, no Cannes... no nothing. And it wasn't made by publicists at all. But it worked. People bought it hook, line and sinker. Ok, ok. I'll tell.
The greatest ad campaign? Let me give you the unique selling proposition: Saddam is responsible for 911 and has weapons of mass destruction. The product: Bush!!! Nope, not the Anheuser kind.
Hey, you might think I'm kidding. I'm dead serious. This campaign was pure genious. Just look at how they got us believing in this idea. I can picture the whole campaign development:
First, you have to repeat the message. Get your public. Reach, reach, reach, you tell your media buyer. Well, get on any channel there can possibly be and repeat that idea until people are tired of hearing it. Bush repeated this single minded proposition any which way he could. In every speech, in every interview. Ok. Great, the channels are flooded with the info.
What else? We need characters, said the Creative Director. A good cast so that people don't get bored and change the channel. Get more people in the campaign telling the same thing. Perfect. Just open up that cabinet, Mr. President. Condoleeza Rice. Dick (great name by the way) Cheney. Donald Rumsfeld. The list can go on forever, dudes.
The last thing? Hey, every ad campaign presentation has to have a "Reasons Why" section. Um. Got it! Fear! Fear was our reason why. Can it have a face, asks one Account Executive. Sure. Take your pick: Osama or a dirty bomb.
Face it. It was perfect. And it wasn't made by any of us ad agency people. Makes us think. Are we publicists... or could we work for the government... Wagging the dog? Whoa. Food for thought.