Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bring on the revolution

If there's one thing that bugs me, it's lazy creative people who borrow interest from a well known song rather than have an original idea of their own.

There have been literally thousands of examples over the years. The worst of which, I think, was the tyre ad featuring Venus In Furs by the Velvet Underground.

Things hit an all time low for me on the weekend however, when I saw the banner ad above in the Ad Age email newsletter.

As I've said so many times before - who the hell approves this shit!?

Somehow I really don't think Gil Scott Heron had the Ad Age March On Digital conference in mind when he wrote The Revolution Will Not Be Televised way back in the early seventies.

In fact, borrowing interest from Gil's rallying cry to the disenfranchised of America, is quite probably one of the dumbest and most cynical advertising 'ideas' I have ever seen.

Here's a couple of lyric grabs from Gil's masterpiece:

"You will not be able to stay home, brother.

You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.

You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip out for beer during commercials,

Because the revolution will not be televised."

That's hardly the sort of thinking you'd associate with a digital advertising conference, now is it?

Here's a few more words from Gil:

"The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.

You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.

The revolution will not go better with Coke.

The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.

The revolution will put you in the driver's seat."

I see the creators of the March On Digital banner at least credited Gil Scott Heron in their ad.

They also listed as 'unknown' the person behind the quote But It Will Be Digitised.

Could that be because they're too embarrassed to take credit for what I believe is one of the most pathetic attemps at advertising I have ever seen?

Here's The Revolution being televised courtesy of YouTube.