Happy SuperBrand! by stegaliu
February 1, 2009, 9:54 am
Filed under: Misc, Rants, work

Hope everyone out there is planning on spending some time with family, friends, and fried food today as we gather to pay homage to our modern day gladiators– the titans of advertising.  The true contest happens between clients and agencies vying for exposure.  They usually try to promote a new and utterly useless product or service, “re-brand” one that is failing (industry parlance for trying to make something cool again by switching up the logo, spokespeople, ad agency, etc), or tout the product’s dominance in the market by praising the brand’s iconic nature.  Anheuser-Buscher will pay about $27 million for 4.5 minutes of coverage throughout the game (4th quarter discounts aren’t that big), and are promising a show stopping spot to reinforce their Budwieser brand with double the usual amount of clydesdales.  Double!  Oh my!

With all of this verbiage about “brands” being tossed around, are you beginning to understand how advertisers see the public?  Do you have a minimalist, 2-D Apple currently caulderizering on your ass?  Or is it an abstract set of Windows panes?  The answers say a lot about you as a person (oh you didn’t know?) and whether you are more likely to drink industrial or craft beer, buy a frozen TV dinner, or save 15% on your car insurance.  In such desperate times, this is important stuff!

Before I go totally crazy on this thread, here’s the reason I’m writing it:  For the second year in a row a spot that I worked on has made it to the Super Bowl.  Last year it was this Gatorade G2 spot with Derek Jeter.

Now I’m not a director or producer, so I don’t make any more money or gain anymore clout because one of my jobs was a Super Bowl spot.  In the “Footsteps” spot, at around 00:07, I’m standing just to the right of camera freezing my ass off and blocking pedestrian traffic.  Glamorous.

This year the job I did was a little cooler.  First of all they shot inside on a green sweep stage, so hypothermia wasn’t an issue.  Second, they brought in a company called 3ality to shoot the spot in 3-D.  Now they’ve been running commercials for the commercial, encouraging people to go out and get their 3-D glasses before the big game.  There’s a 3-D sequal to Monsters, Inc. being promoted at the end of the first quarter (I believe), and the spot I worked on for SoBe LifeWater is being tied in to all of that.  There are also a number of Hollywood pictures in the works that are being screened in 3-D.  It’s the only frontier territory left in an industry now dominated by computer effects.  Many are touting 3-D as the medium of the future.  Anyway, here’s the making-of.  The spot was directed by Peter Arnell.  He sucks, but I’ll get to that later.  Here is the “making of”…

A list of stores where you can find free 3-D glasses is here.

Don’t be fooled by those shots in the making-of where the svelt director is hopping up on the players and acting all nice and friendly with them.  He used to weigh 300 lbs or more.  And continues to be a giant ass.  Giant enough that Gawker put him on the list of All-Time Worst Bosses in New York City.  That article is the first hit when you Google Arnell’s name.  He’s that bad.  Here’s an excerpt from the comment thread.

“I used to work for Peter Arnell in his fat Arnell/Bickford days. What a horror. He told one of his account managers she should have been aborted and went through more assistants than I go through maxi pads in a bad month. He regularly made people cry. Not me though. The worst thing he did was call me a bitch and I just smiled at him and said ‘I’m glad you know.'”

So enjoy the Super Bowl.  But remember.  Your attendance in front of the television allows people like this exist.  Is it a necessary evil? Maybe.  Hopefully when the economy continues to go down the tubes and no one can afford to secure the services of a “branding guru” anymore, we’ll realize what really matters.  Hopefully.


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Now I’m really torn. Do I watch the Superbowl to see the outcome of your work on the commercial, thereby supporting this societal degradation or do I boycott (since I don’t EVER watch football) and make a statement against rabid materialism and commerce goneamuk? I have 2 hours to contemplate.

Comment by Helen

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