The Thirty Five Timely & Untimely Deaths Of Cumberland County

By Mason Ball

1934: a doctor struggles with belief, mortality and murder; a novel inspired by real events

Monday, 26 September 2016

On Advertising & Its Inherent Agenda...

Hey there, shed-dwellers,

Thought I'd pen a little post concerning my past life capering about in front of cameras in the employ of various corporate hawkers and salespersons.

I say 'past life' because I now no longer fit the demographic that saw me hired as some kind of poster boy for varying products and services; time was, if ever they were on the lookout for either 'slightly geeky' or simply 'strange looking' individuals I'd be duly sent forth to embarrass myself in the casting process and sometimes (though most often not) be hired to do the job (I once had to wrestle an inflatable chair in a casting, but that's another story).

Below are links to three ads I did some years ago for Nicorette gum.

Ad #1 Storm.

Ad #2 Cafe.

Ad #3 Train.

They're a pretty good adverts I think, but I learned something on the set of the first one, Storm, that's both obvious when you think about it and I think says something about the whole process and industry of advertising, not to mention its underlying... for want of a better term oiliness and, shall we say, dubious nature.

I was feeling pretty good about myself, I'd been hired, flown out to Budapest, put up in a 5 star hotel and, hell, yes I was doing an advert, but at least it was an advert for something worthwhile, Nicorette, who were stopping people smoking, who were saving people's- hell, I WAS SAVING PEOPLE'S LIVES! Then someone on set said something very interesting. They said:

"Well... Nicorette don't want you to stop smoking."

I replied: "I'm sorry, what?"

"Because, well, if you stop smoking, you don't need them anymore. No, they want you to cut down using their product, then maybe fall off the wagon, cut down, fall off the wagon, cut down, fall off the wagon etc. etc. ad nauseam..."

So no, of course, nothing in advertising is straight forward or without certain agendas...

And YES I'd do another ad should it come my way, hell, writing isn't getting me any closer to owning that yacht is it?!


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