Friday, July 31, 2009

No bad assignments--only bad solutions

When you work for an ad agency you quite often get assignments that are not to your liking. They come about for a variety of reasons beyond your control--- sometimes beyond anyones control. I have always tried to cope with these situations by taking the attitude that there are no bad assignments only bad solutions. And, I have found over the years
 that it is very true. If you can bring a positive attitude to every assignment the chances are you can do something better than was expected. Make a silk purse out of a sows ear... so to speak. There are always sales going on for all car accounts and today even more so than ever. It's easy to just do what is expected---show a couple of cars and some big type and get it over with. But then every once in a while maybe something different can be done. 

In this case we had Double Dividend Days to deal with. I had been in the meeting where the slogan was born. Bob Lund was the Chevy Sales Manager at the time and he was convinced that Chevrolet needed some kind of event to boost sales. The ads that had been shown were not to his liking and as he made his his comments he became more and more animated. Back then our account guys always made sure each client had the proper cigarettes, mints and chewing gum in place at their seat. Bob began talking about needing something like "Dividend Days" only better. Then he noticed his Wrigley Double Mint Gum and he stood as he nearly shouted that the event should be "Double Dividend Days!!!" Thanks Mr. Wrigley. 

You don't win awards for ads like these but you know you have done the best you can with the problem at hand. Mr. Lund and Chevy wanted some retail- like nearly full page newspaper ads that would support the new theme and work with other promotional material for the dealers. 

Bill Graefen did the copy for both ads and I put together the layouts. We were a little surprised at the good reception they received. They were very visible in the newspapers and did the kind of job Chevrolet needed at the time. The headline for the lower ad is pretty small as shown here but says---Shhhh.....don't tell your Chevrolet dealer it isn't August. Back then August was always a big car sale month to get rid of inventory and be ready for the new models.