Weather In the Raw

Former local anchorman Ed Dague once decried my work as “dreck.”  Truth be told I felt the same way about his stuff but I understand where he was coming from.

TV news promotion is not the highest form of art in the ad world.  Mostly it’s bombastic, cliché-ridden, and overwrought —as if you can annoy people into watching your show. Thanks to the consultants who dictate the look and feel of local TV news in America it’s the same in every market.

And woe to the producer who breaks the mold.

Back in July I did some weather ads that spoofed the tried and true genre of man on the street spots. The premise: who needs an accurate forecast more than nudists? I cast a bunch of local actors to play members of the fictional “Henry Hudson Nudist Camp” and here’s what we came up with:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This spot and two others aired for about twelve hours before they were yanked off the air.

The way it was explained to me was that “80% of our audience will get the joke and the other 20% will be offended.” In other words, 20% of the people out there are not smart enough to understand what they’re watching.

I always tried to do my job as if 100% of the viewers were smart. My bad.


12 responses to “Weather In the Raw

  1. Now That’s funny. Sorry it worked out the way it did. Good for you for appealing to the better/smarter nature in your audience. I’m offended that they’re dumbing things down. Anyway, thanks for trying.

  2. Oh, silly you!

  3. Yes, there I go again overestimating the intelligence of the audience.

  4. There are always going to be the people who use Clorox Disinfectant Spray for a “throat infection” (true story from my days on the brand).

    That does not mean we have to cater to them.

    It’s a fallacy that advertisers just want eyeballs. If the news audience can’t understand the promo, are they affluent enough to afford the payments of a car? New furniture?

    Yeah, you might get them to buy a lottery ticket. But they’d be doing that anyway.

  5. Does this post and the cryptic photo at the header herald a change in the Madeo job scene ?

  6. Yes, Curious. I’m bailing out of local TV. More later…

  7. The spots are great, Rob! Very clever!

  8. Too bad – ads like that would actually GET me to watch the local news!

    And I am not a nudist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  9. That spot is great!

    I’m impressed that you even put together a full Web site. I admit I saw the Web site way before the post and fell for it at first. Good job! Christopher Guest would be proud.

  10. I have to reiterate…this might be the best spot I’ve ever seen. Brilliant!

  11. Thanks to all… I’ve done lots of work in the last 24 years that I would never bother to show anyone, but those I like!

  12. Funny stuff! My favorite TV forecast has always been: “50% chance of partly cloudy.” And that one was serious.

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