What I learned from the advertising industry

First, a disclaimer: this is not a diss at anything. I say this because I have a feeling people will think this is a diss, more so if you consider the fact that I know a lot of people in the advertising industry. (Speaking of people I know, sana merong screening this Monday, Drea.) Like that stopped me from writing about government (I know people from government) and the media (I know people from the media).

Anyway, this blog entry began as a half-baked essay on Derek Ramsey.

I get it. Girls like him. A lot. My first trip to Boracay a few years back coincided with one of his visits, for a Nestlé event or something. We just arrived, and were on our way to our hotel, when we found ourselves blocked by a huge swarm of people, cameras in hand. Derek was leaving the beach and entering his hotel. I tweeted about it, and got a reply from Ale, a frenzied "you saw Derek Ramsey?" followed by a quiet "please kiss him for me."

Yeah, I can't comprehend the image of me French kissing Derek, and then me French kissing Ale to pass the whole thing on.

Anyway, the guy wasn't always on my radar. Sure, he's good-looking, he does some acting gigs, he appears on magazines and billboards and television ads, yes. But I only really understood his apparent popularity on that day in Boracay. That, and the many television ads he's taken part in lately.

My favorite is the Datu Puti one with Elizabeth Ramsey. It's an inspired piece of casting. Also, it does not feature his abs.

No, I'm not insecure about it. I know I will never have Derek's abs, not with this work ethic. (I also know Derek will not consent to my requests to kiss him, even if I say "for a friend in Manila".) But really now: his abs are everywhere! Cignal used it to prove their picture quality is better. Century Tuna used it to prove that they are a healthy choice. I can eat tuna and my gut will be transformed into six pieces of pan de sal! Awesome! At least Red Mobile showed his abs with a touch of humor.

And I haven't mentioned the standees in malls, and the billboards, all showing Derek, all showing Derek's abs, never mind that it probably has nothing to do with the product he's endorsing. Cue marketing speak. "Derek Ramsey embodies our brand values." I'm just making this up, by the way: I am not privy to these concept papers despite having friends in the industry. "He's urban and sophisticated, just like our watch." Actually, his abs are just like Justin Bieber. One sight of it and you get a psychological response, maybe a chemical response. Must. Impress. Derek. Must. Do. What. Derek. Does.

I get the need to sell a product, but sometimes you wonder whether the creative cliques in your typical ad agency are really running out of ideas. Either that, or their work is so prevalent they've become stereotypes. Want to target men? Have a female sex symbol sell the product. Sam Pinto. San Mig Light. Must. Impress. Sam. Must. Buy. What. Sam. Drinks. Yeah, we men are stupid, much like women are stupid. We all are stupid... but not that stupid, else the following advertising conventions would be true.

If you're a girl, the best hair style for you is long and straight. If you agree, you can go on Facebook and have a great hair day; otherwise, you can bugger off.

If you're having that great hair day, you have to sing it to others. If they don't feel happy, they can bugger off.

If you're a guy, you need to spray a lot of things on you to attract the ladies. But it only works if you have abs. Preferably like Derek Ramsey's.

If you're lacking the guts to ask a gorgeous, possibly 60% Filipino and 40% Australian, female stranger her name, you should brush your teeth until it smokes. While you're at it, you can also break into a theater and sing a song on stage, because everyone in the venue can smell you.

If you're not lacking the guts to ask that female then stranger (now friend) to go steady, you should do it by opening up a bag of chips and laying it on the table in a way that it'd form some words. She'll be so happy.

If you're lucky enough to get stuck in an elevator with a sexy woman, you two can definitely make out - and not panic at all.

If you're a cute, possibly 10% Filipino and 90% British, guy, you cannot lose a hot (and similarly-mixed) girl to a dark-skinned guy with a dorky smile by giving her cauliflower instead of real flowers. That makes you a loser, even if you're white.

If you're not of mixed race, then you need to learn an American accent. Foreign accents make you posh and will make you look like you exude some brand value or something. Save fiddy peezus! Peezus. Peezus. Try it out on people, and they'll definitely make fun of you.

If you're fat, there's no way you'll get thin. But what you don't have (or have too much of) in body size, you have in confidence. You're very confident you can wear a two-piece bikini in a swimming pool full of sexy people. Nonetheless, you'll look stupid.

If you're thin, you need muscles. Preferably like Derek Ramsey's.

Nope, we're not that stupid. We're not falling for that, nope. Sure, we're probably stupid enough to not know what "brand values" mean, but we're not that stupid.

And your responses...

Haha! Di naman French kiss. Mas sweet ang peck on the cheek. Plus I wanted you to do it for me, not pass the kiss to me or something.

My dad and I were talking about this last night. Naisip ko nalang na kaya sila ang nasa agency kasi alam nila yung trabaho nila. No matter how we analyze everything, sila parin mas nakakaalam and if sex sells, sex sells.

On an entirely different note: I LOVE YOU DEREK RAMSAY!

Blogger Aleigna Lin7/20/2012     

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