Monday, July 26, 2010

Good Spot / Bad Spot

Good spot:  The "Double Radio" ads.  Very well done.  They just miss brilliance because after a pitch-perfect beginning, the impersonation gets too rushed and too frantic, loses the ambience of the original.  But still one of the better station promo spots.

Bad spot:  The "satellite boys" parody ad.  As with the "The Ticket Was My Idea" ads, discusssed in this recent article, the writer didn't even bother to change the punch line (babies driving vehicles, horses wearing people clothes, etc.).  And where did George, usually a great mimic, come up with that horrid accent?  (They should have used the guy who does the intro/outro to Junior's Scattershooting segment.  I should know who that is, they were talking about it on the show one day -- Jeremy?  Fernando?)   I thought George claimed to be a Texan. 

Part of the problem here is that the original ad is itself almost unbelievably stupid.  Where a cable company gets its signal is of absolutely zero importance to the consumer.  If that's what the sponsor (as I sit here writing I have actually forgotten whose ads those are) thinks is its strong point, it must not have much going for it.  The Ticket parody, however, isn't a bad concept, since the main point -- that The Ticket's competitors get a lot of their content from satellite feeds from the hated East Coast -- is a good one.   They could have had a lot of fun with the "what's next?" part of the ad, but once again the station took a pass on creativity.


Douglas Sutherland said...

Dearest Plainsman,
I must respectively take exception with this post. First, it really bothers me how the “Double Radio” spot alternates between the actual Double Rainbow guy, the used voice talent who slightly messes up the lines, and the Gregory Brothers auto-tuned version of the original video. The voice talent could have done a better job sounding more like the Double Rainbow guy and less like a fake Canadian.
I agree that the “Satellite Boys” spot reflects laziness on the part of Promotions, because those lines that are the same in the actual spot could have been altered to further take passive-aggressive shots at The Ticket’s “competitors.”  But I feel like the whole reason they did that is because of The Musers’ obsession with the way the original ad says “Satellite Boys.” Also yeah, you can obviously tell that George and Gordo are voicing those characters, but they do sound a lot like the original characters in the spot. Jeremy (yeah he’s the scatter shooting voice), though he can sound like a Texan, doesn’t have the range to sound like THAT kind of Texan. You could also argue that over half of the shows on other networks have been here just as long (if not longer) as say, Bob and Dan. Ben and Skin, Galloway and Co, Jagger, Greggo and Richie, and Newy are all examples. They aren’t nearly as good of shows obviously, but it’s not because they just moved down here. It’s just another example of promotions taking a Ticket inside joke and trying (failing) to make a compelling spot out of it.
I tend to have the belief of Corby when he said a long time ago that you know a bit is officially dead when Promotions makes a spot out of it. They just generally tend to miss ever so slightly, thus ruining it. It’s like your parents acting out a scene from one of your favorite movies and getting the lines wrong.
I agree with you in one respect though: the “I’m a P1” spots are terrible.
I love The Ticket with all my heart, just not the spots.

The Plainsman said...

Distinguished Douglas: Your respectful disagreement is gratefully noted. I don't think we're too far apart. The Ticket gets no revenue from these spots; if anything, they're occupying time that could be profitably sold to sponsors. So I don't hold them to extremely high standards. I only ask that if they're going to do parodies, they should . . . parodize, stick a gag or two in there, not just copy the parodied spot. I don't disagree with your take on the "Double Radio" spot, I just think your standards are higher.

Aha, I see that you are indeed a professional copy writer. Well, The Little One should give you a call.

In commenting on these spots at all, I know I'm skating dangerously close to "Plainsman, you really need to get a life" reactions.

Jeremy said...

I'm amused by the comment that I *can* sound like a Texan since I've lived here all my life. :). Guess I need to work on getting my accent back.

And to confirm, yes, that is me doing the failed Scattershooting intro voice.


Anonymous said...

"And where did George, usually a great mimic, come up with that horrid accent?"

He was making fun of the horrible fake accent in the original. How did you NOT get that?

"Part of the problem here is that the original ad is itself almost unbelievably stupid."

That's why they're making fun of it, and subsequently, didn't change the punch lines.

You don't really get parody, do you?

P.S. Most stations let the lowest guys on the promo totem pole write their spots. You don't really get much talent in there for what stations pay.

The Plainsman said...

Thanks for checking in, Anon, but I ain't buying. It may be the intent to "make fun" of the ad, but you don't do that by repeating its punch lines.

However, I do agree about George. After I posted that article, I heard the spot again and understood that George was, indeed, camping it up as you have pointed out.

Actually, I do get parody. I get it good. I have written and performed parodies for years (print and performance) and I had around twenty of them on a top-rated top metro morning drive show (not this market). I understand that The Ticket isn't trying to win Pulitzers with this stuff (and I admit that in the long run, the spots are not worth a lot of comment), but I'd like to see a little comedic effort from a top-rated, highly-profitable station.