Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whip it up and start again

They work on more than 100 ad campaigns a year, and Mothersbaugh confirms the rumours that he has inserted subliminal messages into many of the jingles.

"For about six years, I put them in every single one," he says. "If the product was something I didn't care for, I'd make the message stronger. In a candy commercial I remember putting 'sugar is bad for you'. And I'd put things like 'question authority' and 'toil is stupid', and the old Devo phrases like 'are we not men?' and 'we must repeat' into these commercials for BMW and McDonald's and Coca-Cola. I only stopped doing it because it was too easy."

Seems like a kind of passive aggressive response to he must feel in his situation as a former outsider who got inside.  It hardly seemed worth the effort, since it's clear that it had no effect - the advertisers kept hiring him, and their products kept selling.

Otherwise, good article. 

And I love the irony of his children thinking his band is copying Devo 2.0.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Telstar <>
Date: Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 6:32 AM
Subject: [Up-Tight] Whip it up and start again

"Once upon a time there was a little boy who grew up in a town that stank of
rubber. The town was called Akron, in Ohio, and during the '50s and '60s it
was the tyre capital of the world. For the first two years of school, the
little boy got into all sorts of trouble for misbehaving and not paying
attention. Then the doctors discovered the problem. The youngster could
hardly see more than 30 centimetres in front of his face. In fact, he was
legally blind.

"By the time I was in third grade I had glasses with lenses like the bottom
of Coke bottles," says the little boy, who has grown into a 58-year-old man
named Mark Mothersbaugh. "Plus I had a weird last name that even my teachers
couldn't pronounce. I started off on the wrong foot and never got it
together until college."
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