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Sunday, June 1, 2008

It May Be Un-PC but Is the Only Entertaining Ad on Springfield Radio We Have

A few days back, the Springfield News Leader ran a LTTE complaining about the Heritage Chrysler radio ads. For those of you who have not heard these ads (they have actually been around for about two years or more) they feature a chant that sounds like "Song of Hiawatha," the Hamms Beer jingle of the 50s ("From the land of sky blue waters"), and "Running Bear" run through a blender. The name of the car dealer is sung to a tom-tom drumbeat and flute in a mock Native American pronunciation (HAR-I-TOGGEE). The writer of the LTTE said this was un-PC and bordered on racism.

I’ll admit the first time I heard it I thought it was un-PC and a stereotype of Native Americans. However, I liked it because IT WAS NOT THE TYPICAL SPRINGFIELD RADIO AD. It was not a dry read with out background music, sound effects or any excitement. It also wasn’t the car ad featuring one heavy metal chord played over and over while announcer yells. Best of all, it was not one of those horrible jingles that seem to pollute this market like VD – the "I remember the good old days when every thing was better." BARF!

I used to produce promos for the company I work for. I quit after some complaints. They mainly came from a former co-worker, a former employee at the station, the people in the sales department and a doofus e-mailed stuff like this "Tak dat promo off. Me no like it. Mike ______" (He changed his name ever time but kept Mike). I got in trouble for making a promo where a one of the talk show host blew up a caller to one of the talk shows. I got in trouble for imitating Jim Rome and poking fun at one of the host for saying he didn’t like Jim Rome. I got in trouble for making fun of another station’s promo using a snippet of Stan Freburg’s "Point of Order." I made a promo that never made it to the air. It was a parody of 2001: Space Odyssey and it was nixed it had monkey sound effects in it ("Screaming monkeys might upset listeners" I was told).

On the other hand, I had listeners who recognized my voice from these promos and gave me complements saying they enjoyed my work.

Like I said, I agreed that the Heritage Chrysler ad is un-PC, but it falls into a gray area Political Correctness. This ad seems to evoke the romanticized Native American of Longfellow, James Fennimore Cooper and the "Keep America Beautiful" ads of the 70s (pic above). It doesn’t seem to show a negative John Ford "bloody savage" image or stupid image from F-Troop, but still un-PC is un-PC.

My problem is CAN WE NOT BE MORE CREATIVE WITH RADIO ADS! I used to remember some great stuff being produced around here. We need to produce ads that look toward the future and not back at the good old days. No more ads that sound like the radio equivalent of a Penny Power ad. Use monkeys, sirens and explosions, funny jingles and humor but MAKE ADS THAT ARE ENTERTAINING!

Of course, an opinion, like this one, is why I'm considered the Super-Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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