94 years ago, liar H.K. McCann launched his NYC ad agency with the slogan "Truth Well Told." That was a big fat lie. Advertising copywriter Copyranter brings you instances of advertising lies and the lying liars who sell them.
After 15 years, it still amazes me on an almost daily basis how baldly stupid my job is. "We really like the ad, Mark, but could you make it 10% less edgy?" But there are jobs out there stupider than mine—jobs like "Certified Professional Lego Consultant."
I found out about this new vocation in, of all places, The Economist. According to Lego, consultancies are now setup in 25 countries. In these "Serious Play" workshops, business managers and such are given sets of the Danish firm's trademark colored plastic bricks and asked to build bridges and towers, but also abstract representations of corporate strategy or "the people you hate the most" in your company.
Companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Google have held Serious Play events. I recently attended a $7,000, two-day New York Lego workshop on Gawker's dime. Asked to build a character that best represented my boss, managing editor Choire Sicha, I designed Axonn, wearer of the Great Mask of Truth. Note the colossal curse-word cleaving axe in his right hand, and the powerful exclamation point laser gun in his left. [Ed. Note: Suck it!]
Lucio Margulis of Juego Serio, a consultancy in Buenos Aires, says the workshops are effective because playing with Legos produces "Eureka" moments not regulated by conscious thought. When I leave advertising, I think I may start CEO coloring book seminars.
Which brings me to the actual reason why I wrote this stupid Lego post—to show you the first ad I ever did for my first assignment in my first week at ad school. I played with some Legos for a few days, before coming up with the idea.
This was my "Eureka" advertising moment: Cute picture + word play = sold ad. If you'd like to see (and mock) the second and third ads of the campaign, here they are.
Previously: The Most Horrible Ad Ever