I hate the Gruen Transfer! I know I’m probably alone, but I’ve been a professional marketer for 50 long years. I love what I do and I know I’ve helped companies adequately communicate the benefits and solutions of their products and service in an ethical and honest manner. I’m no prude, nor am I opposed to the humour derived from some of the clowns in our industry, they are funny and sad people. I hate the show because it suggests that we’re all a bunch of irresponsible nitwits playing around with companies’ budgets and generally treating the consumer with derision.
Sadly, our industry does a good enough job of degrading ourselves without the assistance of a not so funny comedian, and we do it internationally just to prove our broader geographic stupidity.
Internationally nominated as one of the month’s best ads, our industry has demonstrated its insensitivity to everything decent by nominating this French TVC which throws taste out of its preverbal Chateau and dumps it in a Paris unisex toilet. Creative Director, Olivier Altmann of Publis Conseil in the Eiffel Tower City has managed to do what even the tasteless agencies of the USA could not do….
…. ridicule the assassination of a President of the United States.
In his so called ‘explosive’ commercial for PMU, a French betting agency, he depicts two Dallas uniformed cops on the streets during a crowd scene in the era of the sixties. One cop, in betting against his colleague, demonstrates how he has perfected the art of gun twirling. Accidentally firing the gun at the end of a ‘twirl’ the bullet ricochets off all and sundry. Cutting back to the cops who stare in mock horror, the scene changes to a woman in a pink suit and matching hat leaning over the back of a black top down limousine helping a running bodyguard onto the back. It is unmistakably a mimic of that fateful November day in Dallas, when Jackie Kennedy is seen dragging the Secret Service guard onto the limousine while her husband, President John F Kennedy lies dying on the back seat with his brains all over the upholstery.
Do I protest too much? Have we gone a step too far? What absence of decency, what loss of graciousness, what departure from all sense of values or lack of humanity does it take, to create this piece of excreta and find a client who agrees for it to represent their organisation. I can’t answer this, but I can say this:
We are better than this. When we stoop to cheap projections like this in the name of selling a product, we debase ourselves, our clients, our agencies and worse our industry. Kennedy’s assassination was a tragedy, a travesty and a crime against humanity. Its memorial does not deserve to be tarnished by a French betting agency and the imitation of a Creative who is so lacking in talent he has leaned on a moment in history which richly deserved to prevail under a veil of dignity, rather than the cosh of a cheap, witless, obnoxious, odious, offensive, painful, repellent, repugnant, badly produced allegory.
Judge for yourself, watch it just once and make the moral judgement and if you find it acceptable then I can only rejoice in the fact that I am now relegated to the minority who still believe our industry can behave with honour while being creative, innovative and human.
See it here.