Figure depicting an ad for smartfood, where a man is holding two babies in his arms. The baby on the right imagines a packet of smartfood and the baby on the left imagines bosom. The ad headline reads “You can't get it off your mind. Totally natural SMARTFOOD. Air-popped popcorn smothered in white cheddar cheese.”

Figure 7.1 A wonderful early example of stupid. And it was for Smartfood. You have to love that.

7Stupid, Rong, Naughty, and ViralGetting Noticed, Getting Talked About

Okay, two questions. First question. If I told you an extremely funny commercial was playing on a TV in a hotel just outside of town, would you drive out to see it?

Me neither.

Okay, second question, this one from P. J. Pereira, of Pereira & O'Dell: “What if we came up with an idea so cool people would actually seek it out and watch it on-demand?”

This is the whole premise of idea-as-press-release.

What is the “Press Release” of Your Idea?

Idea-as-press-release turned advertising on its head. Up to that point, the model for advertising had been interruption. (You're watching something interesting on TV and then the advertiser interrupts the interesting thing and forces you to watch something that's not interesting.) Then one day, somebody said, “Hey, what if we stopped trying to interrupt the interesting thing and became the interesting thing?” P. J. Pereira continued with:

When I started in advertising I was taught to ask if my ideas were big. Today, I'd rather ask if they are interesting enough to be worth experiencing on-demand—not only as on-demand TV, but any form of user-initiated media consumption…. The good news is people don't mind being advertised to, as long as the ads are interesting.1

A cardinal ...

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