This Cellphone Ad Needs More Anxiety!

As any Mad Men fan can tell you, ads are all about creating the itch and then selling the cream to soothe it. You stoke the desire and then offer the solution. Sales ensue. But what the modern dreamweavers on Madison Ave have figured out is that the two don’t even have to be related. You could show a bunch of elephants trampling a village – an anxious event, indeed – and then “Pencils! Get 20 for $2” and you have yourself a great ad. Very Eisenstein, and for some reason, this tactic seems especially popular in cellphone ads. I remember a Verizon one where a girl had to have a llama and it was socially awkward. Inspired, I wrote up a short sketch to demonstrate:

Not Anxious Enough Cellphone Ad

BEN POPKEN

GRAPHIC: THESE DAYS, ADVERTISERS JUST HAVE TO SHOW A MILD IRRITANT AND JUXTAPOSE IT WITH THEIR SOLUTION-MAKING PRODUCT TO CREATE SALES.

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

MOM and KYLIE talking. KYLIE holds a cellphone.

KYLIE
With the new fave-5, I can talk to up to five friends for free!

Cat walks by wearing a party hat.

GRAPHIC: NOT ANXIOUS ENOUGH!

Scene resets.

KYLIE
With the new fave-5, I can talk to up to five friends for free!

MOM
Great! So call your dad where the child support checks are!

FLASHING GRAPHIC: WHOOPS! THAT’S TOO REAL!

Scene resets.

KYLIE
With the new fave-5, I can talk to up to five friends for free!

MOM
Fine, so can you ask them to at least put their shirts on?

Five hunky shirtless guys in jeans enter and drape themselves on Mom.

HUNK 1
Hey, Mrs. K.

FLASHING GRAPHIC: PERFECT!!!

BLACKOUT