03 February 2009

The 'Presidentiable' Made of Plastic

In my years in advertising, there’s one thing that I’ve learned:
You gotta be nice to people who work to make you look good – particularly people who make TV commercials for a living. They can be fiercely loyal to you (if you treat them fair) and fiercely critical (if you treat them like… eh, organic fertilizer).

Hurt them when they’re working their butts off for you... and they’ll spill the beans on how mean you really are.

Take the recent case of a presidentiable who was shooting a TV spot. The candidate spent the whole time in the holding room cussing and castigating everyone in the presidentiable’s payroll. Eventually, even the production team was at the receiving end of the non-stop tongue lashing. The presidentiable found fault in just about everything – and this resulted in an annoying scowl that the poor harassed make-up artist could not fix. And like a broken record, the presidentiable kept reminding everyone in the holding room that, “I don’t want to look like the others”.

But lo and behold… when the presidentiable stepped out of the holding room to start shooting, the scowl became one big radiant, angelic smile. Handshakes… beso-beso all around.

After the shoot, it was business as usual. The presidentiable grabbed the nearest bottle of rubbing alcohol and literally showered with the liquid while complaining of the “stench” of the extras.

After I was “briefed” about the incident, I immediately scratched that particular presidentiable from my list of candidates worth considering.

Plastic trash never really appealed to me.