Monday, September 25, 2006

All That Glitters

I have always thought that advertising would be a fun career to pursue. I think that it was this attitude that deterred me from the field; there are few things more depressing than finding out that something you always thought would be fantastic and glorious is, in reality, dull. So rather than be disappointed, I veered off on a different path of life and am able to still revel in the imagined romance and excitement of advertising.

Advertising is a real art. There are commercial jingles from my childhood that I still hum, and quite often sing at the top of my lungs, all the time. The chewing gum commercials were always the best, in my opinion:

Double double your refreshment!
Double double your enjo-o-oyment!
Oh, no single gum's gonna freshen tonight-
Double mint double mint gum!

Juicy fruit, it's gonna move ya,
Hit the spot and get right to ya!
Juicy fruit, the taste the taste the taste is gonna mo-ove ya!

I have a very distinct memory of listening to the Mattress Discounters jingle in the car on the way to kindergarten one day. "Have a good night's sleep on us, Mattress Discounters!" The beginning of the jingle was a litany of the uses for their better-than-the-rest mattresses. I remember, as young as I was, parodying it to my own endless glee: "Jump on it, sleep on it, drink on it, eat on it, swim on it, fly on it..." I thought I was the funniest person in the world and my dearly devoted imaginary friend agreed, so what more did I need?

Actually, that is still making me giggle. I crack myself up!

I had one very memorable bill-board experience. Kool cigarettes* ran a campaign in the mid to late 90s where they altered the spellings of some common words to attain a swanky ,cutting edge slogan. One example was "B kool." Get it? They spelled "kool" with a K, just like the brand name! They were so darn clever back then! I'm surprised I didn't pick up a pack and start puffing away that moment. Another equally witty slogan was "Nu look" (instead of "new look," I guess). Yes, yes, very witty and droll and blah blah blah. Except that the first time I saw the bill-board, with the obligatory skinny girls and sexy guys, was in a rear view mirror. The words were on two different lines, so instead of "Nu look" it read "uN kool". (Get it? They spelled "kool with a K, just like the brand name!) The memory is fuzzy, but I assure you that if I was drinking anything at the time, I snarfed it. How on earth did the execs let that one slip by!? I think someone in their ad department had a vendetta against the dangers of smoking and wanted to get their message out to the world. Maybe it was a mole from truth (though I'm not sure they existed back then).

But the best advertising I have ever seen in my whole life is a small, hand-lettered sign somewhere on a back road in a small Pennsylvania town. I stumble across it occasionally, but I couldn't tell you where it is. It's message is simple:

Trailer full of sparkles just ahead

How marvelous! No graphics, no slogans, not mascot, no colors even. It leaves so much to the imagination! How big of a trailer? What size sparkles? Is it like the confetti my aunt insists on putting in every single birthday card? Do the shimmer with their own iridescence? Is the trailer on the left or the right? The kicker is that every time I've driven past the sign, I have been so lost in my own musings as to what it could possibly mean, I never remember to look for the trailer! I am left with a mental image of a tractor trailer overflowing with multi-colored specks of glitter, more glitter than you could ever fathom. We're talking a mole of glitter, here. If that's not a trailer full of sparkles, I don't know what is.

It's kind of a metaphor for life. You can be driving along a bland, run-of-the-mill road, longing for some excitement, when you suddenly realize the next bend could lead to a trailer full of sparkles! It gives life more zest when you have that to look forward to. And you can imagine your very own trailer full of sparkles and it will always be just ahead, something to look forward to, to get you through the dull drive. There's always a trailer full of sparkles just ahead.

*I was going to link to the Kool website, just to give people something to reference, but when I saw that the URL was "smokerswelcome" I couldn't bring myself to do it. I just couldn't give them that kind of endorsement. You can google it if your curious.

1 comment:

librarian pirate said...

I figured SOMEONE would have stopped at the trailer full of sparkles, but the only reference I could find to it was
which really is just that - a reference ... not a mention of what it actually is. I WANT PICTURES, darn it!