Spies like us.


With the ten Russian deep-cover spies safely in the hands of the KGB (and wishing they were back waiting in the checkout line at Costco), it got me thinking what good advertising creatives they’d be.

Great creatives are natural snoops and voyeurs. They are not Joe Sixpack, but they need to create beer ads for him. They are not Soccer Moms (well, most aren’t) but they need to sell them cookies, hand sanitizer, minivans and back-to-school supplies. They are not Seniors but they need to sympathize with their aches and pains and need for financial security. Most agency creatives are urban hipsters, frat boys, geeks, emos or some other strain of boho.

So what you have are these well-educated aesthetes living undercover…listening, observing, furtively turning on Fox, scooting in and out of Wal-Mart on the DL, trying to understand regular Americans and, via the ads they make, trying to become one with them.

Every Tide commercial you ever saw, every redneck ad about huntin’, fishin’ and racin’, was an act of subterfuge, carefully concocted by people who have spied on these worlds, but who are Other.

So when the Kremlin gets done “debriefing” you, you clever moles, you may want to think about putting together your books. Anyone who can put together that convincing a facade of American strip-mall consumerism is someone who can sell anything.

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