Everyone has a great Internet idea

1. Why I'm already dubious about Making Big Money Fast on the Internet: My cousin, Ron Base, spent years writing movie reviews for The Toronto Star. Then, he decided to write books about movies, and to get a closer look, went...

1. Why I’m already dubious about Making Big Money Fast on the Internet:

My cousin, Ron Base, spent years writing movie reviews for The Toronto Star. Then, he decided to write books about movies, and to get a closer look, went and lived in Hollywood, Calif. for the best part of a decade.

When he came back, he observed that Hollywood is a different kind of place. Because for one thing, in Hollywood, everybody is writing a screenplay. Commuters write screenplays in traffic jams on the freeways. Students write screenplays in coffee shops. Sunbathers write screenplays on the beach at Malibu. People who do not, according to any reasonable definition of the term ‘Speak English’ are walking around Hollywood with a sheaf of paper under their arms containing a second draft of their freaking screenplay.

This is the only analogy I can think of for the phenomenon we are now witnessing, worldwide, with the Internet. Let’s face it, you, I, and everybody we know are walking around with an Interesting Internet Concept under development in their heads.

In a recent Ad Age, I counted 17 pages of dot-com biz advertising, out of a total of 35 pages of advertising in the entire issue.

The rate of proliferation of dot-com companies is such that one can only equate it to a scenario where Hollywood releases a thousand new movies every week. And if the average Hollywood movie costs, oh, a hundred and fifty million dollars to make, and another 50 million to promote in the media, for even half the new movies to break even you’d need to triple the world population, put a cinema complex on every street corner, and charge a thousand bucks a piece for a ticket, right?

Somebody once said the fast-food industry’s big problem was that people didn’t know they needed six meals a day. I think the Internet’s big problem is that there are a kazillion mega-million-dollar Web sites out there that won’t ever flicker across our little monitors once ’cause none of us are going to live that long and we’re not really that interested either.

In addition to its insatiable appetite for money, the other thing the Internet eats up is time or didn’t cha know.

There was a great bit in the satirical pseudo-newspaper The Onion (www.theonion.com) recently. The Onion’s typical McNewspaper reporter-speak headline was something like Local man uses Internet to get information. It seems this guy and his wife were headed out to dinner at a new restaurant and didn’t know the address. The wife was about to pick up the phone and call the restaurant, but the guy said no no wait and went onto the Internet. It goes on Only fourteen minutes later, he had located the restaurant and pinpointed its location at the corner of Main and Elm!!!

If, in a few short years, the hubub dies down and the Internet reverts back to being a repository for obscure research papers, a way your kids send greetings to school friends who just moved back to Hong Kong, and the world’s biggest pornography store, don’t say I didn’t warn you! And hey, don’t sell those Bell stocks!

2. Why I still believe there’s hope for print advertising:

Have you seen that knockout newspaper ad for Stockhouse.ca? The entire ad is done as a lovely, steel-engraved stock certificate. Framed by the soft purple decorative border is the headline Unlike your brother-in-law we actually do know everything about stocks beneath a highly unflattering illo of said brother-in-law the know-it-all slob that he is. Then, there’s a very long but very nicely written piece of copy that invites you to get your stock info, for free, on the only stock site created for fanatics, by fanatics.

3. Why I still believe there’s hope for TV advertising, in spite of my wife.

Have you seen the very odd, very brave spot for Diet Pepsi? A beautiful, exotic young woman is a passenger in a New York-style taxi cab. One of those bulletproof glass partitions separates her from the driver, with only a small opening to pass the fare though. The driver of the cab is a raving weirdo, with spiky hair and leathers. He’s sucking a lollipop, too. The woman opens a Pepsi, takes a sip, and sees an old VW Beetle pulling away from the curb out the window. Suddenly, she hauls off and punches the driver, really hard, through the little opening. PUNCH BUGGY!!! She yells.

Cheryl is watching Ally McBeal with me when this thing goes by. What did she say? I asked. Punch Buggy! said Cheryl. But she didn’t say Punch Buggy no punch back! Don’t these people have kids? Anyway, the super comes on saying Diet Pepsi. Forever young.

Wouldn’t make me buy Pepsi muttered Cheryl. But it wouldn’t stop me, either. In our house, that’s at least a nine!

Barry Base creates advertising campaigns for a living. He creates this column for fun, and to test the unproven theory that clients who find the latter amusing may also find the former to their liking. Barry can be reached at (416) 924-5533, or faxed at (416) 960-5255, at the Toronto office of Barry Base & Partners.

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.