Base’s believe it or not

believe it or not. ...

believe it or not.

Either (a) Robert Downey Jr. is now the president of Xerox Canada. Or (b) Robert Downey Jr.’s older twin brother is the president of Xerox Canada. Or (c) David E. Kelley should consider replacing the Robert Downey Jr. character on Ally McBeal with a guy called Cameron Hyde who, if we can believe those wretched advertising people, is currently the president of Xerox Canada. Just check out the Xerox full-page newspaper headlined The last thing I want to do is sell you another copier. Come to think of it, with a defeatist attitude like that, Cameron Hyde could probably do a lot better pocketing what’s left of Robert Downey Jr.’s contract on Ally. Seriously, check this out, kids. It’s spooky!

believe it or not.

Now that Roots Air has left the building, you’ll be amazed to know that its brief up-market-aimed ad campaign clearly burgled a selling proposition lifted from my own Swissair up-market-aimed campaign of many years. Yes, meals served on china is my line, which I foolishly failed to copyright in the flush of my extreme youth. Entirely of their own making, however, was the radio spot in which a guy who’s flown Roots Air rings his wife long distance from wherever they flew him, to say he’s so relaxed after the experience that when he gets home again, they’re either going to (clearly implied) hop into the sack and make the beast with two backs or go bowling. Yes, I believe I have that correctly, go bowling. And just to twist the knife in the gaping wound, he decides they’re gonna go bowling! How prescient of Merciful Fate to conspire to save you and I from flying Roots Air sitting beside an obviously typical up market guy like Mister Get Laid or Go Bowling!

believe it or not.

The sportsmanlike folks at Speed Stick by Mennen, which I always figured was, like, an American enterprise, saw fit to run full page newspaper ads in Toronto during the Leaf series with New Jersey Devils. Under a little map of the state of New Jersey, they caused to be typeset the line Unfortunately, there are some smells even we can’t do anything about. Now if you know anyone in New Jersey, ring them and ask what the Speed Stick by Mennen ads said about Toronto in local newspapers during the series. Better still, mail them a tear sheet of the ad Mennen ran in Toronto! If you all do this, the two-faced bastards will be taken out and shot by a mob of Devils fans. Minimum, they’d never sell another Speed Stick in Noo Joisey, yes?

believe it or not.

The Alitalia campaign (I believe Alitalia is still the airline of Italy, though it’s hard to tell these days. It might now be a brand of cigarettes) showing hot guy and hot girl saying let’s get it on in Italy is so unspeakably bad they could only make it worse by saying let’s go bowling in Italy.

believe it or not.

Has anyone ever seen a Future Shop ad that looks like it was influenced by anything that has appeared in any advertising awards competition in a First World country since 1955? This stuff makes The Brick look like Holt Renfrew!

believe it or not.

The gutsy, caring people at Imperial Tobacco are running an ad that asks the hard question Do you want your kids to smoke? Wow, that’s a brain-teaser, eh? If you read to the end, it turns out they’re dead set against underage people smoking. With so much corporate boondoggling these days, finally somebody stands up for what they believe in, no matter how much it hurts!

believe it or not.

The Moore’s clothing television spots exude a quiet, confident charm that could possibly make being caught dead shopping for under-a-grand-a-pop suits acceptable, even sensible.

believe it or not.

It is only a matter of time until The Canadian Association of Printer’s Ink Manufacturers strikes The Garth Drabinsky Memorial Award for excellence in total ink coverage of any newspaper ad for any product/service category, including up-market entertainment venues, up-market newspapers and up-market Muskoka real estate developments. I’ve already penned their power line: If you got it, ink it! (Kids, that’s a derivative joke based on the Braniff airlines power line that…aw, nevermind!)

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 the Toronto office of Barry Base & Partners, (416) 924-5533; fax (416) 960-5255.