Behind the scenes: fleecing the client for mo' money mo' budget

It's no secret that I despise the "behind the scenes" ads that seem to accompany every ad, from your run of the mill cereal shoot, to your celebrity laden fashion ad, and every single kind of ad in between. I scoffed at the idea of making ad creators as rockstars™ already back in 2001, so this is not a new snark.

I realize that with the advent of youtube, and the death of DVD (who had money on that happening?), the new generation of consumers have grown up in a different era. They were spoon fed "Americas next Top Model" and have thus peeked behind the scenes of various jobs on the so called reality shows. Maybe they're interested in how something was done? Maybe they want to be a fly on the wall in the dressing rooms. You know... for science.

I'm very interested in advertising. I'm near-obsessed about the creative work that rises to the top. I'm exactly the type of person that loves to know how something was shot, what was happening at some shoots that produced excellent looking ads, how they did this, that, and the other cool looking thing. And I couldn't care less about the interview with the creative team in their little directors chairs (sorry guys). I've even witnessed the making of a Sony Bravia ad and that was ten times more brilliant than watching the making of video.

So, what do you think the punters feel? There are some ads that beg for an explanation, because they are so amazing and cool that curiosity of how was that done takes over and the hunt for a behind the scenes begins. You want to know did they really drop a million balls down a street in San Francisco? How on earth did they knit around every item in that house? Was "Honda Cog" really done in only two takes linked by a brief second of CGI, and can we see some of the fails? Celebrity bloopers are usually funny, I want to see Samuel L Jackson monologue about something sugary sweet without a single motherfucker and his straight badass face. Anything that involves new tech, like the IBM Atom movie where the "making of" is practically a science lesson. Maybe a few short interviews with all those hipper-than-thou people who appear in sneaker ads because they're so hipster famous, nobody has ever heard of them. Sure, I can see how this would be something that a B-team at the shoot could film. I can also see how a few people might be interested. Operative word: Few. Even The epic award winner 'Nike - write the future' with its soccer celeb-laden cast and random appearance of the Simpsons only has 167,000 views.

There are behind the scenes made for everything these days. I'm surprised we don't have one for that Cheerios ad, showing how often they had to re-pile the cheerios on the dads chest for each take. Or the making of a really straight up Toyota ad . Yo, we know the actress is holding kitty. There's no magic here. Why are we bothering?

Feminine advice from bygone busty era on how to be sexy comes to mind. Never show them everything, a long skirt with a slit up the side is sexier than a mini. Leave something to the imagination, they all have dirty minds. In the same vein, leave the consumer with only the magic of the finished film. Don't show them the gaffer tape holding the back of Anna Dello Russo's jacket together, it'll ruin the cool. Like with art, the amazing happens somewhere between the finished ad, and the viewers eyeballs. Since few will watch the behind the scenes anyway, it feels like they're just an excuse to negotiate another chunk of budget that will feed the fat cat shareholders and Global Bosses who are on a yacht in Cannes sipping champagne right now - we're all too familiar with how the agency keeps wanting people to hold a boom mike or a camera for free.

TLDR; If you're getting more money, make a better commercial, not a behind-the-scenes.

AnonymousCoward's picture