Thursday, July 8, 2004

A Milk Carton in My Magazine

Answer: In the mailbox. Question:  Where do you expect to find your next carton of milk?

The other day Mrs. Linklater was trying to catch up on her reading.  She was perusing one of her 2473 back issues of The New Yorker when she found a milk carton.

There it was, glued to the middle of the magazine like a perfume sample or a subscription card.

That is correct.  There is nothing wrong with your computer. 

A  M-I-L-K  C-A-R-T-O-N in her magazine.

Like a fly in her soup.

So she did what any one of us might have done, given the circumstances -- she said "What the [expletive of your choice] is a milk carton doing in my magazine?"

First, she peeled the flattened cardboard out of her periodical.

Then she took pictures of it.

You know how you always hope you'll have a camera around if a UFO ever decides to hover over your back yard?  So you can prove it was there?

Well, ha! Mrs. Linklater did have her camera around for that very purpose. So she took a slew of photos to prove that she's not just some wacko woman who's making this milk carton in her magazine stuff up.  Well, she might be wacko, but she's not making this up.

[Yes, that is an actual photo of the milk carton up there.]

Here is what she observed:  It has four sides like a real milk carton.  Three sides say: "MILK, Oxford Road Farms, homogenized, pasteurized whole milk, quart (946 ml)."

But there is a fourth side. And therein lies the tale.

The fourth side has the following cryptic message:

"Let's run out of milk.  Let's run out of bread.  Let's run out of t.p. Let's run out of anything so we can run out to the cornerand back. Let's just never run out of gas.  LET'S MOTOR."

This message was followed by these directions:

1. Assemble prop carton

2. Rotate and shake convincingly [Get it? Like it's an empty milk carton! -- Mrs. L]

3. Motor

Followed by this:

"Motoring rejuvenates tired weary bones, and promotes bright healthy smiles.  Get your daily allowance of adrenaline by popping over to MINIUSA.COM."

[Popping over? There is a distinctly British smell to all this.]

Followed by a picture of a Mini Cooper. [Oh, no, it IS British!]

Remember all this stuff is on a milk carton. In a magazine. On purpose.

Now Mrs. Linklater has hung around advertising for a good long time. That's how she makes a big chunk of the money she uses to buy her prescription drugs.

Over the years, she has written some good things and some bad things. 

But usually the really bad things can't get out the door. The stupid idea police are usually there to stop her. With a bullet if necessary.

Unfortunately, the British cops don't have guns. 

Somehow somebody let this milk carton get out the door, down the road, across the pond, and Mrs. Linklater was left to find it taking up as much space as Jabba the Hut in her magazine.  

Mrs. Linklater knows that she is the ONLY person who thinks that advertising the MiniCooper in the New Yorker with a milk carton was a truly insane idea.

And she doesn't mean insane in a good way.

She knows there will be a huge PR campaign to go with this milk carton idea.  And there will be plenty of awards for the creative team.

Americans think the British are funnier than we are. The stupider the jokes, the funnier we think they are.

Benny Hill comes to mind.

She also knows she is the only marketing type person in the world who is wondering what the cost of printing that dumb milk carton and paying to stick it in a national magazine might have been.

And how many hungry children that obscene amount of money could have fed instead.









lamove04 said...

Unfortunately, the Stupid Idea Police are not patrolling every Ad Agency and Marketing firm in the US/World.  That would explain 3/4 of the advertising out there... Albert

somenuttychic said...

Mrs. Linklater, you've made me smile. Again. :-)