THESE GUTS ARE TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING:

They're members of our most visible industry but we still persist in calling them "hidden persuaders." So what's the advertising profession really like? For the answer, take a look inside the nation's biggest advertising agency. A corporate profile

JACK BATTEN April 1 1967

THESE GUTS ARE TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING:

They're members of our most visible industry but we still persist in calling them "hidden persuaders." So what's the advertising profession really like? For the answer, take a look inside the nation's biggest advertising agency. A corporate profile

JACK BATTEN April 1 1967

THESE GUTS ARE TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING:

They're members of our most visible industry but we still persist in calling them "hidden persuaders." So what's the advertising profession really like? For the answer, take a look inside the nation's biggest advertising agency. A corporate profile

JACK BATTEN

OH LORD, these rubes! What’s George Sinclair supposed to say to them? Here’s George, a suave, buttoned-in guy, class stamped right on his forehead, the president of MacLaren Advertising Co., Limited, biggest ad agency in Canada, out in front of number two by an easy $10 million worth of billings. Sharp, successful George, and here he is gracing a chair in one of these Ottawa committee rooms, sitting across from a line of senators and MPs propped up behind a table over there: The Special Joint Committee Of The Senate And House Of Commons On Consumer Credit. And now — oh Lord — this Warren Allmand, MP, starts grilling and he doesn't understand!

The thing is, George didn’t even have to be there. It was mostly his idea in the first place to come down with his fellow ad guys from the Institute of Canadian Advertising and talk to the committee.

Well, he'd thought a couple of months earlier, we've taken it from all these Vance Packards for years, all these intellectuals who don't understand about the ad game. So let's just once do something for the old image. We'll go to Ottawa and it'll be decorous, you see, and gentlemanly and nice atmosphere and these people will listen and get the message about what ad guys arc really like and we'll straighten out some of their little misconceptions. Okay? Right. So what's happening now? Young Allmand is happening—W. Warren Allmand, 34, Liberal, lawyer, Notre-Dame-de-Grâcc—coming on like the great, angry, giant, cliche, anti-ad voice of everyone who doesn't comprehend.

“ 'Whiter than white,’ ” Allmand smirks. “ 'Things go better with Coke.’ And, 'You meet the nicest people on a Honda.’ How do you prove these things are true? How do you explain that something nice happens every time you drink Salada tea?”

George keeps his constant cool. So easy to be exasperated . . . but he’s used to these beside-the-point cracks . . . so . . . "F:irst of all, we are not here before you to defend vulgarity. I happen not to think the examples you have chosen are vulgarity but ... we have no suggestion here to you that every advertisement”—cautiously for this Allmand—"has been utterly free of some questionable taste in some people’s eyes, and a ...”

Come clean, Sinclair! Allmand butts in: "I AM ASKING IF IT IS TRUE.”

A senator: “Let him answer.”

Allmand: “I want to know if the claim is true.”

Well. George Sinclair wants people like Allmand to understand how the ad business is different now. how we've changed, and George knows that a lot of silly nit-picking over some clever ad guy’s clever line is a waste of time really, but—what the hell. So he stays deadpan and he says, straight:

"I don’t happen to have anything to do with Salada tea, but”— nodding mock-wisely—“I’m entirely happy to agree that something nice happens when you drink it.” And that night, heading back to Toronto, he’s thinking that maybe after all these years of sitting around feeling defensive about the damn business, actually suffering, but silently, maybe we’ll show them yet. Maybe, maybe we’ll answer back.

THAT WAS on December 13, 1966, and two months later in the halls of MacLaren's five floors—11th. 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th—at 111 Richmond Street West in Toronto, the windows of the front offices zeroing out on Viljo Rcvell’s City Hall and Henry Moore’s Archer, there arc 400 ad people ready to tell you that, definitely, George Sinclair is so right. The advertising business is an okay, stylish, tough and, yeah, creative way to make a living. Forget about the thrccBloody-Marys-for-lunch stuff, they say. Forget about The Hucksters and Sydney Greenstreet spitting on the conference table for the greater edification of the agency men. Just forget all the condescending intellectual-critical nonsense, like James Agee’s line, writing in a letter to Father Flye: “The general verdict is that I can do a lot if I don’t give up and write advertisements.”

The ad business has changed. Up there on the 15th, the executive floor, Peter Webb, MacLaren's account management chief, talks about the New Think for his contact men — these are the account executives who chivvy along MacLaren’s clients. “If my contact guy is a pistol.” he says, leaning over the desk, riveting you with a pair of Indian-scout’s eyes, “and he’s up against a round-earth company” — he means a company that’s got sophisticated management — “he can get his hand close to its throttle. He can make it go. It's beautiful stuff.”

And along the corridor, here’s George

/ continued overleaf

Elliott. MacLaren’s political man — he handles the Liberal Party, nothing less — and a writer who had a queer, dark collection of stories called 7he Kissing Man And Other Stories published by Macmillan in 1962: “No, no, no. Advertising isn t all Vance Packard and three martinis. No, it's sort of grey at the temples and a quiet life in the suburbs.”

“Four or five years ago, you could sell out in this business. Not now.” This is Allan Fleming, head of the creative department on the 14th floor. “Now you’ve got to do a fantastically high-quality job — by anybody’s standards. A TV guy around our shop comes to a commercial with something like John Updike’s fascination with the short story. Lie's got these 58Vi seconds to make his statement and persuade the people he’s right. Not everybody can do it, of course. Nine people in the business are great, you know, and the rest just use the dialogue and wear a decent suit, which is still enough to con a lot of people.”

Barry Harris, one of Fleming's TV producers: “A lot of creative people who could be doing the job for the CBC are working for MacLaren. Actually, if it wasn't for the ad business, the talent drain out of this country would accelerate incredibly.”

IF YOU LISTEN to Marty Myers and his MacLaren group, the key moment in recent advertising history occurred a few years ago when a New York agency named Doyle Dane Bernbach designed an ad for Volkswagen that simply showed a nice big photo of a Volks and under it, in nice big print, one word: LEMON. (“This Volkswagen missed the boat,” the small copy went on. “The chrome strip on the glove compartment is blemished . . . preoccupation with detail means the VW lasts longer . . . ”) Oh revelation! Someone had at last substituted simple wit for corn in advertising. Doyle Dane also proved that Avis tries harder because it's number two, and asked what idiot changed the Chivas Regal bottle, and generally advocated that Advertising Is An Art — or at least a subtle, witty, intuitive kind of craft.

This fresh thought had about the same impact on a lot of frus-

trated agency copywriters that I hclonious Monk’s cliche-free piano playing had on a lot of jazz musicians. It was liberating — at least it struck Marty Myers, for one, that way. He’s a tall, big-nosed, rabbinical-looking man with a black beard and a lot of chutzpah, and he’s the head of one of the seven creative groups that operate within MacLaren's creative department. Each group contains a couple of copywriters, an artist or two, a broadcast producer, maybe an apprentice writer, and each group works on its own accounts in its own style. Myers’ group is, for MacLaren, the Doyle Dane pocket.

“All it is, it’s just sell the product but do it in a nice palatable and, you know, whimsical way,” Myers says. “Don t yell, don t insult the people. We did an Atlas tire commercial a while ago, and for 60 seconds you had this boy swinging back and forth on an old tire tied to a tree branch. There were lots of pretty pictures of the boy against the leaves and the sunlight and nature, and this voice-over talking very quietly about tires. The whole thing was just meant to say, Hey, we’re nice guys at Atlas. It wasn t soft-sell, not even supersoft-sell. It was non-sell. But that's good.

“Or take batteries. After all, a car battery is something that, if it’s working, you don’t want to think about. You certainly don’t want to hear some guy talking about it on television. So for this battery commercial we decided it’d just be a seed-planting operation. We showed a film of a battery and then we used all this post-hypnotic technique — beeps, a flashing dot, whirling lights, suggestive voice-over saying things like, ‘In 60 seconds you will forget this battery, but when you need a battery, you’ll think of us,’ and so on.

“The CBC commercial-approval people were stunned when they saw it. ‘You can’t use this,’ they said. ‘There’s danger of mass hypnosis.’ I said, ‘What? Are you crazy? I don’t know the first thing about hypnosis.’ But anyway, I took the thing to this expert, a doctor of hypnotics or something, and he said the CBC’s right. I here are six elements you need for successful hypnosis and somehow I’d got them all in there. So I took out the sonar beep and the flashing lights and went ahead and used it. I wasn’t happy — the cuts hurt the commercial. But it’s going to sell batteries, which is what the client wants. It’s a nice thing to look at, which is what the guy in front of the TV set wants. And it wasn’t insulting or anything to work on — it was good hard work — which is what we want.

But not everyone around MacLaren happens to want the Doyle Dane Bernbach school. “MacLaren is like J. Walter Thompson in the U. S., which is to say BIG,” Barry Harris says. “We’ve got the variety and we can do every style of ad, depending on what fits the client. The only thing we don’t do is schlock. If you want a lot of nasal passages or pictures of a pill gurgling through your intestines, you go to another shop.”

Thus, speaking jargonwise. MacLaren will whip you up a “Lucky Girl” commercial if your product resists any other approach. Lucky Girl is the kind that promises you something wonderful if only you’ll try our hair spray, our deodorant, our brassiere, our car. They’ll say, The Closer He Comes The Better You Look, and then prove it on paper or on film. They’re the ads that threaten to fill every girl’s bedroom with 100 handsome men — or perform the same service, in reverse, for the fellas — and they make up probably the largest percentage of the 1,500 commercial messages you're hit with every day. Or MacLaren will deliver you a little David Ogilvy if that’s what’ll work. Ogilvy is the adman who put the eyepatch on Baron Wrangel for Hathaway Shirts and invented Commander Whitehead for Schweppes, and his ads are known in the trade as “encyclopedia time” because they give you facts, facts, facts about the product: a picture at the top of the ad, a newsy headline followed by several yards of very crafty body copy. (“The more you tell,” Ogilvy philosophizes, “the more you sell.”)

So MacLaren will do Ogilvy for

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MacLAREN continued from paffe 26

“There’s no 19th-century company loyalty in this business”

you, it’ll do all styles, and, mostly, it'll do them best. The first pride of MacLaren’s creative department is in execution. And MacLaren ads do invariably look and sound as if a pro has been at work. “Some people here, not my guys, do non-idea commercials,” Marty Myers says. “These are ads that nothing happens in, just pretty

pictures, but one thing they've got going for them, brilliant execution. Stunninff.”

"We have the dollars, for one thing,” Allan Fleming says. "We spend $30,000 to make an average four-color commercial. That’s more money than most CBC shows have to play with, but we handle expensive

budgets all the time. When we’re putting together a commercial, we can afford to bring in the best cameramen, go wherever we have to to find the right actors, the ones with schlick; we can hire the musicians who read fast and swing. We buy the best. But it’s more than money with us. It’s the terrific sense of style about the

place. Before, we were just big; now we’re respected outside our own shop as creative.”

The man who remade the MacLaren creative image, as anyone at MacLaren, including Allan Fleming, will tell you, was Allan Fleming. Fleming, who’s articulate, intelligent and a master hand-holder and soother of bruised artistic egos, isn’t yet 40. but even before his MacLaren career he'd put in a couple of triumphant careers as a designer. He dreamed up the CN symbol, among other things, in one of his careers, and in the early 1960s, in another, he revamped the look of the magazine you’re reading right now.

George Sinclair brought Fleming into MacLaren in 1963, a move that didn’t exactly delight some of the old sleeping cats around the place, and the feeling got about that they were going to knock this new guy off. They didn’t. The struggle came to a head, so the legend goes, over a Dove soap commercial and whether using the stuff made “velvet feel velvetier” or whether it made you "look good in velvet.” It was the feel of the thing, do you see, versus the appearance of the thing, and whatever stand it was that Fleming took, he won, the sleeping cats lost, and today out of a total creative staff of 47. there are only three people who were around in 1963.

“I started to feel about 10 months ago that the shop was remade the way I wanted,” Fleming says. “Agencies have got to have the toughest talent around, because every time out you’re a pinch-hitter. Nobody cares what you did last season or last game. It's always, ‘What are you going to do for me today?’ So I have to make sure that my people have room to demonstrate how good they arc. There’s no 19th-century company loyalty in this business. It’s doing the work you want to do that counts. Guys will jump like that” — snaps fingers — “if they’re hung up creatively.

"Then there are the clients. A lot of them are in their mature years and they don’t have the feel for the under30s who make up 70 percent of the population, or whatever it is. And every client, you know, whether he admits it or not, wants to be his own copywriter and artist. So you have the problem of what we know will be effective versus what we know the client will buy. It can be very frustrating for creative guys. It’s something like being called in to doctor the foot of someone you know has a cardiac disease.”

CREATIVE is where the glamour guys hang out — it’s the visible and the showbiz side of advertising. But then there’s Media, Market Research, Sales Promotion, Account Executives, Merchandising, Print Production, Accounting, Checking, Testing . . . clickety, clickety, click. And what they're all bending their minds to, friends, is that ultimate question: how will an ad hit them out there with the most impact? What media to use? Radio? TV? Magazines? Billboards? What? How often? What time? What area? What kind of creative approach? Soft-sell? Or hammer

continued on paffe 86

MacLAREN continuel

“It’s true —we sit around for hours arguing about commas”

’em? Ogilvy them with facts? Call in Marty Myers? What? How? Etc.

The thing is, in this new era of advertising, the contact men — they’re the account executives, Peter Webb's pistols — and their friends are becoming terrifyingly scientific-minded. “New Think’’ they call their approach and they are in cold fact looking to

make advertising something exact. You hear Peter Webb talk about Marketing Strategy and Management Science and Operational Research and Round Earth Companies, and you feel that you, old consumer, are about to be locked in. Webh is young, lean and quick on the draw, a MacLaren director, the account director with

ultimate responsibility for the advertising of all MacLaren clients except General Motors and Imperial Oil, and a man with a firm grasp on the proper order of things: on the shelf behind his desk stand, side by side, the Bible and Retailing Principles And Methods.

“There’s an imprecision in the ad

business because we’re dealing with human behavior,” Webb says. “But, okay, we live with that, and we are getting closer to that tight scientific thing. We use computers for media selection. We use management science in marketing. But it’s Operational Research that’s the key here. What we’re doing — this is before we run the ad — we’re quantifying all the components of the thing, the media plan, the creative, the promotion, everything. We run tests on them, go into Peterborough, say, and stage a dry-run campaign and see how sales react, or bring a bunch of people in to watch commercials and check their reactions with a whole battery of questioning. We’ve got a lot of testing gimmicks. Some of them are, you know, less than terrifically exact, but, never mind, after we’ve quantified all these components, we’re pointed in a direction. So we can go to the client with a marketing plan” — this, consumers, is a document thick with charts, graphs, figures, facts, jargon, enough to baffle a computer — “and we say, look, why not try this advertising strategy, we think we’ve nailed it down. We’re six miles ahead of the other Canadian agencies in this approach — well, maybe I shouldn’t sound so sweeping. But it’s the U.S. agencies that have opened up in Canada that arc forcing us all to become a lot more professional.”

The young men who preside over this blizzard of facts and who escort the marketing plan to the client, Peter Webb’s account executives, are an aggressive, hard-nosed, 8.30 a.m.-to-7p.m. lot. “Our end of the business used to be the dumping ground for elder sons who’d flunked out of school,” Webb says. “Now we look for — and get — the best MBAs, guys who are going to prosper in New Think.” These are men who tend to seize a ringing phone with a motion that suggests a karate chop and tend to use a vocabulary that strikes a non-ad ear as slightly esoteric. “An account executive’s role,” one of them analyzed recently with impeccable diction and a straight face, “is primary co-ordinating, secondary control function.”

The personality gap between these brisk fellows and the more carefree souls in creative is occasionally . . . well, a gap. “The one thing that can kill a plan is creative,” Peter Webb says. “To check that happening, we have to give the writers and artists an intelligent briefing at the outset on creative strategy. You’ve got to go to bed with the creative guy.” Still, as you might imagine, given the gap, there do occur certain . . . comic encounters . . . when a creative man meets a contact man at some queer little aesthetic crossroads:

Artist: “I could have saved thousands if Ed known he didn’t like green.”

Doug Murray, account executive turned group creative head: “I knew I’d had enough as an account executive the day tears started rolling down my cheeks when we were involved in this heavy discussion about whether some drapes should fold or open.”

Copywriter: “It’s true — everything people read about us. We do sit around for hours arguing about commas.”

MacLAREN continued

Big? There’s no place left to expand except outside Canada

Peter Tregale, art director: “This business is loaded with gas.”

WHAT THIS BARRAGE of MacLaren talent with all the attendant New Think ways has acquired for the agency, or is hard at work preserving, reads most impressively in a tidy little inventory. Thus:

ITEM: Total 1966 billings — $42.8 million. (Next largest in Canada is Cockfield, Brown — $31 million.) 1966 gross revenues — $6.4 million. ITEM: Several dozen Big Name clients, some of them of extraordinarily long duration, considering the flightiness of advertisers: General Motors of

Canada (45 years), Canadian General Electric (43 years), Imperial Oil — Esso (30 years), Lever Brothers, Imperial Tobacco, Heinz, Dominion Stores, Standard Brands, and, as they say, a host of others. Not all clients hang on forever — Canada Dry stuck with MacLaren for a quarter of a century, then exited a few years ago, lured off by the most flamboyant operator in the Canadian ad biz, Harry (Red) Foster, head of Foster Advertising, the number-three firm. Foster announced the acquisition of the Canada Dry account with a typical highflying stunt: as the Foster employees arrived for work one morning, they found on every desk a carton óf Canada Dry drinks and a note yelling that, whoopee, we’ve landed Canada Dry! MacLaren, you just know, would never do anything like that. Taste, taste, taste.

ITEM: A hold, through its clients, Molsons and Imperial Oil, and on its own hook, on the most popular TV program in Canada, Hockey Night In Canada. It was indeed MacLaren, along with Conn Smythe and Foster Hewitt, who helped get radio broadcasting started in Maple Leaf Gardens in the early 1930s. Its main role now,

a considerable one, is to help produce the entire Saturday - night show — though, according to Conn Smythe, it doesn’t control Foster Hewitt. “1 kept control over the broadcaster,” Smythe says, “because I didn't want them firing Foster.” ITEM: Purchase more commercial

broadcast time on behalf of its clients

than any other Canadian agency. Samples: Bonanza, Get Smart, Love On A Rooftop, Jackie Gleason, G illigari’ s island.

ITEM: One of the largest public-

relations firms in Canada—14 people, all carrying on independent PR work under the MacLaren roof. ITEM: International offices in London.

Paris, Nassau and Milan, with more to come because, as George Sinclair points out, MacLaren is already too big inside Canada to expand any place except outside Canada. ITEM: One of Canada's largest and most expensive collections of Group Of Seven paintings. They decorate the board room, the directors’ offices, the halls, all on the executive floor. And, well. Group Of Seven — does that give MacLaren a slightly stodgier image than you imagined? Maybe.

MacLAREN continued

“If the client says, ‘Well, I just don’t like it,’ then we insist”

There is a Harold Town in evidence, two Borduas. But the Group Of Seven, the ancient masters, have the loudest voice. The offices, contrary to any glamorous legend you may have saved up from the movies, are, apart from the hush and Knoll furniture of the Big Wheels’ quarters, merely plain and occasionally (as on the creative

floor) downright tatty. ITEM: A firm grip on the Liberal Party. George Elliott — “George is a corporate conscience,” Peter Webb says. “He keeps you from letting the system overwhelm you. He’s infuriating, he’s so right. He’s valuable just because he’s George Elliott” — is MacLaren’s Ottawa contact man. He

handled the federal Liberal campaigns for MacLaren in the elections of ’62, ’63 and ’65, and, provincially, worked for Joey Smallwood in ’66 and uncouth old Ross Thatcher in ’64 (“Our advice to Thatcher,” Elliott says, “was, Pay attention to your behavior, forget your research”). “The presence of an adman tends to intimidate the

professional politician,” Elliott says, trying to characterize the MacLaren role on the hustings. “Tom Kent, Pearson’s former executive assistant, came to the 1962 election with builtin prejudices against admen getting involved in politics. He had lunch at the time with Sinclair and me and he made his prejudice quite clear. Either Sinclair or I said, ‘Well, you’re probably right, but as technicians we can make your campaign work.’ Kent went home that night and read my book, The Kissing Man, and he decided differently about us. ‘George, I read your book,’ he said next day. ‘It changed my mind.’ ‘All right,’ I told Kent. ‘You talk about the product in this campaign. All I’ll talk about is multiplication of the message.’ ”

BILE GRAHAM tells a very funny story about how it was at MacLaren in the old days, 20, 10, even five years ago. Bill Graham is MacLaren’s executive vice-president who’s worked for 15 years at keeping General Motors happy, an urbane, precise, manicured man whose first love — he set out to be an actor in 1935 — is theatre, and this is his story:

A client walks into the offices of Ogilvy, Benson & Mather.

“What time is it?” he asks.

“Just a minute,” he’s told. “We’ll send down to Research to find out.”

The same client walks into Young & Rubicam and asks the same question. “We’ll have our creative staff work on it,” he’s told.

He walks into MacLaren’s offices. “What time is it?”

“What time would you like it to be?”

Bill Graham: “We had a reputation, you see, of being very accommodating. We would please the client and that’s all, and that’s an attitude that stuck with us for a very long time. It's only been in the last few years that we have felt it our duty to the client to insist on ... to try hard to convince him that what we’re preparing is right in cases where the client has no solid argument against us. If it’s just a case of the client saying, ‘Well, I just don’t like it,’ then we insist on our plan.”

There are a couple of reasons for the old MacLaren ways, Bill Graham thinks, neither of which has much to do with the quality of the work MacLaren did. It was always good. One reason is that the agency had longer relationships with many clients than other ad companies did and accommodation just naturally set in. The other is that MacLaren, under its first and founding president, a gentle, softsell man named Jack MacLaren, was a very paternal organization.

MacLaren founded the agency in 1922 when he had one client. General Motors, and ran it in his quiet, lovable style until he died in 1955. The presidency passed then to Einar Rechnitzer, a flamboyant, hard-living, romancethe-cl ients-with-a-little-High-Life character right out of The Hucksters. Rechnitzer, in turn, presided over MacLaren during its fabulous growth years from 1955 to 1963, when business volume jumped by 75 percent and MacLaren passed Cockfield, Brown to become Number One. In 1963 Rechnitzer sold out to the Sinclair group, and it’s mainly since then

continued on page 90

MacLAREN continued

Can they make Something Nice Happen?

that Bill Graham has recognized the change in MacLaren style.

"It used to be that our creative department was dominated by the account staff whose aim was to keep the client happy at all costs,” he says. “That’s changed now, and the most significant development I’ve seen in my 30 years here, amazing really, is that all of us have acquired a great deal of confidence and professionalism.”

PROFESSIONALISM? Yes, but given that, what’s MacLaren going to do about the Warren Allmands of this world, the carping nit-pickers who don't understand what advertising’s all about, the people who find it objectionable that Something Nice Happens Every Time You Drink Salada Tea? The answer is they’re going to do . . . something.

The idea that maybe MacLaren should answer back got a big push three years ago when Michael Callaghan, then in MacLaren’s PR department, put together a 145-page memorandum that suggested it was about time a couple of popular notions were refuted: “That advertising is an evil force warping the mind of man to all that is vulgar through a clever play on his baser emotions; or that it is merely a clever dodge for lightening the burden of . . Well, you get the idea.

After the memo was circulated, George Sinclair made Callaghan his executive assistant, and a lot of people got to work polishing the old ad image by bucking up the National Ballet, helping out with the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts campaign in Toronto, generally being public-service-minded, and, in Michael Callaghan’s words, “pouring back into society some of the talents that the ad business takes out of society.”

MacLaren men, in short, like all ad people are turning PR conscious of themselves. They’re being cautious, it’s true; they’ve been stung too often. So there’s a memo from upstairs on Allan

Fleming's board: “I am rather concerned about the possible repercussions of any advertising on behalf of [the advertising industry] . . . We should carefully mix our commercials so that we never give the impression that we are conducting a crusade on behalf of advertising but merely demonstrating an awakened social conscience ...”

But they are answering back at last, and so it’s only fitting that it should fall to Marty Myers to provide some of the answer. Because one of the choicest commercial lines Marty Myers ever wrote in his inimitable Doyle Dane Bernbach manner was — wouldn't you know it? — Something Nice Happens Every Time You Drink A Cup OI Salada Tea. He wrote it when he was a copywriter at a hot-shot young Toronto agency called Goodis Goldberg Soren, and it fitted very smoothly, you probably remember, into a voiceover narrative that accompanied a soft, floating film of a pretty girl drinking tea and looking warm and loving at either the tea or the man in the film.

“Anybody who doesn’t understand that line doesn’t understand a metaphor in literature, am I right?” Myers says. “This is all we’re doing — using a metaphorical expression in a new way.

"Right now I’m tossing around some ideas for this commercial about advertising. There are so many possibilities. We could start from that old line about advertising making people want luxuries they don’t need, see, and we’d have this voice-over just saying, very quietly, ‘Without advertising, you wouldn’t want clothes . . . and food . . . and television sets.’ And all this time the film is showing each object: ‘. . . shoes . . . and stoves . . . and houses . . . and all those other luxuries . . .’ I think it might be a nice idea, but I’ll run through maybe 30 ideas before I get the one I want. You know, an idea that’ll show we’re not up to something sinister and Machiavellian down here. Right?” ★