An open letter to Conan O’Brien

Dear Mr. O’Brien,

Entertainment advertising rarely wanders away from clichés. Photos or illustrations of stars, a trite tagline. The only thing less creative is political advertising.

But please, the next time you or TBS runs a full page ad in Advertising Age or a similar publication, please, please, please come up with something better than the full page ad that appeared on page 5 of the January 17th, 2011 Advertising Age.

I mean, really, what are people who work in advertising supposed to think of this? A lame headline about night owls and an owl visual. That’s got to be as bad or worse than any ads for Leno when he went on “The Tonight Show” in 1992.

At least your first ad in this campaign, see below, had pithiness going for it. It also avoided the heavy elbowing: Where all the youngest night owls are flocking! Get it? Uh, yeah.

Conan, you’re funny on TV. You’re funny with 140 characters. You’re funny on your TV spots (Conan Washes His Desk!). So we expect more from you, especially when you or someone on your behalf takes out a full page in Ad Age, which refers to itself as, “the leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities.”

Don’t strive to do just better than typical entertainment advertising. You’re better than that.


Robert Moss

About Robert Moss

I write ads: traditional, non-traditional, interactive, edutainment, story-based, broadcast, and experiential marketing events. Sometimes I write about ads and the business of advertising. Sometimes I write about other stuff. The views expressed here are solely my own and don't reflect the views of my employers. I also published a novel called Descending Memphis that's getting great reviews on Amazon. see
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