“Ad it Up”

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Someone once told me, “Some people are intrigued only by the shape of things, and others by how those shapes coexist together in this spherical madhouse we call Earth.”

I’m pretty sure that looking back on it, the fellow that told me that was either really drunk or a practicing Buddhist, but in looking back on it, I can’t recall which. I’m not saying that Buddhist teachings sound as if people are drunk, or that drunk people are all zen-like, because I’ve seen enough bar brawls to know that isn’t true, but there is a possibility that there could be equal amounts of hugs given out by drunk people and by Buddhists.

Or is it drunks and hippies?

I digress.

The other thing to note is this: After living in this town for the better half of a decade, I’m realizing that most of the time, when someone says something makes you turn your head and scratch it in thought, you immediately cast it off as a drunken statement or that the person must be “on something” to actually have a thought that is broken from the usual “Eastern Shore book of Vocab words and phrases.” Is it because we’ve heard the phrase “Delmarvalous” one too many times that we have been dumbed down to “shorebilly” status?

It is a question that I’m also unsure of, but if I had a nickel for every time that an email asked me “what I’ve been smoking” or to tell me where to stick my pipe, I would have enough money for a trip to one of those Buddhist retreats where you pay for peace and quiet. Why not just house sit for a rich friend with a nicely landscaped backyard and just sit there in the lawn in absolute silence.

What is the difference?

I started on this path after watching some commercials the other day. I had a filled glass of ginger ale and the laundry was on its last 20 minutes of spin cycle, and the remote was a couch away, so I actually watched a commercial for once without talking over it, absolutely ignoring it, or raiding the fridge.

Alluding to the original lead of this column, if watching the commercial only for what it is in that 30-second TV spot is just being interested in its shape, then my thought process about was more concerned with how those shapes were working together.

I was thinking not about the commercial itself, but more so what the advertising “executives” looked like who pitched this idea in some boardroom in a major city and I wondered what the idea was that they didn’t choose looked like. I’m thinking things like how much per hour did the actors get for this shoot and how long could it actually have taken to make this. This commercial probably had an editor, a director, and a producer even, and they all got paid for a 30-second spot that was written by a guy or a girl whose main purpose in life is to write memorably cheesy television commercials.

What does someone like that make per year and how much does it cost to say get Chuck Norris to be your spokesperson?

I’m thinking all of this not only because I’m a bit troubled, but also because I’ve got some ideas here for the mo-rons that advertise this little town by the sea. The best, it seems, they are coming up with is “More Fun Here” (and that was like a year or two ago, seriously, what are we paying them for) and we are approaching another summer season in which gas is through the roof, some cynics are worried that even if people haven’t lost their jobs or foreclosed on their houses yet, they definitely won’t be spending so frivolously if and when they get to Ocean City this summer.

Yet nobody seems to be talking about that.

Here’s a thought: Let’s pay Chuck Norris to be the face of Ocean City tourism. Okay, that’s ridiculous, but swimming super-freak Michael Phelps wouldn’t be. We’re talking worldwide exposure if we can get the Baltimore native to say that he’s going to Ocean City, Md. next time he wins a gold medal. Seriously, get on the horn, I’m sure he has a publicist. And whatever it would cost, it would be worth it. You’ve got the best swimmer in the universe that just happens to be from Maryland. It may cost a bit more, but it would be certainly more cost effective than what we spent to get three words from the ad firm that I’m pretty sure a seal at the Baltimore Aquarium could say with enough training.

Perhaps times aren’t as tough as they seem for most businesses and this isn’t an economic recession because Dubbya says it isn’t, but if we’d like to keep the bottom line up, maybe we need to come up with some ideas here as it’s looking like the same old Ocean City gearing up for the new summer season.

Then again, there’s always the demographics to think about.

Have you ever noticed that you can tell who watches certain channels on your television by the commercials that are shown?

For instance, watch an NFL game and you’ll get commercials for domestic lite beer, erectile dysfunction, and websites for products ranging from finding jobs to trading stocks. You watch “Ellen” in the morning and you see pills for depression, the newest cleaning products like the Swifter duster and skin care. If you see an ad for the House of Welsh, you realize that you are either watching Fox News, AMC, or Judge Judy. The audience that you are trying to attract is kind of contingent on the ad campaign that you should be running.

With that said, what is the target audience that we want here in Ocean City, and what is our current advertising calling out to?

Is it depressed housewives, beer drinking out of work football fans, or Judge Judy loving seniors and their grandkids?

I would love for someone to answer that and many other things, but it seems that everyone is worrying about who will be putting out the fires in town, and though that is in fact an issue, shouldn’t we be trying to make sure that there will actually be anyone here to cause any fires?

‘Ad’ it up, the signs are all there. This could be a rough summer or maybe I’m only talking to cynics that I just thought were realists.

If that’s the case, I won’t have to travel far to go on my Buddhist retreat.

I’ll just housesit for one of the thousands of units that will sit mostly vacant this summer and I will sit on the floor in absolute silence and find inner-peace.

I think that it will be “Delmarvalous.”

Email me at domspino@yahoo.com.

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