German Pro Bono commercial wallows in depravity before finding redemption.

November 6, 2009

The Adchick featured a pretty terrific German TV commercial the other day. Highlighting the spot here also gives me a chance to introduce la femme d’advertising to you. Adchick runs a small agency in “Hooterville” (her words). The small-town perspective she brings to the urbane but jaded world of Adland is always appreciated… and fun. Bookmark this lady, folks. You won’t regret it.

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Adchick, you dirty bird!

As for the pro-bono TV commercial, it’s the perfect subject matter for my blog. It’s not that we haven’t seen the idea before. Variations on its theme are ingrained in popular culture. The idea of following a piece of currency (in this case 50 Euros) from one person to another reminds me of countless stories, films and, if you think about it, the evolution of communication itself. Is not the telephone game a variation on this theme?

Here the currency circulates through society’s grimy underbelly, from stripper to thug to drug dealer, eventually being put to “good” use helping a worthy cause. Such a simple idea, as old and universal as organized religion. Good triumphs over evil.

Understandably, most of the TVC focuses on evil. That’s what makes the spot cool, right? Yes, but I’d also argue there’s deeper meaning here, perhaps more so than even the filmmakers intended. While the currency is inanimate it symbolizes mankind’s descent into Hell. Money is the root of all evil, right? In this short film we partake in all seven deadly sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Why? Because hitting bottom is a necessary part of recovery. We need to wallow in depravity before getting saved.

Then redemption. When the banknote is finally placed in the charity jar the story is complete. More than a happy ending, through this act of contrition, the giver receives salvation. In a sense, we all do.

Out of pride, I’m sure the creators of this film only wanted to win some awards… but their creator found them as well! God works in mysterious ways. Especially the Gods of Advertising!

Adchick

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2 Responses to “German Pro Bono commercial wallows in depravity before finding redemption.”

  1. adchick said

    Indeed, you don’t have to live in “Hooterville” to understand what works and what doesn’t in advertising. The ad caught my attention because basically, the good guy wins. Through all the sleaziness/hardships/misfortunes of life, the deserving get their due. Who knows where your money has been, but once its in YOUR hands, it can end up in the RIGHT place! Your well-written take on the spot makes me wonder if your next career shouldn’t be in counseling..or maybe the ministry? (We did some work years ago for the Chicago Theological Seminary in Hyde Park… Ministry for the Real World …ah, academics!). Most gracious of you to mention the chick, Steffan. The world gets smaller and smaller!

  2. SRP said

    Hello Adchick-
    Appreciate your appreciation of my appreciating!
    As for my “next career” I think I might need the ministry more than it needs me.

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