My son and I were in Annie over the weekend, and I played Bert Healy, the host of the Oxydent Hour of Smiles. He sings “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.” Yeah I bought a Barber Shop hat (Skimmer) but the director wanted me in this little baseball hat.
The video is annotated to hopefully help others who are cast as Bert Healy. I found a ton of YouTube videos with great singers, but few that helped identify quirks to give the character.
Screw you, flying car. You haven’t been invited, and you never will be. Screw you, Fox News. I’ll believe it when I’m riding a terraguia flying car that cost less than $50K. I’ll be riding it with my hover board under my seat, and the animated head of Walt Disney on my lap.
Sometimes when you’re trying to be controversial, you end up being right. Around 2001 I kept hearing that “electronic medical records” (EMR) were just “one or two years away.” I’ve since joked that it is indeed “one year away” perpetually (no matter what the year is). I’ve not been significantly wrong yet.
Here are some more pathetically pessimistic statements I’ve made about the future of technology and advertising, but they haven’t failed me yet. If I’m right, please remember that. If I’m wrong, I respectfully which to join the top 87 bad predictions about the future (that have been wrong). Perhaps I shall rank as high as “Everything that can be invented has been invented,” which is attributed to Charles H. Duell, an official at the US patent office in 1899.
Mobile-Marketing: While working at KPMG Consulting more than a decade ago, I was asked to speak about the future of mobile marketing. Naturally I knew almost nothing about the subject but most didn’t. So I did some fast research and made up some decent crap that seemed plausible. Then, to ensure I put my own touch on it, I expressed a contrarian opinion or two. Most over-zealous experts were predicting that we were just years away from mobile ads that gave you real-time promotions based on geographic proximity. The most-viral example was a Starbucks “offer” that summoned a person back if their device’s GPS told the advertising network that the individual passed a store (see parody below). So I cried “nonsense,” and said those wouldn’t be coming for a very long time, and that usage would be minimal. Just a hunch, but I was right. Here we are 11 years later and here’s 8coupon and how many people use these things? >>> Sure mobile marketing is a big deal, but we’re not idiots… we’re going to find ways to ignore intrusive spam and let very select companies and brands into our smart phones. Or, arguably the phones (and their owners) are not really smart, right?
Customized Marketing: Yeah, right. The Tom Cruise scene in “Minority Report,” created the character with competing talking voices by ads mentioning his name and specific tastes. I cried “bullshit” because Chief John Anderten (Cruise’s character) clearly hadn’t opted in for so many programs. Furthermore the audio delivery would need to be incredibly precise to target an individual’s ear without spillover. And did I mention that fake hole the Coyote uses with Road Runner is total and complete bogus. I’m so sure. A black circular sheet that creates a whole wherever you place it. Utter bullshit. We barely ever see custom digital ads, which would be incredibly easy to create and deliver. It’s because media buyers are too dumb and lazy (except you, dear reader). >>> We’ll get better at custom marketing, but the vast majority will not be conspicuously targeted. It’s best that the buyer not know the magic we’re using to reach them. It’s creepy.
Y2K Will Be Anticlimactic: Having a contrarian opinion about a popular belief makes you more interesting and credible. Like when I did a Y2K interview I decided to take the “nothing bad is going to happen” approach. I had no real facts, but I figured if I was wrong nobody would remember. And if I was right I’d be a genius (which, of course, I am). >>> Most of the warnings of Y2K turned out to be hogwash. One of my sisters packed a “Surviving the Apocalypse” supply of food and water, and still has it. Another called me in tears in the last minutes of 1999.
No Flying Cars: When I spoke last fall at my son’s fourth-grade class (about writing and my book) I told them that when they’re adults they will desperately need to write, even if that writing may occur in radically different ways (like using the voice or swiping the fingers in the air). Ways they couldn’t even imagine. Then I told them when I was in fourth grade I predicted flying cars by the age of 2000, and I was wrong. Before I could observe what was coming out of my mouth, I heard my lips say with great ferver, “there will NEVER be flying cars.” >>>> Sure the elite might have magical flying cars, but I don’t see them as a travelling device for the unwashed masses. Too many accidents in the sky, a place that does not very well accommodate such things as red lights, speed bumps, stop signs, and white/yellow paint. Sure could find electronic equivalents, but I’m betting it’s not in any reader’s lifetime.
My hats off to the person that sold this internally. I’ve watched this video recently, and I’m quite sure I didn’t find it on my own. I wish I could remember where I found it.According to Wikipedia, Around the year 2007, posting mislabeled links to the video on the Internet became popular, in a prank known as “rickrolling.”
I can just hear the discussion at a YouTube “April’s Fool Brainstorming” meeting last week in San Bruno.
The prankster: So here’s my big idea. All these captivating homepage thumbnails, but every click goes to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
Editorial: That would give Astley an unfair advantage above other 1980s musicians trying to lift themselves out of oblivian. Like Weird Al. Then again, he’s big on Revver.
Tall, Balding Advertising Guy: It would give him millions and millions of views. Would we charge his agent a CPM or “per click”?
Community Lady: Who invited the bald guy with the bad breath? Anyway, I’m not sure people will get it. And they may get annoyed.
Advertising Guy: Wait, Goth Lady- can we host the video and take 100% of the advertising revenue? Like we’d just post it on a “house” partner’s account?
Stephen Chen: I don’t know. I’d rather go back to the original idea of putting the logo upside down. That smacks of comedic brilliance.
Mark Day: Righto, Stephen! That’s hysterical. Upside down logo. LOLLOLLLOLLLL. I can hear them now: “hey, is my computer upside down?” Can I walk you to your car. Mr. Chen? It looks like it’s raining again.
Stephen Chen: Yes, Smithers. Then it’s settled (he says dismissively, before leaving conference room with Mark Day by side).
Technical Guy: I liked your idea.
Prankster: Sighs. Well it would have been funny.
Technical Guy: Correction- it will be funny.
Prankster: Won’t Stephen get pissed?
Technical Guy: Nope. He hasn’t visited YouTube in 11 weeks. He’ll never know.
Stephen Chen (voice audible from hallway): Mark, I’d just assume you wait out here while I pee. I’m not sure I want the world knowing I drop my pants and undies below my knees when using the urinal.