Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Your Name Here" Conquers Space, Trains Pets, Makes Friends, Reshapes Economy, Enhances Romance and Delivers a Smoother Shave

I've done my share of spec work, but it never occured to me to create a turnkey piece of work that would bring a stop to all that nonsense of coming up with new ideas for every last company and every last product.

But "Your Name Here" is the first and last word in one-size-fits-all spec work. Created in 1960, this industrial film short was designed to be a bang up sales film for virtually any product. All it needs is just a wee bit of editing to make it a whiz bang sales tool for "Your Product."

The producers promise "you are about to witness history in the making." That's a big promise, but I think they deliver.

First things first, of course. Nothing is sold unless there is, if not a real need, at least a perceived need, right? Since this was made without any specific product in mind, the producers of "Your Name Here" take us back to prehistory to make the case that the need has always been great!

A uniquely costumed trip through time ensues, beginning with a cave dweller, followed by a Greek, a Viking (I think--the costuming is a bit uncertain) and on to a debonair swashbuckler from the Romantic Age, complete with a ostrich-plumed hat. This is the windup that establishes that throughout time, all of humanity has been missing an elusive something. "Your Product"!

Cut to John and Mary, our modern malcontents, complaining they have drifted apart because they don't have that "one thing" they need for a better life.

Poor John and Mary, the very picture of ennui in twin beds.

But, wait! There is hope. The dedicated scientists from "Your Name Here" have discovered the secret that has "baffled man for ages."

That's right. "Your Product ," made by "Your Name Here," is transforming the lives of millions by, no kidding:
  • reshaping the economy
  • breaking the boundaries of time
  • conquering space itself
  • helping people enjoy recreation
  • making pets more obedient
  • helping people make friends
  • making travel more enjoyable
  • growing bigger crops
  • giving greater smoking satisfaction
  • strengthening our national defense
  • keeping romance from "fading away"
  • helping men enjoy a smoother shave
"Your Product" has "bettered humanity for all time and will never be forgotten." Just like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, (use Robert E. Lee if desired), Franklin Delano Roosevelt and (use Dwight D. Eisenhower if desired). "Your Name Here's" president's image follows as part of a logical sequence, a parade of unparalleled humanitarian greatness.

Cut back to our friends, John and Mary. John bursts through the door, unhinged with glee. He beams as he announces to dear Mary, that he's not a lowly shipping clerk anymore. Thanks to "Your Product," he's been promoted to Chairman of the Board! Boy howdy, that must be some good stuff.

Happiness reigns. "Your Name Here" is now "the living symbol of our national heritage." Final image? An American flag, flying proudly in a hearty wind.

After you've wiped a tear and cleared the lump in your throat, click through to "Your Name Here," to sample a host of tender morsels. I especially recommend the scene between two coonskin capped frontiersman. It explains so much about the rugged determination and stick-to-it-tive-ness that has made us the America we are today.

[Note: check out this film's mothersite, Prelinger Archives. It's an incredible library of streaming videos from every era.]

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