Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fit to be exterminated: Felicity's first gig

Felicity was fresh out of varsity in Durban. Arts degree. She’d blown them away at her first interview and walked into a dream job at an advertising agency. She was all set for the big time.

The agency had some awesome brands. Fashion and grooming, motoring, banking, telecoms, food…
Of course, she accepted that as a junior staffer, she’d not get the plum jobs first thing. But still, she was surprised to get Dyroach!

I mean, Dyroach!

Felicity worked on the creative, for the print, billboard and radio campaigns. She went on the Dyroach roadshow... They love Dyroach in the townships!

Then it was time for the TV campaign.

The Dyroach unique selling proposition is that Dyroach kills cockroaches dead in ten seconds. So the concept was to have real cockroaches being sprayed with Dyroach, then running a stopwatch on them and timing how long it took for them to die.

Simple, you’d think.

They were going to be shooting in Durban, but apparently you get the best cockroaches in Joburg. Big, scary-looking ones that are good on TV. They had to fly them down from Joburg.

But the thing is, the agency does things by the book, and the rule is, any shoots with animals, the SPCA has to be there to make sure they’re treated humanely. So the cockroaches got chaperoned down from Joburg to Durban, by two people from the SPCA, just to check that they weren’t going to be harmed before they were killed.

They made it down to Durban safely, and they began shooting. The problem was that they needed about a dozen takes to get the cockroaches to die on time.

The first lot died too quickly. In four seconds or so. The script called for the roaches to give their last death spasms only milliseconds before the clock ran out. So they had to do it again.

They worked out that they were spraying them from too close.

Then, the second lot, they took too long to die. Like, twelve seconds. And that wouldn’t do either. So they worked out an ideal spraying distance and the optimum hardness of spraying and went again.

Luckily they had about a hundred cockroaches, so when the one lot didn’t die on time, they could just get out another bunch and exterminate them slightly differently.

And the whole way through, there were these couple of SPCA vets, carefully monitoring the treatment of the cockroaches. Checking that when the time came for the cockroaches to be pest-controlled into oblivion by noxious vapours, the roaches were calm, the picture of health and fully at peace with the world.

All to ensure that Dyroach could sell thousands of cans of insect killer and wage genocide against the entire cockroach nation.

So, if there are any cockroaches reading this, let this be a warning to you. If anyone approaches you and offers you and a bunch of your mates a free plane ticket and a guided tour to Durban, proceed with extreme caution. Just be careful. There’s probably more to it. That’s all I’m saying.

No comments: