Brainstorm

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Five people around a table: flimsies, photographs, graphics etc. The people are Stephen, a copy-writer, Hugh a ditto, Fee, an imponderably stupid graphic artist, Rhiannon an agressive producer, and Dick, another copy-writer.

Stephen (Standing and stretching) All right. Before we crack off on this new campaign, I'd like you all to get to know each other. Rhiannon, you must all know, worked on that draught-excluder commercial, the one with the young guy in the American leather jacket, driving around in an old pink Cadillac.

Rhiannon Hi, everyone.

Hugh Hiya. That was a great television commercial. Made me weep.

Rhiannon Thanks.

Fee That was really beautiful work actually. Because I saw it.

Stephen Fee of course was the power behind that brilliant campaign for Total Protein Concept Balance System shampoo, the one with ... how did it go? It had a guy in an American leather jacket, driving round in a ... ?

Fee ... an old pink Cadillac. Hi.

Rhiannon That was bitchingly good.

Hugh World class, world class.

Stephen Jake, obviously, came up with the commercial for Dong Jeans, which had a guy in an American leather jacket driving round in a ... what was it, Jake?

Hugh It was an old blue Cadillac.

Rhiannon Incredible.

Fee Genius.

Stephen I hardly need say that Jake's ideas tend to be a little bit off the wall.

Hugh Yeah, I'm crazy.

Stephen And joining us from an out of town agency is Dick. Dick's just come from working on that fabulous commercial for "Pretension" by Calvin Klein ...

Dick Er ... no ... that wasn't me.

Stephen Oh ... they've sent us another Dick, have they? Well what was the last thing you worked on, Dick?

Dick I wrote an advertisement for Tideyman's Carpets.

Stephen Yeah?

Dick It had a picture of lots of carpets, and a voice said "Tideyman's Carpets, sale now on". Slightly embarrassed silence.

Stephen Great stuff.

Hugh Yeah, fantastic.

Stephen So we have a team here with one hell of a proven track record. Drinks anyone?

Hugh Jack Daniels.

Rhiannon Jack Daniels suits me.

Stephen Bourbons for everyone then, yeah?

Dick A Fanta for me, please. Stephen is at the fridge.

Stephen OK. Floor's yours, Jake. Hugh rises; he's a gum-chewing cockney whizz.

Hugh What we've got here, people, is a big campaign for a new bank account. The Nexus Bank Account.

Stephen I want to stress new here. New means different. That means different advertising.

Fee Different.

Hugh Different.

Stephen Different.

Rhiannon I want it on record that I think this should be different.

Stephen Point taken.

Fee Can I butt in here?

Stephen Sure, Fee.

Fee Thanks.

Stephen All right. So let's brainstorm it. Let's find a hook, a peg, an angle, a line, a channel ... what is it that's going to sell this bank account?

Rhiannon What's going to sell that guts and kidneys out of it? They all start clicking their fingers, clapping their hands. All except Dick that is, who sits there slightly surprised by their behaviour.

Hugh Right well. How about ... how about ... a guy.

Rhiannon Young?

Hugh A young guy, thanks darling, he's wearing ... I dunno ... what?

Fee Sweatshirt?

Rhiannon Jeans?

Dick A cardigan?

Hugh No wait ... What about an American leather jacket? They whoop and emote.

Stephen An American leather jacket!

Rhiannon Jake I hate you!

Fee That's brilliant. That's really brilliant because people wear those.

Dick Um ...

Stephen Yes, Dick?

Dick It's not very different. Silence.

Stephen Maybe Dick's right.

Hugh Hell I'm not married to the idea.

Fee It always worried me, I must say.

Rhiannon I always hated the bastard.

Stephen OK. Clean slate, everybody. Let's start afresh from scratch one.

Hugh What about a Canadian leather jacket ...

Stephen Suede ...

Rhiannon That's it! A Canadian suede leather jacket. And ... (She's got an idea coming) and ...

Hugh Yeah?

Rhiannon (It dawns on her) HE'S DRIVING AN OLD CAR!!!!

Fee An old car! He's driving an oldcar!

Hugh An old Jaguar.

Stephen What about (Thumps the table) a Cadillac. He's driving a sodding old pink Cadillac! Thunderous applause and cheering.

Rhiannon Something.

Stephen Perfect. Amazing work. Right, well. Lunch everyone? They make as if to go.

Dick That's it, is it?

Hugh I see what Dick's getting at. We need something else as well.

Stephen Okay, let's run with Dick's something else as well idea for the moment. The young guy has got to have something else as well. People start getting up and looking at things.

Hugh (Picking up a coffee cup) Something aspirational ... Coffee ... ?

Stephen Bigger!

Rhiannon (Picking up a stapler) A stapler?

Stephen Bigger than that!

Fee A telephone? They can be quite big. I've seen.

Stephen Much bigger!

Hugh Wait a minute ...

Stephen Jake's got something ...

Rhiannon What have you got, Jake?

Hugh A baby. The guy's got a baby.

Stephen New man, caring, tender, Jake I love you!

Fee That's brilliant because people have those. A really huge baby.

Rhiannon A really huge American baby.

Stephen Wearing ... ?

All An American leather jacket!!!

Stephen So what are we saying? What are we saying about Nexus here? We're saying ...

Hugh We're saying "this bank account is so good it will virtually make you American".

Dick Why are we saying that?

Hugh Well, um ... we're saying that ... we're saying that because ... we're saying that ... Problem, Dick? Objection?

Dick Well why does everything have to be American? Why couldn't it be an English leather jacket?

Hugh Oh dear.

Stephen Dick, I'm sensing you're not with us on this. You have another idea?

Dick Well, I have worked something out as a matter of fact.

Fee We're all ears.

Rhiannon We are. Nothing but ears.

Stephen I'm just one huge ear, Dick.

Dick Um ... (Reading) "The Nexus bank Account. It offers the same rate of interest as every other young person's account and comes with a perfectly normal plastic card. You may find it quite useful." Stephen grabs Dick's notepad.

Stephen Dick, Dick, Dick. Stephen hands notepad to Hugh. The anti-ad. Dick, you've got something there.

Hugh Christ, I'm beginning to see what you mean! "The Nexus Bank Account. It's not so bad really."

Rhiannon Sen-Christing-sational.

Fee You're so clever, Dick. Because that's a really good idea.

Hugh You've cracked it, Dick.

Rhiannon Dick's cracked the son of a bastard.

Stephen Dick's cracked it!!

Fee Dick, you're a star.

Dick Well, looks like the Fantas are on me then.

Vox Pop

Stephen (Showing the places on his body) The cut me right round that way to see if they could find anything. Then they had a dig about down here. Still nothing. So they poked this thing up my ... you know ... had a look up there. Nothing. I'm going through the red channel next time.

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