The Rejected Ad Campaigns

Chaos in Print

Every time I got a brilliant idea for a way to advertise my old college radio show, I’d jot down a little proposal to myself so I wouldn’t forget. Going through some old files on my hard drive, I happened to stumble across several of these old proposals. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share them with you as a testament to what might have been.

The “He’s Everywhere” Campaign
This campaign would have featured pictures of me at some of Augustana University College’s more famous landmarks: casually leaning against the statue of Martin Luther, sprawled out across the big brick entrance gate, dancing around in the Faith and Life center lounge, standing amongst that abstract sculpture out behind the theater building, and sitting on the steps of Old Main. Each poster would have featured the slogan “The Scarecrow. He’s everywhere,” plus all the typical vital stats for my show. I ultimately didn’t go with this campaign because, well, I couldn’t afford to produce that many color copies.

The “Not The Scarecrow” Campaign
This one was recommended by a friend of mine. What it would have consisted of was poster featuring various celebrities: Brad Pitt, Leonardo diCaprio, Pinhead from the Hellraiser films, and just plain anyone else I could think of. On each poster would be the slogan “Not the Scarecrow.” Then, it would be followed by “The only place to find the Scarecrow…” and all the vitals for my show. I ultimately didn’t go with this campaign because I just go lazy.

The Polka Dot Ribbon Campaign
When the annual purple ribbon campaign to generate awareness about violence against women started up on campus one year, I couldn’t help but be inspired to parody it. And so, I came up with the Polka Dot Ribbon Campaign to generate awareness of the Scarecrow. I’d sell all these polka dot ribbons to people, and they’d wear them. I ultimately didn’t go with this campaign because polka dot ribbon is incredibly hard to get a hold of.

Scarecrow Awareness Day
This evolved out of a protest that happened in the cafeteria one day that I just took offense to. So, I felt I had to spoof it. It would have taken place in the cafeteria one lunch hour, and feature people dressed all in black, looking completely Goth, walking around. Occasionally, one will sit down at a table and say something like “I am a child of darkness. I know no joy. I pass my pain and misery on to others.” Then, we find that their pain is little things, like they can never get socks to match, their dog ran away, their dog came back, they have this growth on their foot, stuff like that. Then, our hero, Scarecrow comes along and says something to the effect of “Stop, you villainous fiend! You will not suck the life out of this merry group of students!” and then our hero kind of drags off the child of darkness. Eventually, all children of darkness congregate at one table. They start speaking loudly, “We must stop the evil of laughter and merriment! Only then will we reign!” Then, Scarecrow proclaims “Not on my watch!” The Power Rangers theme begins blaring over loudspeakers. Cheesy fight ensues. The children of darkness flee the cafeteria in terror. Scarecrow takes the microphone and addresses the caf: “People of Augustana. There is only one true way to fend off the army of darkness. Listen to my show, Chaos in a Box with Me, Wednesdays at 10 on Augustana Interactive Radio.”

Of course, posters on the walls would have statistics to this effect:
“Did you know…Scarecrow has never seen any action?”
“Did you know…very few of Scarecrow’s listeners have ever seen any action?”
“Did you know…cartoon characters never see any action?”
“Did you know…it is very difficult for Ken to get any action with Barbie?”
“Did you know…in the Ninja Turtle comics, a turtle dated a fox. How did they get any action?”
“Did you know…all these facts have to do with getting action?”

I ultimately didn’t got with this campaign because, quite frankly, I was frightened off by the logistics of setting up something this huge.

Scarecrow’s Movie Night
This would have been one of the simplest to pull off, and yet I didn’t go for it. Once a week, for about a semester, I would reserve the big TV in the coffee house, and I would show a movie for all my potential and loyal listeners. The movie line-up would have consisted of: my favorite music and radio-themed movies, like Good Morning, Vietnam, That Thing You Do! And UHF. Then, there would have been music-themed movies I always wanted to see, like A Hard Day’s Night, starring the Beatles, and This Is Spinal Tap. And, when that is exhausted, will lean back on my favorites: Star Wars, Transformers: The Movie, and Independence Day. I ultimately didn’t go for this because, well, I don’t know. It would have been so easy to do.

And then, of course, if I had the money, I would have just gotten more prizes to give away: Video Update Gift Certificates, Wendy’s Gift Certificates, movie theater Gift Certificates, and all kinds of goodies like that. But now, it’ll never come to be. Who knows? Perhaps some young, enterprising CLCR DJ will read this and do what I could not.