Comedian’s free ad script comes with a big catch

Marketing

John Oliver says he has a great script for a car dealer to use in a commercial, and he’s willing to offer it for free.

But only on the condition that the dealer signs a contract to produce and air the ad before ever reading the script. The comedian made the offer on the Sunday, June 13, episode of his weekly HBO show, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” as part of a segment complaining that many of the zany ads dealers make are no longer unique because they’re written by marketing agencies that sell the same concept to dozens of clients.

He showed clips of six different dealers dressed as a pickle in ads with nearly identical wording.

“It ruins the magic of these bizarre local ads to learn that many are just scripts that someone bought,” Oliver said. “The joy of local car commercials is when they pop up in the middle of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and you think, ‘Wow, this is completely deranged, but at least our local car dealer is trying to be creative.’ ”

Oliver said he was willing to give his script to the first dealer who agreed to the terms of his offer. He said it contained “no cursing, blasphemy or nudity” and would easily pass broadcast standards and be inexpensive to produce.

“Come on, dealers, you know you want to roll the dice here,” he said, concluding the bit. “Let us get you into a nicer, newer commercial today.”

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