Upbeat Days Down Under …

(Note: These will be tales of Mad Ave and Melbourne initiated by a David Mattingly and his associates, Monahan, Dayman and (especially) Philip Adams. They will be  spiced by “heroic” stories of the Great Barrier Reef.)

I first met my Australia “connection” in my office at 919 Third Avenue in NYC, home of Jack Byrne Advertising. His name was David Mattingly and he was with Monahan Dayman & Adams, a highly progressive and creative Australian ad agency. He had called JBA and requested a meeting with me. Following the most brief of introductions, he asked his first question: “We have no trouble with your other Jay and Day commercials but how did you do the ’300 words in one breath’ spot?”

I presented him with my “perplexed” expression and said, “Whaa?”

“Oh, sorry. I am getting ahead of myself,” he replied. “I am head of retail advertising at Monahan Dayman  Adams. And, although we are a highly respected advertising agency in our country, we are well aware that we come from a population of 13 million, give or take, whereas U.S. agencies come from a base of over 200 million. Logically, we keep an eye out for U.S. work that is better than ours.”

“And?”

“When we spot it and it fits one of our clients, we grab it and use it in Australia. We have a menswear chain in Australia, Fletcher Jones,  and we have two guys copying every Jay & Day radio commercial you produce for Barney’s that we can. Your Radio Advertising Bureau supplies us with recordings submitted to radio stations. Client loves them, and they are really working.” He paused for an after thought, then said, “Thank you, we are grateful.”

Having had a local agency in Puerto Rico copying the full graphics of our Barney’s NY Times full page ads and then adjusting the message (in Spanish) to fit a local menswear store, I was not shocked by this bigger island’s “theft”. I simply said, “You’re welcome.”

David nodded in respect but then sighed and repeated, “How did you do the 300 words in one breath.”

I decided not to make life that easy for him (like telling him how Roger Day was a genius in slicing out breaths on audio tape). “You may have a problem with that one, David. You know that I am Jack Jay, but I am also a deep diver and have some breath hold records of my own. I simply hyperventilated prior to that recording and then delivered the 300 words in one breath.” I smiled a benign smile. “If I were you, I wouldn’t try this at home.”

 

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