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The
Advertising
Graveyard


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The ADVERTISING JOKE:

A copywriter dies, and Saint Peter offers him a choice of Heaven or Hell. The writer asks to see both.
dot_clearLeading him to a doorway, Saint Peter says: "Here in Hell, we have a room just for copywriters." Inside, the writer sees row upon row of faceless hacks, all scribbling frantically as giant red devils lay into them with heavy whips.
dot_clear"The meeting's in five minutes! The meeting's in five minutes" the devils scream.
dot_clear"Uh ... better show me Heaven," the writer says. So up they go.
dot_clear"Here in Heaven, we have a room for copywriters too," Saint Peter says. Peering into the second room, the writer again sees row upon row of faceless hacks, all scribbling frantically as giant red devils lay into them with heavy whips.
dot_clear"The meeting's in five minutes! The meeting's in five minutes" the devils scream.
dot_clearThe copywriter protests, "But I thought you said this was Heaven!"
dot_clearSt. Peter says, "Well, up Here, the work gets produced."


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Beatles bus poster 1
Rejected Bus Poster, 1995.
Art Director: Steve McCarron | Writer: Jeffrey Zeldman

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Working in advertising is not exactly Heaven. Down here, quite often, the work does not get produced.
dot_clearHence these pages, offering ad campaigns which never quite made it out the door. Sometimes, they were killed by frightened clients. Sometimes, by focus groups. And sometimes, by the agencies themselves. I could say more, but I'm not ready to quit the business.

Above, a bus poster from Phase 1 of a campaign Steve McCarron and I created at Grey Entertainment for an ABC TV world premiere event starring the surviving Beatles. Needless to say, it was swiftly killed.
dot_clearTo see Phase 2, which also died in infancy, proceed to the gallery of the dead in Ads From The Crypt.
dot_clearAnd when you've had your fill of the crypt, be sure to submit your dead ads to the Cryptmaster. If we love your work, it will appear in these pages. (You'll find the first visitor entries behind the last door of the Crypt.)
dot_clearShould all this leave you with the depressing sense that a mind is a terrible thing to waste on advertising, feel free to shift perspectives by viewing work that was produced (and isn't bad) on the Fish Wrap & Fridge Breaks pages. (Navigator 3 users with fast connections can follow this link instead.)
dot_clearIf you're morbidly curious about the awards this page has won, feel free to check 'em out. And if none of this has you running to your priest or therapist, you may even want to see what the rest of this site is about.
dot_clearMeanwhile, keep checking back for the ads that could've run . . . and maybe should've run . . . but can only be seen right here, in the Advertising Graveyard.

The Advertising Graveyard has been honored by Yahoo Pick of the Day, Cruel Site of the Day, Medaille d'Or, U.K. Online, and many others.
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