‘I try not to make it a commercial. I just try to tell what happened,’ says Michael Farnam, Foote, Cone & Belding/S.F.’s senior vp/group creative director of the radio spots she wrote for Pacific Bell. Her work manages to avoid most of the stereotypes that usually turn up in ads about California. Instead, she offers a glimpse of the Golden State as Californians see it, told as stories, like the one about the citizens of Bolinas who, ‘seeing no need to encourage visitors,’ each year, remove a county sign directing travelers to their town. ‘I want to seduce the listener, not pound them over the head,’ says the 45-year-old Farnam, who also wrote the Pac Bell television commercials. Chuck Thegze, creative director of Hungarian Radio, a S.F.-based radio production company, likens the writing to a New Yorker magazine article. ‘Great writing and absolutely terrific voice is what makes great radio,’ says Thegze, ‘and both of those ingredients are in that spot.’
V/O (SUSAN SARANDON): Today in California another 1500 new kids entered our school system.
In Marin, the county put up yet another sign reading ‘Bolinas, 5 miles.’ Six hours later, as they have for the last 25 years, the citizens of Bolinas, seeing no need to encourage visitors, took the sign down.
In Sacramento, the parents of a small autistic child were told that they needed intensive in-home therapy – from a therapist in San Francisco, 90 miles away. Pacific Bell, helped put together a videoconferencing network to connect the therapist, the parents and, most importantly, the child.
At Pacific Bell, we understand the impulse Californians have to improve – the feeling that ‘good enough’ never is. Which is why we take our promise to provide you with better products and services for your home and business very seriously.
After all, we’re all Californians.
And at Pacific Bell, good enough, isn’t.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)
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