VIA Agency and the Effies Remind Us That ‘Not Every Idea Is a Good Idea’

By Patrick Coffee 

Ugh, awards shows. You know what’s even more annoying than those, though? People who think they know how to improve the ads that win the awards.

In order to promote the upcoming Effies, the VIA Agency of Portland, Maine played on that concept in a series of spots that get the point across: average people have below-average ideas.

That guy deserves SOME kind of acknowledgement for his fake “dancing” and his nearly unbelievable level of douchebaggery. He gets bonus points for not even being that drunk.


VIA GCD Jake Benjamin writes:

“Coming up with an idea is easy. But, crafting that idea into something powerful, impactful and effective is a different challenge altogether. That’s why the Effies is such an important show. It celebrates work that actually achieves what it set out to do.”

Is it? We don’t know, but Big Ideas like the next one will NOT be celebrated there.

That is probably too dark, though we do enjoy hearing people say “sepia tone.”

Next, more white men singing! (They’re just trying to help.)

Regarding this project, VIA executive director of production Mary Hanifin writes:

“With director Chris Bean leading the charge we were able to find the right balance of performance and reality for our cast.  We worked with many of the talented folks at the UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) as well as equally talented non-actors…most notably one of our favorite real pitchmen-  Vinny, the superintendent at 411 Lafayette in the elevator scene.”

Here’s Vinny, whose idea is–you guessed it–not so great. He is kind of creative though.

Crying mermaid could work in animated form, no?

Of course older relatives are not exempt.

As senior copywriter Kristen Kriisa puts it:

“Everyone who works in this business has been ‘pitched’ ideas by friends and family. It’s not that they’re bad ideas necessarily. They just wouldn’t stand up to the realities we deal with on a day to day basis.”

We don’t think she’s referring to the incredibly stupid idea above.

And as you know, people who work in advertising aren’t the only ones who dislike advertising.

We get where this is going. We like ads about ads more than ads trying to convince us to buy products, and we don’t even work in the business–though our preferences may explain the popularity of at least one agency.

One thing we can all agree on, though: most commercials suck.

“Why are you dumping money into something that doesn’t work?”

ECD Amos Goss sums it up:

“One of the few perks of working in the ad business are the unsolicited ideas we get from people. For me, it’s my accountant and father-in-law. Their ideas are sometimes funny, sometimes insane, usually completely oblivious of all logistics … but they’re always entertaining as hell.”

That would seem to be the case.

So, the deadline period for the 2016 North American Effie Awards runs from October 8-29th.  For more information, click here and “submit your ideas that actually worked.” Or don’t. People will still have plenty of crappy concepts to pitch you.


Agency: The VIA Agency

Executive Creative Director: Amos Goss
Executive Creative Director: Teddy Stoecklein
Group Creative Director: Jake Benjamin
ACD, Art Director:  Bobby Pfeiffenberger
Sr. Copywriter:  Kristen Kriisa
Sr. Art Director:  Mikael Kriisa
ACD, Copy: Chris Jacobs
Client Strategist: Luke Stevens
Executive Director of Production: Mary Hanifin

Production: Assembly Films
Director:  Christopher Bean
Executive Producer: Gloria Colangelo
Executive Producer: Becky Donahue
Line Producer: Kyra DeMarco
Director of Photography: Gerry Wenner

Post-Production: The RecRoom
Editor:  Bryan Moak

Audio: Yessian
Weston Fonger

Casting: Sidecar
Casting Director:  Anthony Pichette