After the sale of the former Jones Productions, I reached out to two erstwhile partners from the days before the 2006 detour. Run Run Amuck and Tad Frugal (pseudonyms, of course, of two well-known advertising industry insiders) had been instrumental in making Jones Productions' "Hype & Jive" the most-widely-read promotional newsletter in Arkansas. (The fact that "H&J" was the only such newsletter in the state is beside the point.) In fact, Run Run Amuck (whose non de plume was inspired by the infamous Hong Kong film producer Run Run Shaw and his brother Run Me) was so enamored of the "Hype & Jive" name that he tried to use it as the title of awful potboiler of a novel supposedly about the steamy, backroom goings-on of the Little Rock advertising world. To make a long story short, Run Run sued me. I counter-sued and the experience left us estranged for many years. After losing his lawsuit, he decamped to Nevada and found his true calling as the manager of a string of legal brothels.
Run Run was the first to email me when he got word that Jones Productions had been renamed ("rebranded" as we say in the ad biz) and quickly sold to a longstanding competitor.
RUN RUN AMUCK: Serves you right. Hope you are going to do the decent thing now and retire to your chicken farm.
GWJ: Nope. Gonna get back into the game.
RRA: Give me a break. You got snookered. What are you calling your new shop? "Blindsided Productions"? Or how about "Collateral Damage Videos and Lawnmoving Services"?
GWJ: Nope. Reclaiming "Jones Film Video", of course, for commercial work and dusting off the "SERAfilms" dba for doing video publishing.
RRA: "Video publishing"? Is that a codeword for getting into porn videos? Man, do I have some contacts in that area.
GWJ: Good gravy, no! We're talking long-form web and social network videos.
RRA: Hmmm. Well, if the agency and corporate stuff doesn't work out, get back to me.
GWJ: Actually, I AM getting back to you to see if you would like to contribute some blog writing to the "new and improved" Hype & Jive newsletter?
RRA: You're kidding, right? I'm finally making an honest living and you want me to stoop to commentary on Arko-American advertising?
GWJ: Indeed. I think you are uniquely qualified.
RRA: Are you also planning to resurrect the Groundhog Grog-a-rama? Those things were always fertile ground for tabloid fodder.
GWJ: Maybe. They were expensive, and I'm starting out with a very modest business plan.
RRA: I'll bet. Probably using your social security as start up funding.
GWJ: Well, think about it. There are still a few Old Hands out there who remember your acid tongue and biting wit.
RRA: I dunno. How much are you paying per word?
At this point, the email exchange became rather heated and inappropriate for a Millennial Audience. Stay tuned to see if Run Run Amuck comes on board. Tad Frugal, on the other hand was eager to rejoin the Hype & Jive effort.
Tad Frugal: Told you so.
GWJ: Told me what?
TF: That you should have been concentrating on cheap, cheap, cheap.
GWJ: Sometimes quality creative can be inexpensive, but it often costs serious money.
TF: Bull feathers--or is it horse feathers? Anyway, "creativity" is overrated. People want cheap, cheap, cheap.
GWJ: You've already said that. Besides, both SERAfilms and Jones Film Video are now unburdened by high overhead and will be very cost-competitive.
TF: We'll see. And I'll be glad to contribute to your waste-of-time promotional e-rag as long as you accept that I really have one thing to say.
GWJ: Yeah, yeah. "Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.