Charlotte Baker

How Chandler Bing got me into advertising

After watching yet another repeated episode, I saw the hilarious character Chandler Bing find his true calling in life, advertising. He fired out genius slogans such as - 'a grape, because who can fit a water melon in your mouth?' Creative,funny and clever. If this was advertising, I was in!

Most students will tell you that they don’t know what they want to do when they grow up and struggled to pick a course to study at university, I was the same. The so called professionals (my mother) didn’t help much and despite my best efforts to be a professional footballer, I needed a new plan and quick! So I turned to the one source that has never let me down, TV and more specifically, the US sitcom Friends. People would say I’m obsessed, I’d say…they’re right. After watching yet another repeated episode, I saw the hilarious character Chandler Bing find his true calling in life, advertising. He fired out genius slogans such as – ‘a grape, because who can fit a water melon in your mouth?’ Creative,funny and clever. If this was advertising, I was in!

Of course I would quickly learn that advertising was much more than wonderfully weird slogans. However, something Chandler and the show always did well was engaging the audience. In my first years at University I have learnt a lot about how to speak to the consumer and personally believe one of the most effective ways is through storytelling. When we tell stories we evoke emotion, the more emotion we can evoke, the more powerful the message will be. Even the simplest emails can tell a story to promote a product, for example creating excitement about a magical night out in your new party dress or imagining all the adventures you could have on your trip around Europe.

The first advert I can remember watching and thinking WOW, was the Chanel No. 5 advert featuring Nicole Kidman in 2004. The advert was over the top, overly cheesy but beautifully brilliant. The short film told a love story between Nicole Kidman and some guy in need of a haircut, aiming to mirror the love of a woman and her perfume. And even though I was 9 and would’ve described myself as very much a tomboy, I was fascinated. The story captured the branding of Chanel perfectly and the message has stayed with me ever since, job well done.

I am very much a newbie to this advertising malarkey but there is one thing I know for sure, this is what I want to do when I grow up! Thank you Chandler Bing.