Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who will be the first to post a "Leave Peter Arnell alone" YouTube video?

He's a human! You're lucky he even performed for you bastards! But maybe that's not needed, as the post-Tropicana debacle Newsweek profile already provides its own Chris Cocker: "'Peter is an artist—he's a genius,' says Steve Stoute, a former partner at Arnell's firm who now runs a rival branding firm."

It's clear Daniel Lyons has his own impressions: "But when you spend some time around him, you quickly realize that (a) he's extremely insecure, (b) he knows this mess has damaged him and (c) he wants to move past this as quickly as possible. That's probably why he agreed to let me spend two days following him around."

After the two days? "I have a plane to catch. Which is a good thing—if I stay much longer I fear that my head might explode. Either that or I'll burst out laughing. After I leave it occurs to me that the way to understand Peter Arnell is to think of everything he does as a kind of high-stakes performance art. Not just the commercials and advertisements, but everything—the meetings, the memos, the celebrity phone calls, the crazy brainstorming genius shtick."

Have we gotten to a point in advertising when the performance art -- the schtick -- is seen as outdated? Even dumb? Yes?

ADDED: I anxiously await the debut of Arnell's Peapod -- "With no air conditioning and a top speed of 25 miles per hour, the $12,500 Peapod is basically a fancy golf cart. Arnell hopes people will buy them for doing errands around town. He wants to call customers 'peaple.'" Oh! And did I tell you that it was 90 degrees yesterday?

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