I'd never really realised what a powerful medium television is until recently. Late last year as a favour to a friend of Ed's the whole family (me, Eddy and Ivy) got to star in a Nokia promotion that was to be shown on the National Geographic channel.
It was a bit of pocket money and we thought it would be a bit of a laugh. Shot over two days I thought it would be fun until I found out I would be driving in the ad. I knew a car was involved but imagined I would just be driving slowly up and down the street..(as a p plater I am still a bit of a trained chimp kind of driver - I have a limited repetoire of where I can drive and still get a bit freaked when I'm out of my comfort zone.) Well this was to be a baptism of fire for me as the first request was that I drive a rented, very expensive SAAB convertible across the Harbour Bridge, the last bastion of scary driving for most Sydney siders! At first I wanted to die, and then I figured I may as well do it one day so agreed to do it. I must say there's nothing quite like driving across the Harbour Bridge for the first time being chased by two men in a white van with a camera who are yelling out "smile!".
But I survived and overall it was fun in the end - and of course Ed, Ivy and our house got to star in the final scene so it's quite a good little snapshot of our family and I got paid which was a bonus. So it was an interesting experience but it became a lot more interesting when it went to air.
In Australia it was only air on the Nat Geo channel, a pay TV channel I never watch so I assumed that no else did either....turns out I was wrong. Firstly a girl in my mothers groups spotted the ad late one night, then another did a few weeks later. The parents of Ed's old school friends called wondering what the hell we were doing in some weird ad too. I went to work and our receptionist said "I saw you and Ivy on TV last night..." and so on. In Asia it seems we are getting quite a run too. My mate Erin on holidays in Cambodia was relaxing in her room one evening in front of the telly when up we popped again. Then my old school friend Pete was at home in his apartment in China doing the washing up when he heard this really Aussie voice on the telly from the other room, then his wife Heidi called out "I think it's Kate". Finally, yesterday I went past a cafe that I haunt most days and the barrista there said "I saw you on the tv last night", incredible the impact tv has. For years I have written sizeable articles, that I've sweated night and day over that have been published in popular newspapers and magazines with a huge circulation yet people barely ever notice - but put my ugly head on telly for a few seconds and everyone is sitting up and taking notice.
It's no wonder advertisers pay millions for TVCs and polititians, lobbyists and anyone with anything to publicise fall over themselves to get their heads on the telly, tv is what seems to stick in people's minds more than any other medium, no matter how silly the subject matter.
So Ed, Ivy and I are off to Thailand in a few weeks, where the ad is also screening. I wonder if we will be mobbed in the streets?!