Sunday, March 24, 2013

Did You Know Terry Gilliam was Once a Copywriter?

Part 3 of a 5-part series

In the mid-1960s, Terry Gilliam found himself unable to earn money as a cartoonist, so took a job as a copywriter in a Los Angeles ad agency.
The long-haired Gilliam didn't mind the salary, but hated agency life. Each day, he would arrive late, take long lunches and leave early.
Clients particularly troubled him.
When one, Anderson Split Pea Soup, asked for a new campaign to promote its namesake product, Gilliam produced a series of clever newspaper and radio ads. But the ads failed to increase sales in the test-market chosen by the client, and were immediately scrapped. Soon after, Gilliam learned that Anderson Split Pea Soup didn't stock its product in any stores in the test market it had selected.
After only 18 months on the job, Gilliam quit the ad agency and moved to England. That same year, he found a gig with a new BBC show, Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Though Gilliam would never again produce ads, memories of agency life haunted him and would influence his dystopian film Brazil.
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