My first TV assignment at W+K was the Dodge Summer Tent Event Sale. Not the most glorious brief in the world, but we actually came up with a fun little spot that poked fun at traditional big tent auto sale advertising. Michael C. Hall declares in his ever so understated tone “This event could not be more amazing …Whup, wait, there’s a monkey.” A chimp in a Evil Knievel suit walks over and deploys a less-than spectacular explosion. It was cute. The spot had been on air for aproximately 22 hours when the CEO of Dodge called us in a panic. “Guys, um, I just met with PETA, and um, they’re not happy, and um I sort of promised them we’d change the spot within the next day. We need to get rid of the monkey” (Which was technically an ape). “So, do that please.” The slightly clever Tent Event TV spot was now a PR disaster that had to be solved in a day, without re-shooting anything. And worse, I was going to have to call my dad and tell him to stop telling everyone about my first TV commercial. But we thought about it awhile and I couldn’t figure out a way to re-edit the spot, as we had essentially shot the storyboard frame for frame. But then I thought about what the CEO said. “Get rid of the monkey.” So we decided to do that. We digitally erased the monkey (ape) frame by frame so that there was an invisible monkey. We re-recorded the VO to say “Whup, wait, there’s an invisible monkey.” We thought it was a pretty clever solve. PETA thought it was a pretty big middle finger. The internet rejoiced. Apparently people hate PETA. And apparently people love it when brands out-wit PETA. Our spot went viral, CNN even called to do a piece. That weird animated Vietnamese news outlet NMA also did a story on us. It was an average spot that turned into something bigger because of quick thinking.