GM Super Bowl Ad — I Was Ahead of my time…

Delighted to see both Doctor Evil back in action & GM embrace what my buddies at The Union of Concerned Scientists‘ was asking of them when I worked there some two decades ago. To show we were indeed “ahead of our time” here is a PSA pitch I sent to Mike Myers’s agent when I worked there in ‘04.

Coincidence? Watch the ad and then read my pitch (that Myers promptly, but politely declined). If GM wants to settle with me, I’ll take the Kramer billboard agreement 😉

DRAFT PITCH LETTER TO MIKE MYERS

November XX, 2004

 

Mr. Mike Myers

c/o Ina Treciokas
I/D Public Relations

 

Dear Mr. Myers,

As a tremendous fan of your ability to tap into and lampoon some of the basic tenets of pop culture and society, I am writing to ask you to channel those talents in an effort to defend California new global warming regulations on automobiles—an initiative that will impact not only California, but the entire United States and your home country, Canada.

We have recently launched our “Automakers v. The People?” campaign to counter current auto industry tactics to undermine California’s new regulations.  In doing so, we asked ourselves this question, “Why in the world would automakers ignore consumer will, thwart their own potentially lucrative market, and use their lawyers rather than their engineers to ensure that their vehicles would continue to emit higher levels of greenhouse gases?”  If taken to its ridiculous extreme, this sounds like something Dr. Evil might do to “destroy the world.”  And that thought is what has brought us to you.

It is our opinion that automakers must understand that they cannot “spin and sue” with impunity in the face of over 80 percent of Californians who in polls have supported clean car solutions to climate change, and the potential for a lucrative, job-creating market in providing consumers with cleaner vehicle choices.  

While we are admittedly not ourselves comedians, we thought that the automaker tactics were rife with potential for satire, and that, whether it be through a parody using your iconic Dr. Evil character or in some other clever way, we might be able to work with you to create amusing and informative audio and video spots for use in the media and on the internet.

We have had some previous success teaming up with celebrities on global warming issues, most recently with Kevin Bacon on a print campaign that got placement in magazines such as Rolling Stone and Us Weekly.  

Your creative contribution could have an enormous impact on this campaign, and we hope you will have interest in being a part of it.  We have enclosed a copy of our report on this subject, Climate Control, and more information on the Automakers v. The People? campaign is available online at http://www.ucsusa.org/general/special_features/page.cfm?pageID=1534.  If you have interest, please contact our Clean Vehicles Program organizer, Scott Nathanson, at 202.223.6133 x143 or at snathanson@ucsusa.org.  

 

With sincerest thanks,

 

Kevin Knobloch

President

UCS DR EVIL SKETCH

Fade in—Dr. Evil’s conference room.

 

Much the same as his evil lair from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Dr. Evil sits in his black swivel chair at his conference table, stroking his hairless kitty who stands on end, hissing.

 

DrE:  There, there, Mr. Bigglesworth, I know he is scary snookums, but finally we have America’s premiere sleuth, their “Top Dog” if you will, in our clutches.  Now that I’ve given you my infallible truth serum, tell me all about your secret crime fighting syndicate.

 

Cut to: The opposite side of the conference table where, chained in a chair with a giant spiked dog collar sits a person dressed up in a McGruff the Crime Dog costume.  Embedded in his oversized mascot eye is a small syringe.  In the cracking, frightened voice of a teenager, McGruff begins to speak.

 

McG: Listen, dude, I’m just getting paid 4.35 an hour by the San Demus Police Benevolent Association to do Christmas parties.  I can’t even drive yet.  I–

 

Cut to: Dr. Evil in his chair

 

DrE: Zip it canine crusader!  I’m impressed, nay astonished, with your ability to withstand my drug Crime Dog, I must remind myself to have my chemist liquidated.

 

McG:Dude, the needle didn’t even make it through the plastic googly eyeball…

 

DrE: You’re a worthy adversary, but I have no more time to match wits.  Guards, muzzle this pooch and place him in the room of 1000 cute fuzzy kittens. 4000 tiny, razor sharp claws should be enough to get this doggie to sit up and beg—FOR HIS LIFE (evil laugh).

 

2 guards come in and put a large novelty muzzle on McGruff and drag him out of the room.

 

Cut to: Top of the conference room.

 

No. 2, Dr. Evil’s right-hand man, enters the room and makes his way down toward Dr. Evil.

 

DrE: Ah, No. 2, you bring good news I hope.

 

No2: Yes, Dr. Evil, we have successfully insinuated ourselves into controlling interest of the major automakers as you requested.

 

DrE: Splendid. And what do you have to report?

 

No2: I’ve done a preliminary analysis, and I have identified a lucrative new opportunity.

 

DrE: Go on, dazzle me Number 2.

 

A computer screen comes up from the center of the table with a label on it saying “computer screen.”

 

No2: Automakers in the American market have traditionally made, promoted, and advertised gas guzzling cars and “SUVs” filled with over-powered engines and hyper-inflated size.

 

The computer screen shows a montage of ultra-manly car and SUV commercials with scantily clad women ogling men revving their monstrous machines.

 

DrE:  Ah, America, land of the free and home of the Humvee.

 

No2: Yes, well as usual, automakers have myopically attuned themselves to that market and ignored the fact that as gas prices have gone up and sources of petroleum more unstable, most Americans these days just want a safe car that will save them cash at the pump, drive cleaner, and suck up less foreign oil.  The small but burgeoning hybrid market has shown an inking of this potential.

 

The computer screen changes to pictures of hybrid cars and SUVs zooming past a gas station filled with souped up cars and SUVs filling up.  At that station you find the gas price sign showing the Price of Regular gas being “ARM” and the price of premium being “LEG.”

 

DrE: Sensible. Mind-numbingly boring, but sensible.  

 

No2: But here’s the kicker.  California has recently proposed groundbreaking regulations to control global warming pollution from automobiles.  This gives us the perfect opportunity to use clean car improvements and let us profit from this market rather than handing that money to the oil companies.  Indeed, 80% of Californians support these regulations.

 

DrE: Well, of course they do, and they’d like to make their bumpers out of compressed oat bran and their gasoline made magically out of the smiles out of the good little boys and girls across our fair land. All this “clean car” technology sounds expensive No2.  And I’m still a bit in hoc for that drill to the center of the earth to unleash the red-hot magma, as you might recall.

 

No2: Dr. Evil, most of the technologies needed already exist and are sitting on automaker shelves.

 

DrE: Sounds like someone is trying to blow a little smoke up ole’ Dr. Evil’s keester, No2.  You won’t get Daddy’s MasterCharge that easily.

 

No2:  I anticipated your reluctance, so to prove it, I have brought in the only engineer that you would know and trust.  I give you…

 

No.2 moves to a chair at the table that had been turned around, and slowly and dramatically spins it toward Dr. Evil.

 

No2: Geordi LaForge, chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise!

 

The char reveals LaVarr Burton in an ill-fitting, original Star Trek uniform and a hair clip over his eyes to poorly simulate his trademark visor.

 

DrE: Ah, the most trusted name in engineering since Pops Racer.  So tell me, Commander, what 24th century technologies might “cool the savage car?”

 

LB: As I told your friend here before they kidnapped me and threw this costume on me—one that’s from the wrong series mind you—I am not Geordi LaForge.  I’m LaVarr Burton, an actor.

 

DrE: Yes, yes, a clever little ruse to save your precious “prime directive” about interfering with the time-space continuum.  Go on, Commander, tell me, a “warp drive in every garage?”

 

LB: (sighs) Okay, I’m not an engineer, but even I know that carmakers have a whole host of clean car technologies sitting on their shelves that they just don’t integrate into most standard vehicle models.  Things like VTEC engines, variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable transmissions are all available today.  You don’t need warp drive to make cleaner cars.

 

DrE: Okay Number 2, color me convinced. But what does this mean for little old Dr. Evil?

 

No2:Well from merely letters sent to the automakers from around the country in support of these clean car regulations, we estimate a market of at least—

 

Closeup on Dr. Evil.

 

DrE: Let me guess—ONE MILLION DOLLARS!?!

 

No2: Actually, Dr. Evil, it’s more like a billion dollars.

 

The computer screen pops up with the figure of $1 billion.

 

DrE: Billion, with a “B” you say.

 

No2: Yes, billion—a thousand million.

 

DrE: That’s a lot of mutated sea bass with lasers on their heads.

 

No2: Exactly Dr. Evil.

 

DrE: A most interesting presentation, No.2.  But while I hate to “flush” your ideas down the drain.

 

Dr. Evil chortles.  No.2 looks annoyed.

 

DrE: No.2—flush—that never gets old.

 

No2: Yes, Dr. Evil.

 

DrE: I have decided on a slightly different plan.

 

No2: And that is?

 

DrE: Nothing.

 

No2: Nothing, Dr Evil?

 

DrE:  I’m sorry, what didn’t you understand about my answer.  The “NOT” or the “HING?”

 

No2: But, I don’t understand. The market, the profit, the sea bass–

 

DrE: As per usual, No.2 you don’t see the bigger picture.  I have done some looking into this as well.

 

The computer screen changes to a screen saying “Operation Hot Gas”

 

DrE: It seems the goody-goody Union of Concerned Scientists have done some climate simulations. They predict a future of melting mountains in the Sierra Nevadas, the great redwoods tumbling, Napa grapes drying on the vine. Glaciers melting so quickly it would be like pouring a foot of water over California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. More droughts in the farm belt, beachfront properties potentially swallowed by the sea…

 

As Dr. Evil recites this list of cataclysmic horrors, a corresponding picture appears on the screen.  Finally, a scene of a giant tidle wave destroying Manhattan pops on the screen.

 

No2: And the gigantic tidle wave?

 

DrE: Oh, that’s just a scene from “The Day After Tomorrow.”  I just like it for effect.  And, in a breathtakingly simple scheme, all we must do to ensure that these catastrophies come true is make sure that everything stays the same.

 

No2: Stays the same?

 

DrE: Yes, my cyclopic sidekick.  As long as nothing is done to address global warming pollution, we will succeed in –

 

Closeup on Dr. Evil

 

DrE: MELTING THE WORLD!

 

LB:  Dr. Evil, that’s insane.  Being part of the climate solution is cost-effective, profitable, and the right thing to do.

 

DrE: Okay, Geordi, you’ve convinced me, now beam back to planet sunshine and lollypops and let me get back to my plan.

 

Dr. Evil presses a button on the table and Lavarr’s chair tilts back into a hole leading to a firey pit.

 

Dr.E: So our first order of business must be to eviscerate California’s landmark legislation.  It could set a dangerous precedent that other states might follow.

 

No2: I’ve heard the Canadians are already looking at similar regulations.

 

DrE: Those ridiculous Canucks—you would think they’d like to get rid of some of their snow.  We must act quickly.  Number 2, unchain—THE LAWYERS.

 

No2: No Dr. Evil, not, the lawyers.

 

Dr. Evil presses a button on the table and a large panel on the far wall slides open.  There a group of well dressed lawyers with leather briefcases are chained along the wall, growling, foaming at the mouth, acting like a pack of caged wolves.

 

DrE: Oh, yes, No2.  We will sue the consumer to keep them away from their clean cars, and continue to shove inefficient monsters down their throats, making sure that advertisements and dealers around this great land speak only of “power” and “size” and dual 8-track cassette changers.  And with that, the world will burn under my fingertips…moo-haa-haa-haa…MOO-HAA-HAA-HAA…MOOOO—HAAAA-HAAAA-HAAAA!!!!

 

As Dr. Evil elicits reluctant evil laughter from No.2, a disembodied voice begins to speak.

 

VO: Okay, no one really thinks that Dr. Evil is controlling automakers threats to sue Californians in order to stop their precedent-setting regulations on global warming emissions from automobiles—

 

Dr. Evil and No. 2 abruptly stop laughing and start looking around for where the voice is coming from.

 

DrE: No.2, how many times have I told you to make our secret chamber voiceover-proof.

 

VO: But how else can you explain why they are threatening lawsuits, ignoring the will of Californians, and the demand from consumers around the country for the cost-effective, no-compromises, clean-car solutions their talented engineers could provide us?

 

Dr. Evil grabs a spray can labeled “Voice Over-Away” and begins to spray it around the room.

 

VO: If you think automakers should send their engineers, not their lawyers, to help provide consumers with clean car solutions, better jobs for their workers, and more profit for themselves, let them hear it.  Go to www.automakersVpeople.org and take action today.

 

Fade out to posting of the website address.

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