Advertising Creatives, I Need Your Help With My Christmas List

A working mom's 10 wishes that only you can fulfill

Dear leading ad industry creatives, 

I realize I have probably aged out of most groups you typically target, since my own children are budding sullen teenagers and I'm closer to membership in AARP than Girls Who Code. Also, I know (some of) you probably still have paying clients who are far more deserving. But ... I'm desperate. God has not answered my pleas. Neither has His son, nor my husband, nor Macy's, nor my own parents, who stopped giving me gifts I actually wanted decades ago. 

Creatives: You're my only hope.

The following is a list of business challenges and unmet quarterly goals I currently face that can be solved only with a wily combination of fully integrated, multiplatform, media-agnostic creativity, technology and emotional manipulation. Please help. I'm counting on you, creative advertising rock stars.

With deepest thanks and warm regards,
(Non-Creative) Working Mom

1. Pants for my children. I don't mean they don't have any pants, that we can't afford to clothe them, or that they have some horrible medical condition that requires the use of special apparel. I mean, could you help convince them to just, like, wear pants? Ever? 

They have plenty of pairs, stacked neatly from lack of use, in their closets. Gym shorts and sweatpants are not pants. Are they? Did I miss something in the '90s or after? I'd settle for jeans, slacks, cargos, overalls or hip huggers, palazzo pants, gouchos, capris, chaps. It's 30 degrees out, and they are wearing Under Armour shorts to school. Again. The teachers think I'm selfish and neglectful. Which I sometimes am, but not about pants. Please help them wear pants. At least when it snows.

Maybe some kind of social activation where superstar athletes talk about how uncool shorts are? Naked-leg shaming? A sweepstakes offering sugar pellets or a partnership with iTunes gift cards in exchange for gently used gym shorts? You're the experts here, I'm just throwing stuff out there. 

2. A galactically disruptive, irreparable bug in Fortnite. If my children could experience this, they might look up occasionally. They would possibly eat regular meals, seated at what was once our dining room table. They might be forced to rediscover the art of conversation, self-awareness, things called books. And they might notice they are not wearing pants. 

Maybe a paid media-supported initiative to bring back the hoop and stick, or the pinwheel? Make the whole retro toy thing cool again? I have no idea how. Again, counting on you guys.

3. I could also really use: A smart collar, disguised as a cool Under Armour accessory, that mildly yet meaningfully shocks the wearer every time he leaves a wet towel on the floor. 

4. And while we're at it: A smart toilet that squirts tepid urine into the face of those who fail to lift the seat in the morning. 

5. Special VR goggles that make everything I lovingly prepare for dinner look, smell and taste like pizza, Swedish Fish or Hot Pockets. 

6. An A.I. tool that, over the course of the next eight years, teaches them (without their awareness) how to secure early acceptance into Harvard, Stanford or—who am I kidding? Just get them through middle school alive. With pants on, if you can. 

7. A benign, implantable microchip that enables my children to effortlessly see, put on and continuously wear hats, gloves and winter coats during … wintertime. Then those passive aggressive "A Note to All Parents" emails would stop. When we all know which "all parents" they really mean. 

8. Enough about technology. There are also a few things we need to address next fiscal year that require just pure creativity. Such as: A PG-13 movie about actual human beings who have no superpowers other than possibly raising children who wear pants. 

9. Peace on Earth, or really just in sixth grade. Maybe some kind of experiential activation that seizes control of the narrative that securing "likes" on TikTok is a true measure of success in life. Failing that, really convincing digital passports for my entire family to travel to Canada, New Zealand or Mars, effective mid-January, 2021—just in case. 

10. Perhaps a global campaign that informs young professionals how hard being a parent really is. But you know, rewarding and meaningful and enriching, etc. 

All responses can be sent directly to me, or to the bar at the Cheesecake Factory in Burlington, where I'll be working remotely through Dec. 24. Please outline KPIs, a potential staffing plan and any creative compensation models you'd like considered.

Thank you!

Profile picture for user Tracy McArdle Brady
Tracy McArdle Brady
Tracy Brady is a writer in Boston and the recipient of the 2020 Erma Bombeck Humorist-in-Residence Award.

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