We set a date on our calendar to shoot the commercial and waited to hear from Fred with a script. We waited and waited. Each time we reached out for an update, we were told to be patient, and to rest assured that Fred had it covered. (Believe me, I wasn't resting, and I certainly wasn't assured!) Finally, after a week of waiting, Jennie and I went to Philadelphia for the taping, before any of us from the campaign had signed off on a script or a concept. As we drove, the whole thing struck me as a fool's errand. Basically, we'd boxed ourselves into a corner and now had no choice but to sit back and watch Fred do his thing.
Big mistake, it turned out— and not because Fred Davis wasn't creative or talented or even well intentioned, but because, in our case, his instincts were off. He came to see us that night, to go over a new idea he was all excited about. He said, "You're going to hate this, Christine, but hear me out."
I thought, So much for sweet- talking the buyer. Here I'd been prepared to be excited by Fred's new concept, and he all but told me it was all wrong—or, at least, that I would think it was all wrong, and that I should be smart enough to trust him to know better.
And then he finally came out with it: "I want to start the ad with you saying, 'I'm not a witch.' "