Posted by Mimi on 8/21/2013 12:10 AM | Comments (1)

"Alzheimers Association. The brains behind saving yours."
Brilliant.

Unfortunately, the writer was the brightest guy in the room.

 

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Posted by Mimi on 7/31/2013 4:42 PM | Comments (0)
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Categories: Bad Writing, Communications Posted by Mimi on 7/7/2013 5:45 AM | Comments (0)

"Say hello to low."

Thus proclaims the homepage on my bank. where a lady in a bikini peeks through the big blue plastic "0" of a beach preserver to playfully demonstrate the truth of the subhead, "Our introductory rate is worth knowing."

And yes, if I woke up this morning thinking, "I need another credit card," the message of a 0% introductory APR would be welcome news, indeed.

Problem is, I assume the majority of folks who hit the homepage want to check their balances. And if they're checking their balances, they're concerned about their balances. And if they're already worried, "Say hello to low." with a big-ol' "0" does not inspire hope.

A reminder that even if inadvertent and inconvenient, we always have secondary targets.

 

Categories: Advertising, Bad Writing Posted by Mimi on 2/23/2012 9:36 AM | Comments (12)

One of those jaw-dropping "can't plan it" moments.

"This Food Network program is brought to you by Purina. Your pets. Our passion."

Yummy.

Of course, I blame the writer.

Except there wasn't one. Just a template. "This Food Network program is brought to you by [insert sponsor]. [insert tagline]."


If there'd been a writer, duty-of-care would demand that regardless of the smart media that says "Foodies own pets, Foodies spend more than average on pets," if you're advertising on Food Network and you're given a template for a network ID, you ask for an exception on behalf of your client and you rewrite.

So no one has even a hint that Purina's passion for Bowzer and Mr. Socks and Cleopatra is anything close to what folks at The Food Network spend every waking moment thinking about.

Food.

 

Categories: Design, Writing Posted by Mimi on 2/22/2012 10:30 AM | Comments (11)

I was 58 before I understood what a sock drawer was for.
Naturally, I was straightening socks when it hit me.

Downtime -- real life -- is when the wellspring refills.

Not when you're asleep.
Not when you're making love (if so, heaven help you).
Not when you're staring at the frozen arc of zero space that will not be filled.
Nope.

Only when you're sorting socks.
Mucking stalls.
Rocking children.
Chopping carrots.
Vacuuming in dark places.

Do this, bring this offering to your god, and be blessed when you wish to draw from the well.

Categories: Communications, Design Posted by Mimi on 6/9/2011 5:50 PM | Comments (2)

The most comfortable movie theater I attend is in the most uncomfortably designed shopping plaza.
I go because I know the place. But I hear friends swear they'll go anywhere else.

The problem is simple. The plaza is badly designed.
Navigation -- from a seemingly hidden entrance, to convaluated parking, to locating the 2nd elevator to get to the theater -- is anything but intuitive. This results in a lot of signage, also poorly done.
Resulting in a lot of confusion, which translates into massive lost revenues.

It's the same in marketing.

The more intuitive the access, the easier the sell.
If your entrance (name) is clear, it takes far less signage (headlines and copy) to get folks where you want them to go.

Do the work to get your name right, and it follows that business will grow farther, faster.

 

Categories: Advertising, Taglines Posted by Mimi on 6/7/2011 6:40 PM | Comments (2)

Visual? Nasty animated manifestation of threats. Powerful.

Tagline? "Power over pests." Great enough to trademark.

Guarantee?

"For about $1 a day, we'll work to keep pests out."
Oops.

Lame, lame, lame.
Macho green graphics help mask its lack of teeth. A tad.

Why even include it?

If the point of the line is to include the price, fine.
But the guarantee ends like it might once have meant something -- before Legal got to it.
Great concept, excellent execution, meh overall.

So close, and yet, so what?

 

Categories: Advertising, Bad Writing Posted by Mimi on 6/1/2011 1:38 PM | Comments (1)

Take Effen Vodka.
Compelling reason to buy? Smoothness. BFD.
Name? Dutch for "smooth." If you say so.
Strategy? For 5 years, it's been all about smoothness -- evidenced by cool design.

Hm. Must not be working. Print lines are working the frisky name.
("Frisky" as in "cheeky" at one end of the spectrum, "disappointing" at the other.)

For a year now, headlines have pulled out every tired "wink-wink, nod-nod" cliche:
What's better than Effen?
Effen in the dark.
There's nothing more satisfying than Effen on a plane.
Everyone enjoys Effen in the penthouse.

Snore, snore, snore.
If ya got nuthin' but attitude, it shows.

In contrast, this year's initiative, "Cocktails by Design," returns to the original strategy with what looks like fresh thinking.
Let's see if it pays off for the brand.

Categories: Advertising, Good Writing Posted by Mimi on 5/25/2011 5:24 PM | Comments (9)

I haven't been listening to enough radio.
When did Walmart get a life?

Heard the spot for tees, the one with the legal in the middle?
I'll listen for it again.

Whoa. Hear that? A radio spot for Walmart tee-shirts that not only doesn't suck, is charming enough that I want to hear it again. Plus the rest of the campaign.

Kudos to you, nameless faceless copywriter.
You've proven that even a dull job can result in good writing.

Categories: Advertising, Good Writing, Taglines Posted by Mimi on 5/23/2011 4:14 PM | Comments (13)

Sargento and Boar's Head are both making the same claim of higher quality food.
They both use a call-to-action tagline to urge consumers to acknowledge and prefer their brands.

Their tags, respectively, are "Taste the Real Difference" and "Compromise Elsewhere."

Boar's Head wins.
Why?

Sargento's sounds like it was written by a committee. Consensus dictated the use of "taste" and "difference," with "real" (ugh) added for emphasis.

Boar's Head sounds like something you'd actually tell yourself.
It's sharp, amusing, and makes the point in a fresh and compelling way.


Even more important, at the point of purchase, I can actually do what Boar's Head suggests.
And since it makes me smile, I probably will.