Copywriter: Snoop Dogg?

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I keep seeing this ad around Sydney. Now, either I’ve lost the plot or it makes no sense whatsoever. It feels like the writer’s been neglecting to Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side and keeping it all for himself. Or perhaps s/he’s trying to go for a Have you ever wondered how the man who drives a snowplough drives to the snowplough? vibe. But the snowplough bloke is a man…he drives a car. This is a beer. Beer doesn’t drink beer. Beer doesn’t drink any drink…it is a drink.

The only place this nicely art-directed idiocy might resonate even remotely is some surreal alternative dimension where logic turns in on itself, hashcakes are legal tender, Noel Fielding is the reigning monarch, school textbooks are full of Happy Mondays lyrics and the constitution is based on the works of Edward Lear. Even there, I feel the idea of Dave Schooner and his mates Jimmy Pint and Mick Midi popping down to the pub to drink mini versions of themselves would be frowned upon. Surely that’s a bit like being a beer cannibal or booze vampire or something?

Anyway, I don’t think Coopers are looking to communicate with the residents of this parallel universe. And I don’t imagine the target demographic on the brief was baked philosophy undergraduates. Until it is, I propose we avoid turning this into a new genre of head-scratching stoner advertising – the car that cars would drive; the bank account that bank accounts would deposit their savings into; the condom that condoms would use; the bog roll that bog rolls would wipe their bog roll arses with – and stick to writing ads that cover the basic principle of making some tiny smidgeon of, you know, actual sense.

Speaking Truth To Power

 

In the wake of the Paris atrocities a few video commentaries seemed to go viral, including John Oliver’s brilliant, sweaty HBO rant, Andrew Neil’s celebration of French culture and Waleed Aly’s typically intelligent and passionate piece on The Project.  I found all of these inspiring for different reasons, but when you think about it, they’re all coming from the relatively safe haven of the ‘Western’ media.

Which makes the video above, of Saudi-Kuwaiti singer Shams Bandar telling it like it is to some slimy dickhead on Egyptian TV, all the more awesome. She recently announced that she was renouncing her Saudi and Kuwaiti nationalities to get European citizenship. And now the religious establishment are trying to take her down a peg or ten. But her fearless indignation is two fingers up to the Saudi monarchy/government, their vile, backwards Sharia ‘legal system’ and those medieval fascists in ISIS.


It feels a bit dark and threatening at the start, when the host says, “People will accuse you of treason, collaboration and selling out the Arab cause.” I just hope she doesn’t get sentenced to stoning or given some other barbaric Saudi punishment for having the (metaphorical) balls to speak truth to power. She’s seriously brave, very inspiring and – I hope she wouldn’t mind me mentioning this – she’s quite easy on the eye, too 😉

I’m supposed to be getting shit done but I’ve just spend 45 minutes jamming with Bob Dylan

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Regular readers will be well aware that my biggest bugbear about the advertising industry is the amount of useless shit we put out into the world. I hate the idea of bludgeoning people over the head with a message…expecting them to buy what I’m selling just because I keep popping up with my annoying sales pitch everywhere they go, online and in ‘real’ life.

Conversely, I’m passionate about creating things that add value to people’s lives. That are useful, helpful, interesting, funny. This might include letting people know about a product offer in the simplest, clearest way possible; getting them to spend a few minutes watching a video that tells them something they didn’t know; giving them a laugh that they might then want to share with their friends on Facebook, having them spend half an hour with an immersive digital experience. And so on.

I reckon the key is doing it all in a way which is mindful of people’s time and respects the value exchange involved in any branded communication. That says, I understand that you’re busy but give me 30 seconds of your life and I’ll give you something worthwhile in return; spend 15 minutes with me and I promise it won’t be 15 minutes you wish you could get back.

This is a great example of what I’m on about. I’m supposed to be getting shit done today but I’ve just spent 45 minutes playing with it. 45 minutes of pure joy which have convinced me that I need to buy the product. Can you imagine creating a piece of work for a client that people would gladly spend 45 minutes with? That would cause them to forget about the important shit they were supposed to be doing and spend that time with your thing instead? And then, after the 45 minutes, they would enthusiastically click the ‘Buy Now’ button?

If you’re working on anything this week which is destined to end up online, here’s your benchmark. If you can convince me that my time’s better spent with your Facebook competition, immersive video experience, twitter feed or Instagram promotion than jamming with Bob Dylan, good on you…my time – and money – are yours.