Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ad Copy

The test: Write ad copy for a BMW M3 Convertible. Sell the car is 60 words or less.

My response:

Brazen. Liberating. Engineered for the top down executive and the top up associate. Prepare for 8 polished cylinders of Lift Off and 4 liters of Kick Your Ass. The 2008 BMW 3-Series Convertible is not for everyone. Test drive a RWD M3 only if you want to go to confession on Sunday. Wolves mate for life. BMW drivers don’t.

My analysis:

Should I walk you through this process? See, it's supposed to be "persuasive" but that means "manipulative". But you are manipulating someone with $55K to spend on a car (more likely their law firm will be passing the lease payments onto their estate clients) then you have to be creative (which is why this is a job that is paid).

So, I think, what will persuade a persuasive person? Some humor and honesty...something they don't expect. But don't be cliche. Start off with a staccato note. Brazen...period. Liberating...period. Let them think about that for a second. "Engineered" is a bit predictable and generic but it's a verb so it works for the next part which is top down executive, referring to the convertible and the person driving it. Or top down associate, referring to the young family man with a kid to think about (and not speed through tunnels high on coke). "8 polished cylinders" is a sexual innuendo of "lift off" (drug reference) and 4 liters of "kick your ass". That part is vulgar but this is a test ad I'm sending to a copywriting company who read and write thousands of these so I want them to either hate me or love me. I also checked out their website sample ads and this is similar to their snarky voice. Anyway, they would just change it to "In your face" which is a weak and outdated basketball reference but it's not my car so fuck it. "Not for everyone" is a generic tag on anything too rich for the Walmart crowd so anyone buying it can feel superior to white trash. So I want to remind them that they are superior even though being a CFO is a zero skill job when it comes down to bushels of wheat or apples. It's worthless. A fat CFO will be roasted on a spit when the apocalypse comes and eaten with Walmart dinner napkins to mop up the grease. Ha. That's a good ad.

Anyway, "Test drive...only if you want to go to confession." I like that because it hasn't been used before and it suggests the coke head lawyer driving one of these is still an altar boy inside. It's obvious but it is original and should raise an eyebrow...which is manipulation.

Then the last tag which is funny because it's a nod to my beloved wolf, exploiting them with a dagger through my own hands. As our oceans become permanently destroyed I'm looking for a job selling cars. I'm worse than Judas. I'm the coward centurion who hands Judas the bag of coins. I'm crucifying myself with this reference, punishing my weakness for turning to whores to pimp my words for death engine Johns. But fuck it and fuck the wolf. "Wolves mate for life (arguably not true) BMW drives don't." This suggests that BMW drivers fuck casually. Again, this can't be printed but it's direct enough to demonstrate that I know beat writing, I know the methods of manipulation and ad rhythm. End with a tag, always look for a tag that can be copyrighted and put on t-shirts and coffee mugs. That's what they want. They want branding because branding sells cars by creating a tribe of BMW owners. You see the playboy symbol on the license plate? You think that's an accident? No, they want you to associate this car with fucking playboy centerfolds. And my job is to write this ad to get the same reaction. Sex sells.

This is an exclusive car but I managed to write the ad without using the word exclusive. That's the nature of ad writing but because the ultimate goal is another fossil fuel burning luxury car I can't really get behind this job. It's irresponsible.

Thus endeth the lesson of how to become a whore in 60 words or less.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.