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 Anyway, they would just change it to "In your face" which is a weak and outdated basketball reference but it's not my car so fuck it.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.


I just got my ass handed to me in straight sets by an out of shape restaurant manager. My serve is weak and off the mark 50% of the time. My volley is erratic. My footwork is like Michael J. Fox got drunk. I won't quit my day job.

World News

Could the headlines be more morbid? I'm seeing an imminent Korean War, Reggae and Mexican folks shooting each other over cocaine, a damn oil spill that is costing 22 million dollars a day to fix. And the Celtics lost twice in a row. It's hard to keep your head up but as long as you are above ground then that's what you have to do. My job is going to kill me soon enough or riding the moped around on these crumbling Portsmouth streets or my diet of ice cream and those chocolate wafer things from Ocean Job Lots.

I'm thinking that yes, events aren't much different from 100 years ago, but we have instant access to every pimple on the face of earth right now. It's like those big magnifying mirrors that when you look at your skin you start to freak out because it's filthy up close. Well, from a normal distance it's fine. Right now our age of information has given us the most ridiculous real time access to world events. In 1910 you might hear of a revolution a few days after it ended. Now we're getting videos of the actual loading of weapons before the invasion. I do want to hide from it and write my poems and children's stories and finally learn to play the fiddle. I can't do anything about a Jamaican drug war! I've got ants in my closet!

La Cancion De Las Andes

Here's the Peruvian folk tale I wrote and translated with google translate. if you care what it says then you will cut and paste it into google translate. Otherwise you can read it to your 4 year old kid and it will make sense. Es para ti, Molly. I'd love someone to illustrate this but I'm still working on it.

Marquita era la hija de una familia que vinieron de España hace unos años muchos.
Su madre conoció a un músico de otra aldea y se casaron a pesar de las objeciones de su familia.

El padre de Marquita no era bienvenido en la aldea de su madre y la madre de Marquita no era bienvenida en la aldea de su padre.

Marquita fue a la escuela en una universidad privada y no se sienten aceptados por sus amigos porque decían que era medio indio. Así que ella tocaba su violín solo.
Un día su padre se fue y no volvió a casa.

Marquita decidió que su padre se fue porque la familia de su madre no darle la bienvenida.
Así que ella salió de su casa con su violín y se fue al río a tocar una canción para llamar a su padre a casa. Conoció a un chico llamado Zócalo hay que jugó una vieja canción de la flauta de pan de bambú.

Juntos abandonaron sus hogares para buscar

Marquita busca en la costa para la gente de su padre. Busca en el Zócalo bancos de la iglesia para la gente de su madre. Ambos trepar al árbol Chichona para buscar a sus padres.
La Chichona hojas de sombra a partir de las bandas de la quema de sol.
El perezoso se cuelga de un árbol. El mono se ríe. La iguana duerme debajo de un tronco.
La vicuña se mueve en manadas por los campos de quinua.
Ellos tocan sus instrumentos en las montañas y en el desierto.
¿Dónde están sus pueblos? ¿A quién pertenecen?

¿Pertenecen a la Moche o Nazca o el español o el aymara o el Inca?
Desde las colinas de los Andes hasta las orillas del Amazonas y el Zócalo Marquita tocar sus instrumentos a llamar a sus padres a casa.

Hablan con un chamán y un alcalde para pedir consejo.
El chamán les dice que si beben té Chichona raíz continuación van a encontrar a sus padres. El alcalde les dice que tienen que llenar unos papeles para comenzar una investigación. Las oscilaciones del mono con el loro vuela sobre los campos de maíz y arroz.
Marquita y dormir acurrucado entre Zócalo alpacas para mantener el calor.

Soñaban con el cumplimiento de sus padres de nuevo en las faldas del volcán Misti.
El dios del sol voló desde arriba y los visita con vestiduras de oro. Él dijo:

Ustedes son los niños del Perú.
Al igual que la niebla de las montañas que se mezclan con los árboles y la tierra y las cataratas.
Dormir en los cañaverales del lago Titicaca
Dormir con tapas pesadas
Tu hija está en el camino a casa
Canciones de los indios.
La música es la lluvia que cae sobre la arena seca de la costa
Las notas del churrango hace piel mojada de la vicuña
El llora el agua en los jardines del alma de las personas.
Como cada hoja del árbol Chichona pertenece al Perú para hacer que pertenece al Perú. Usted es el pasado y el presente y el futuro.

El dios del sol regresó volando hacia el cielo y despertaron a los niños con brillantes rayos dorados. Se fue a casa tocando sus instrumentos a los sapos croar y burbujeantes arroyos.

Here's the same thing translated into Czech.

Marquita byla dcera rodiny, která pocházela z let Španělska před mnoha lety.
Její matka se setkal muzikant z jiné vesnice a oni byli oddáni navzdory její rodiny námitky.

Marquita otec nebyl Vítejte v matčině vesnici a Marquita matka nebyla Vítejte v otcově vesnice.

Marquita chodil do školy na soukromé škole a neměl pocit uznání její přátele, protože si řekla, že byl napůl Ind. Takže ona hrála svou housle sám.
Jednoho dne se její otec opustil a nepřišel domů.

Cricket in the Monastery II

OK, Lyle, have at it. The setting was supposed to be a monastery and inside the monastery are some monks and there is also a cricket that represents the unquiet mind. See? So, I see the cricket as disturbing the peace of the monks until the monks accept that the cricket is only their unquiet mind. There is no cricket. They are the cricket. It could mean other things too.
It's for kids who study Vipassana meditation. There's a market for this and besides it'll be fun to have a kids book for your kids.
I would make the pictures something a 5 year old would marvel at.

Shhhhh. There is a cricket hiding in the monastery
Listen with only one ear
He is eating grass wedges with his sharp mouth
The monks watch their breath in the cool evening calm.

Suddenly, the cricket is quiet. His dry eyes await your applause
He’ll sing you to sleep with his crocodile wings.

Quiet minds see quiet times
The buzz is in the cricket’s head
Bees swim in the ocean of air
While you sit in deep repose

Tame the cricket
Silence the buzz and hum of the insect mind
Watch it dissolve and evaporate
Dissect the blade, not the bug.

Behave, cricket, or else the mouse will
Crawl from his cavern
Cross the wood planked floor on his curled claws,
sniff you out in your grassy den
and eat you, dear cricket,

Wait for the moon to rise through the pitchfork trees
The wolves are loose in the forest
The monks arrange their begging bowls for rice
The heavy gong rings through the halls of the monastery

The cricket is still hiding from the mouse
The mouse is hiding from the owl
The owl is hiding from the wolf
And the monk is hiding from the moon mirror.
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.