Wednesday, July 31, 2013


As a writer, I have a certain amount of sympathy for other writers because sometimes we all get a project or an assignment that isn't always in our area of expertise or even of any interest to us. Usually these fall into the more technical (e.g., boring) category--medical brochures, financial guides, appliance manuals, etc. And other times we're asked to write about subjects or products of which we lack firsthand knowledge (I'm looking at you Racist Menstrual Choir of Upper Maine). Despite these hurdles, we writers often soldier on. We research. We solicit advice from others. We write, by God. We write.

In school, we'd often hear the platitude, "There is no such thing as a bad assignment. Just bad writers." This would be followed by some example of a plucky copywriter seeing opportunity in a mere coaster--"It's sharp edge could be used to perform surgery and this piece of advertising could LITERALLY save lives"--and this would lead to some sweep of all of the categories in all of the industry awards. The point was: Opportunity is everywhere.

Which is why I find the product copy on so bizarre. I don't know if it's intentionally over-the-top or accidentally so.

For instance, this copy for a bongo cooler:
"There’s a Seattle game this Sunday. You know what that means – tailgating party! You’re known by your pals as the Seahawks “Swag Master” because you always have the latest and greatest team gear."

It's written like they're selling a jetpack! Look, I've been to a fair number of tailgates and my "pals" are more likely to call me something that rhymes with "swag" than "swag master".

Or these things:
"... dare to display the full manifestation of your love for Seattle with these zany Spirit Fingerz gloves!"

Y'know, like the players wear.

Hey, btw, did you know that people in Seattle love coffee? Then you'll love this copy:
"When you drink your next cup of coffee on game day, you’ll taste Seattle pride in every drop!"


But if I thought my team had it bad, then my buddy, a Bills fan, has it worse.

Such as this Buffalo Bills Team Portfolio Folder:
"Your young fan knows one thing for sure – the Bills are the best team in the NFL."

Lying to children? For shame. But it's better than lying to yourself
"You've always enjoyed the finer things in life. You love designer shoes, diamonds and of course, your Bills."

Yep, sounds like every football fan I know.

But the best thing I found, by far, is this Fantasy Football guide:
  • High-quality graphics
  • Great gift idea
  • Officially licensed NFL product
 Oh, did I forget to mention that it's for 2009? Not 2010, 11, 12, 13 or 14. Yeah, a little late on that one. Thanks.