Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spankers Hours

Kudos to the copywriter who penned a new radio commercial for Chase Bank.

The spot isn’t great by any means. It attempts to compare the joy of the new car smell with the “supposed” joy of a new checking account smell. A reach, at best.

But the writer ended the spot with, “that's the smell of brand spanking new banking.”

And that is no small feat in our current risk-averse environment of hyper-analysis.

Nor is that alliterative choice of words an accident. They were chosen by a sly copywriter looking for a cheap laugh. That's what we copywriters do. After all, we're talented enough to make a living, but not talented enough to make art.

I was reminded of another lifetime. When I was hired to write copy for Lexus, this despite the fact that what I knew about Japanese luxury automobiles could not fill the bottom of a sake cup.

The dirty little secret about copywriters is that as much as we want to make our clients happy, what we really want is to make other copywriters jealous. By winning awards, securing better offices and sneaking double entendres into our work.

To that end, the Creative Director had devised a game that allocated points to writers who could worm a certain word or phrase into a Lexus ad. For instance:

cockroach…………...4 points
diarrhea……………...6 points
transsexual………....3 points
Manzanar…………...9 points

So today I tip my hat to you, Mr. Spanking New Banking Phrase Inserter. You have earned yourself 5 points.

But I still long for the day when some copywriting savant can tell me all about the new Lexus LS 460 and work in a mention of the Enola Gay (10 points.)


Claudia said...

Internal rhyme scheme, not alliteration. But your point is still well-taken. At its best, bank advertising was never fun. Now it has to be the Bataan Death March of copywriting.

glasgowdick said...

I stand corrected.
Which just proves my other point about
copywriters being painfully inadequate.

Robert Moss said...

Comparing *new car smell* to getting a new bank account. Maybe it'd be that exciting if the new car in question is an entry level Kia, a Chevy Aveo or even a Daewoo (yes, I know they don't make Daewoos anymore, but you get my point). Rick? A bit of a reach? To Pluto and back.

I'm working on outdoor concepts for a credit union. The brief in 2 words: attack banks.
No reach needed.

Robert Moss said...

Rich! Not Rick. Sorry about that Mr. Glasgowdick.

glasgowdick said...

That apology will not suffice.
you must bring me another loyal follower.

Robert Moss said...

Living or would you prefer un-dead?