Monday, December 22, 2014
A few words on words
People often ask me, "Rich, what's the longest ad you've ever written?"
OK, no one has ever asked me that.
No one asks about anything I've written. Perhaps that's why I'm driven to throw so much up against the wall. In the hope that one day, some misguided soul will act on the presumption that I have anything meaningful to say.
But I digress.
And if it weren't so easy to slip into a stream of consciousness digression, there's no way I could have written the ad you see pictured above. I'm also providing you a link to a larger photo in the off chance you actually want to read all 1839 words. The link also brings you to my portfolio page where you can entertain yourselves for about 47 seconds.
The reason I bring this ad to your attention, as if I needed a reason, is because this year, more than others, I am seeing more complaints from clients and from agency presidents about the lack of writers.
Ad schools are graduating art directors, UI designers and flick flack conflibulators, but not many people who can legitimately string sentences together. Earlier in the year, I was at one agency where a recent graduate was asked to write a headline congratulating a client on some corporate jack off achievement.
The headlines presented were not creative. I'm not even sure they were English.
Verbs were fighting nouns. Adverbs were adversely attached to other adverbs. And in the end, the client would have been better off simply running the brief. 14 monkeys randomly clacking away on keyboards would have produced more legible work.
It's bad out there.
But, it's also good.
Because it means my phone will continue to ring. And next year, I will have two daughters attending expensive colleges, so I will need to stay busier than ever.
I see double-dipping, overcharging and shameless self-promoting in my immediate future.
If I may come full circle, and frankly I don't see why I need your permission, the ABC ad pictured above never ran. Our intention was to place it centerspread in the Sunday NY Times Book Review Section, but a consortium of Southern broadcast affiliates took offense and lobbied the corporate brass to kill it before it went to press.
First of all, I wasn't aware that anyone in the South could actually read. If they could, I'm sure it wouldn't be The Book Review Section of the Jew York Times -- for those of you below the Mason Dixon Line.
Moreover, if they had bothered to wade through the ad they would see that it was chock full of irony. They'd be reading words written by a writer freely quoting other writers to dispel the notion that reading was of any value to writers and/or readers.
It's so meta, my head is about to explode.
Just to thumb my nose at the half-wits who lacked the courage to run the ad I'm going to submit this piece to the Huffington Post.
Where it promises to be seen by even fewer people.