Monday, May 05, 2008

Stop making sense

I was always a good headline writer. It's an art few outside the journalism realm appreciate. Because you don't catch a fish with the pole, you catch it with the hook. And a good headline hooks a reader into a story.

Or not.

Headline writers are notorious punsters. And not everyone appreciates (or gets) a pun.

It was my ability to write headlines that drew me to advertising and eventually marketing. Because I think good advertising is headline writing on steroids. Think about it. A good copywriter has 60 seconds, a sentence or one quarter page to attract you, reel you in and stun you with a fish whacker. It's like writing the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin.

Think of the ads that endure and how deceptively simple they are: Got Milk? The Real Thing. Just Do It! Be all that you can be! Where's the beef? Who made the salad? Have it your way! My weiner has a first name...You are in good hands...King of Beers...How do you handle a hungry man? Plop, plop, fizz, fizz.

Obviously I am a child of television.

My days as a headline writer and copywriter are pretty much over these days. I am what they refer to as a "client side" advertising manager. I pay other people to be clever and sit back and bite my tongue to avoid blurting out puns and clever sayings to the ad agency people who work for me. Because there is nothing more annoying to a copywriter than for someone else to give them suggestions. So I just smile and nod at the clever things I'm presented.

Sometimes I wish I was just a copywriter again. It didn't pay squat, but it was sure fun.

Oh well, my 60 seconds are up.

6 comments:

Shandi said...

You're baiting me again!

Management isn't nearly as fun as I thought it would be. The front line is where it's at.

You really ARE the king of puns and one-liners. Your cleverly created blog hooks have always grabbed me.

Tim ID said...

Shandi,
I'm not baiting you, but it is always nice to hear from you. The only real fun thing about management is having an office and the paycheck. The rest is questionable.

And thanks for recognizing me as the King. Remember I have always strived for a royal title :) But a pun is nothing if no one recognizes it as such.

The title of this post is a riddle of sorts. Did you get it?

Shandi said...

I assume it's about the money; the "cents" you make in management. It's a trade off.

I saw first hand what happens when someone doesn't get your "sense" of humor. So maybe the riddle has something to do with that as well.

Pete says "Hi". I've been trying to get him to come by. He has been moved to another building where he cannot get on the internet at all. I rarely see him now. He has a "humor" replacement for me now; someone who gets him the way that only people like us can.

He called me today with an excuse a client gave him for why she couldn't make her appointment: "My daughter's eyes are stuck together." He and I laughed, but no one else seemed to get it. Which of course, brought the discussion around to you and how much we miss the interaction, the humor, the puns... ohhhh the PUNS!

Tim ID said...

Shandi,
Both very good guesses, but not the one I had in mind.

Pete? Pete who? :) Some day he'll wake up and see the lights again.

Enya-Maria gets her eyes stuck together all the time. It's called a nap.

I miss the interaction, too. Maybe when I reach a 1000 posts, we can have a reunion post:)

Lights in the wake said...

No, see the kids eyes were stuck together. Not the eyelids were stuck together but the eyes.

It's like the other day when I woke up and my ears were stuck together. I couldn't see a damned thing. (Really should do something about that ear wax).

The same client called out the next day cuz she'd been to the doctor and there was something wrong with her ovaries. She didn't specify but we figured they were stuck together.

Oh man, once you get started it's hard to stop. It works for kidneys and butt cheeks too. (Nobody is getting this are they? Crap, I guess you had to be there).

Tim ID said...

Lights,
I think I get it. As long as we stick together, we don't have to show up for appointments. Seems like a pretty reasonable philosophy.