Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Adventures in Copywriting: 2

One day Prasad comes with an urgent but vague brief from his advertising agency: The customer is a small-scale manufacturer of lighting fixtures. The visual has already been chosen and is a picture of a sunrise with a few palm fronds in the foreground and in silhouette. Prepare a suitable headline and present it tomorrow. There will not be any body copy. Pictures of sample fixtures in small square boxes with brief descriptions will be placed in a row underneath the main picture.

We hit our heads against the wall. How does one connect sunrise, palm fronds, and lighting fixtures? What is the logic?

“Maybe the picture was taken by the owner’s daughter,” says Prasad matter-of-factly. “Let’s get on with it.”

A brainstorming session follows with several bottles of beer consumed in the process, at the end of which, we are nowhere near a solution. Ideas are discussed and discarded; improbable headlines are proposed, scribbled on paper, only to be clumped into balls and thrown across the room. After hours of this futile exercise I say in resignation: “Let there be light!”

Next day Prasad presents his list of 10 alternatives, all more pathetic than the other, to the agency.

“Let there be light!” exclaims the agency head. “This is brilliant! I’m sure our customer would love this headline!” And so he did, because the ad finally saw the light of the day with that headline!

But the campaign which gave our perverted minds the most creative satisfaction was for a line of women’s innerwear called “Love”.

“Cover your intimate secrets in love,” I propose grandly.

“That is disgusting,” says Prasad. “Most women will get turned off by a line like that.”

“Underneath, she is full of love,” suggests Moni, who has dropped in during our brainstorming session.

Prasad looks at both of us with something bordering on pity and says nothing.

“Love yourself in the right places,” I say. Moni looks at me and both of us start howling with laughter. One crazy line after the other follows, each more preposterous than the previous one. Very soon other room-mates join in and we have total pandemonium.

Prasad, who takes his work seriously, is not amused at all and beseeches us to get serious.

Finally, when the advertisement appeared in the newspapers, the headline was pure kitsch.

“She is in love every day of the week.”

To this day, I do not remember which one of us contributed that line.

Photo Courtesy: www.searchenginegenie.com


Vijay said...

Ha ha..loved the "Love" one..looking forward to more

Ravi said...

Prasad (I assume Srini) makes you laugh at his pain. Rada makes you laugh in spite of it.

padmaja said...

that was hilarious!! waiting for more!

Anonymous said...

Aaah. Put out of our misery at last! Good one:-)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

ah finally there was some light.

Okay am lovin it ( pun unintended!)

shoot me?

Rada said...

@Vijay: Glad you liked the post.
@Ravi: Thanks! :-)
@Padmaja: Thank you!
@Shalini: Thanks! :-)
@Cynic: Shoot one of the few people who really seem to like my blog? Never!

Renu said...

genius, that line. but I dread to think that most ads are created this way :)

btw, have you read 'hey whipple, squeeze this'?

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Btw strongly reccomend "e" by matt beaumont. the most rocking book on advertising ihave ever read in my life.


Gypsy said...

Lol! Had many a painful moment like this during my days as a trainee copywriter :D

Loved this one!

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.