On the subject of Christmas ads...

... here's one knocked up to promote Ouch. It's dodgy, it's ropey, it's soapy but it does contain all you'll ever need. And not one present you'll never use.

Many thanks to all who read, carped and commented on Ouch this year.

Have a great Christmas and all the best for a great New Year.

Christmas is a time for... ads

Courtesy of the fine people at U Talk Marketing.Com, here's their list of the top 5 Christmas TV ads.

You won't be surprised to see the likes of Heineken and PG Tips in there but do you agree with the rest?

I do like the John Lewis example but I'm afraid my psyche has been out-psyched by their recent Always a Woman ad with Billy Joel's song of the same name sang by Fyfe Dangerfield. A brilliant song and an ad which millions loved. I still love the song but I'm afraid I found ad a tad depressing.

How do you feel when you watch it?

I find it depressing because, especially at this magical time of year for children, I don't want to be reminded of my own fleeting existence and the inevitable mortality that brings.

And on that note, have a great Christmas!

And give me knitted monkeys dressed up as Elizabeth Windsor every day of the week.

All work and no play...

I've just discovered a great blog to vent all those writing urges that'll never earn two bob. It's called 330 Words and as the name suggests, it lays down quite a challenge to anyone calling themselves a copywriter.

That's because you have to write a fictional story in 330 words or under and be brave/emboldened enough to stick it up in the public domain.

Not that easy. But great on a number of counts:

1. It really hones your editing skill. An invaluable arrow to have in your copy quiver. The quicker and more efficient your become at editing, the easier it is to deal with your own copy critiques and those of your colleagues and clients.

2. It provides a breath of valuable fresh air; prevents your keyboard from becoming a mill stone round your neck and you from becoming a money-making extension of your keyboard.

3. It opens up your writing/ your work/ your pleasure (if you like) to public critique which can provide you with a completely new view on your skills - and give you another layer of thick skin, which never goes amiss in a creative industry.

4. Writing fiction is a great way for a copywriter to improve his or her copy. It provides new constructions, different ways to pace prose and of course provide a new outlet for fun - especially if you're starting to see copywriting as merely a job (God forbid).

Whether you're a copywriter or not, I'd recommend giving it a go.

You'll find the blog here.

You can follow the 330 Words people on Twitter here.

You can find a couple of my efforts here and here.

Parental advice: you might find a couple of naughty words amongst all that lovely fiction.

Go on... see if you can do better. But that's really not the point. :)

The oxymoron of the fresh approach

For a fresh approach to your next ad or campaign, just add:
- some shiny looking fruit, preferably sliced and with a good few drops of water
- sometimes just a splash of water will do the trick
- any kind of cleaning product; soap, detergent, coca-cola, that sort of thing
- or, if you're really trying to be ca-rayzee, try the odd stylised dandelion - always synonymous with fresh stuff.

The 'fresh approach' gambit always comes in handy when the following has happened:
- your client has sold you short on what makes his or her product or service great 
- your account manager has sold you short on what makes his or her client's product or service great 
- neither of the two parties has ever heard of a proposition.

...In which case you can do one of the following:
- just go with it. Bang out the creative, artwork it up, send it off, go home and take two, preferably three showers followed by three stiff gins, knowing your work will join a kazillion other  ubiquitous fresh approaches in the same lame league
- refuse to even touch any so-called 'concept' with the remotest allusion to a fresh approach and ride out the 'creative strop' storm
- strongly advise the client of the irony of this tactic and the fact that not only does it probably not do their offer any justice but that it also treats the customer like a corn-fed automaton.

...Then sleep safe in the knowledge that there's only one kind of product or service owner who should be pleased with this kind of oxymoron:*

the marketing moron. 

* Yes, yes, for the pedants I realise 'fresh approach' is not an oxymoron in the true sense of the word, but the proposition of presenting 'fresh approach' as a new idea mostly definitely is!

57 campaign lines in one post? The answers.

As promised here are all the lines which appeared in this recent Drum post and their respective brands - possibly in a somewhat higgledypiggledy order:

01. Don’t leave home without it - American Express

02. Nothing acts faster – Anadin

03. Impossible is nothing – Adidas

04. Just do it – Nike

05. Good things come to those who wait – Guinness

06. Moving at the speed of business – UPS

07. I’m only here for the beer – Double Diamond

08. Any time, any place, any where – Martini

09. Eight of ten cats prefer it – Whiskas

10. The man from Del Monte says ‘Yes’ – Del Monte

11. Say it with flowers – Interflora

12. Empowering the internet generation – Cisco

13. It’s what your right arm’s for – Courage Beer

14. Drink Canada dry – Canada Dry

15. Liquid engineering – Castrol

16. Drink Camp – it’s the best – Camp

17. I’d love a Babycham – Babycham

18. It makes you feel like the man you are – Buick

19. Some of our best men are women – US Army

20. Have you ever had a bad time in Levi's? – Levi’s

21. Life’s good – LG

22. Make. Believe. - Sony

23. Every little helps – Tesco

24. WotalotIgot – Smarties

25. The listening bank – Midland Bank

26. Bread wi’ nowt taken out – Allinson’s

27. It’s good to talk – BT

28. Have you ever wished you were better informed? – The Times

29. Gee, I wish I had a nickel – Lifesaver’s Candy

30. Tide’s in, dirt’s out – Tide

31. make-up to make love in – Mary Quant

32. Beanz Meanz Heinz – Heinz

33. It could be you – National Lottery

34. It’s got to be Gordon’s - Gordon’s Gin

35. Just imagine – NEC

36. Saving you money every day – Asda

37. The true definition of luxury. Yours - Acura

38. Someone, somewhere wants a letter from you – Post Office

39. A lot less bovver than a hover – Qualcast

40. It’s everywhere you want to be – Visa

41. think local, act global – Accenture

42. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is – Alka Seltzer

43. Once you pop you just can’t stop – Pringles

44. The beauty of all wheel drive – Subaru

45. You’re going to like us – Trans World Airlines

46. I love what you do for me – Toyota

47. Come home to a real fire – Coal Board

48. probably the best beer in the world – Carlsberg

49. Nothing runs like a deere – John Deere

50. Reach out and touch someone – American Telephone & Telegraph

51. Because life’s complicated enough – Abbey National

52. You can trust your car to the man with the star – Texaco

53. Think big – IBM

54. Think small – VW

55. Think different - Apple

56. Take care – Garnier

57. Schhh - you know who - Schweppes

57 campaign lines in one post on messaging? Now that's variety!

A while back I posted on The Drum about getting the messaging right - especially as today's consumers are more savvy than ever before.

Here's the post, with 57 campaign lines hidden within. Can you spot them all? As promised on The Drum the answers will appear sometime soon.

Attitude. As one of today’s customers, I don’t leave home without it. And because I know the average person is exposed to somewhere over 1500 marketing messages a day, I make damned sure I’m anything but average. When it comes to rubbing me up the wrong way, nothing acts faster than an ill-timed pitch, or bland statement to make the prospect of a sale impossible. ‘Is nothing sacred any more?’ I ask myself as I try to get through the day without being labelled an A, B or C1. Don’t know why I feel like there’s a million marketeers with hands in my pockets, I just do. It’s one of the reasons I’m fickle, brand-disloyal and downright difficult to please.

I’m only here for the beer but I can get another one any time, any place, anywhere.

I know good things come to those who wait but I prefer moving at the speed of business.

I’m not into jazz but I understand why eight out of ten cats prefer it.

And when the man from Del Monte says ‘Yes’ I often prefer to say it with flowers.

That’s right – I’m no longer interested in whether it’s probably the best beer in the world; I want to know it definitely is, why it is and how you’re going to prove it.

It’s all well ‘n’ good empowering the Internet generation but stop sending me those infernal emails. I’ve heard of Viagra. It’s what your right arm’s for.

Isn’t it? I can’t quite make out the small point size on the instruction leaflet.

I’m high on multiple online reviews and I’ve got the lowdown on what’s best for me.

Yeah, I know a little dab’ll do ya, but sometimes I just want to splash it all over.

And when I’m on the go and thirsty, I could drink Canada dry – whatever they’re serving. Call it liquid engineering – and remember I’m running on a hybrid engine.

I could drink camp – it’s they best they say. And while I’d love a Babycham, I’ve heard it makes you feel like the man you are.

Oh yeah – we’re today’s hard-to-please consumers. And you know what, some of our best men are women. So watch it.

Someone once asked me, ‘Have you ever had a bad time in Levi’s?’ No, but I know life’s good – if not better – out of your Levi’s too.

So sell me jeans with a fluffy yellow puppet by all means, but I think you’re on the make. Believe me, I really do.

And while every little helps, I can’t help feeling smug at wotalotIgot.

I don’t want my bank to be the listening bank, I just want my bread wi’ nowt taken out.

There’s no doubt it’s good to talk but have you ever wished you were better informed?

I have. That’s why my media is super social. That’s why you’d better be as sociable as me – and millions of others like me. Because word on the street is there’s no hiding place anymore.

And they say that when the tide’s in, dirt’s out. If that means make-up to make love in is only good for half the day, I’m not that interested, thanks.

More interestingly, Beanz Meanz Heinz apparently – but if they’re over fifty pence a can, beans means own brand to me.

And sometimes, just sometimes I’d actually prefer my nice, relaxing massage on the go. After all, it’s a lot less bovver than a hover and a lot of small talk.

It could be you – it really could be down to you that I’m rebelling against this brand bashing – but it’s got to be Gordon’s fault, whoever the heck he is!

Whatever happens I’ll make, up my own mind, thanks.

Just imagine what you could achieve if you stopped treating me like a demographic and more like a person.

Yes, I’ll listen to people purporting to be saving you money every day, but because I’m also interested in the true definition of luxury, yours is no easy task these days.

In fact, someone, somewhere wants a letter from you. It says, ‘Sorry for disturbing you in such a grey, stagnant fashion.’

AB1? Yeah, that’s right, ‘Awkward Bugger that one’.

Advertising: it’s everywhere you want to be – so you marketing bods better think local, act global and be as relevant and timely as possible.

Crikey, with ads on a roll I’m even being sold to in the loo. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is just to pull the chain down, my pants up and get the hell out.

Yep, you’d better stay cool in the high-pressure world of meeting your targets and budgets. Because once you pop you just can’t stop.

And once those shiny new campaign alloys start coming off, you really will realise the beauty of all wheel drive.

Yup, I’m afraid we’re a truly unfathomable, fussy, crowd we consumers, but we’re sure you’re going to like us.


Oh yeah, I love what you do for me today, but tomorrow I’ll be cold as ice. That’s why I want to come home to a real fire – real benefits, real features sold in with zeal, truth and integrity.

You see, nothing runs like a deere old beloved campaign, but nowadays, you’ve got to really reach out and touch someone.

Because life’s complicated enough these days you, the marketer, have to be smarter, fitter, tougher than the next marketer and remember one thing: trust. Just as you can trust your car to the man with the star, chances are you can trust your creative to your agency – and the copywriter to get the messaging right.

Yes, I’m one of today’s modern punters and if you’re in marketing you’d be wise to think different. Think big, think small – but whatever you do, think customer.

Because once you take care of your customer they might… just might, start taking care of you.





Schhh – you know who put 57 kinds of strapline and campaign line in this post? Me neither, and as a modern consumer of blogs, I’m really not that bothered.




Oh, oh... Apple introduces Magic Launchpad, for a speedier connection to the real world

After a period of downtime this morning, the Apple store is now back, and as expected – it now carries refreshed, faster iMac and Mac Pro computers. However, earlier rumours have shown to be true, as Apple has also launched a completely new product, called the Magic Launchpad.

The Magic Launchpad is a 1m x 1m ramp, designed to work on your voracious appetite for buying anything remotely Mac related. Perfect for positioning at the edge of cliffs and very high buildings, it uses the same multitouch technology as the MacBook Pro and is fully capable of launching 4 to 5 Mac lemmings simultaneously.

It “supports a full set of gestures, including the two-fingered 'so long fan-boy sucker' and the one-fingered 'get yourself a life instead' thereby giving you a whole new way to control the way you jump off the consumer chasm” claims Apple’s product description. It connects with your Mac via Bluetooth, and it’s intended to be used either in the open countryside or in built-up areas, especially those with a high proportion of skyscrapers.

The Magic Launchpad comes as a standalone accessory and it costs roughly £35 to end your irrational addiction.

Ouch advertising tip #321

If you really are seeking perfection, don't sample the product before artworking the poster.

How sport can turn a comment into a whole new post

Below is a post by fellow Drum blogger Aaron Bimpson. It's about how poor England were in the 2010 World Cup and why 'brand' might be at fault. I agree with much of it, but as my reply in the form of a two-minute comment turned into a whole new post, I realised how vital sport is not only to a nation, but to people's lives in general.

There. Said all that without mentioning 'passion' once. D'oh.

England expected: But what did England expect?

As I walked through the city last Sunday afternoon amidst swathes of the stunned and disillusioned, I had watched ‘it’ at the gym from a treadmill. I actually think I clocked more mileage than Rooney, which really isn’t a testament to my level of fitness, more a sad reflection on his. While I surveyed a scene of national mourning and drunken heartbreak. The real underlying issue occurred to me – England have no brand anymore.

If a player from an emerging nation plays extremely well and shines out at the World Cup, maybe, just maybe, he’ll get procured by a second tier Premiership team or become a squad player at one of the big four. As a result his brand gains fame, notoriety and the opportunity to succeed. The trouble for England is that all of our players already do that. So there’s no real distinct advantage of playing for England. Wayne Rooney gets no real benefit from playing for England, he already plays for Manchester Utd, let’s be honest brand Ferguson is a bigger brand than brand Fabio. Robert Green didn’t save it because he didn’t really have to, his bottom line is not really affected by not playing for England.

England’s brand of Football has suffered. I’m not for a second talking about the style in which we play and I’m not just talking about who’s kissing and selling this week. I’m talking about the entire Brand identity of English football. Like many brands suffer, because they just got content and of course you know what happens to contented, slightly unfit, pompous, arrogant, comfort zone brands? Sooner or later, younger, technically astute, fitter, faster German brands come along and thrash them? We had brand under Venables, We had brand under Robson and while we didn’t win anything under either, at least we were proud and happy to be associated. Our Brand is lazy and tired we have a Lampard / Gerrard ‘buy one get one free scenario’ – truly a place where brands go to die.

Take the Germans, the Ghanaians, the teams from South Korea and Japan, even the younger members of the Argentina squad. Observe the wide eyed, X-Factor like enthusiasm with which they go about a game. They take risks, they have no fear of defeat, they work desperately hard. Whatever happens throughout the rest of the tournament, opportunity will be knocking for the young German players and their brand of invigorating, fun and flowing football. Then they’ll launch that brand into a wider market.

We have emerging markets in the Football sphere like we have emerging markets in the world economy. The Asian link here is by no means tenuous, South Korea developed a love of Football, they chose that they wanted to be good at it, now they are; they bend it like Beckham, they pass like Holland, and they dive like Brazil. Adding their own South Korean sense of cast iron discipline, and feverish intensity (Fabio should have taken a job there perhaps) and their almost devout humility and desire to serve the team – that’s one big impressive brand – Man Utd have bought into with Park Ji Sung.
A more ringing endorsement in Football, there is none.

For all the huffing and puffing and sackings, booings, unreserved apologies and goal line technology debates, brand is important, brand is a choice, we all have to ask ourselves what we would choose for ours, or we’ll go the way of the three Lions.

Posted in Uncategorized.

And the unfeasibly large and over-indulgent response: (At the time of going to pixels on Ouch, I was still awaiting untold abuse.)

  1. Larner says

    (Your comment is awaiting moderation)

    Nice article Aaron. I do think there are other factors other than brand that play a part in England’s dire performance in South Africa. Heart, which I think you allude to anyway – you’re right, some of these players plying their trade for the world’s most famous clubs possibly do think they’re at the pinnacle of what they can achieve – they certainly look like that when they loll about the field in an England shirt. But if they’ve no heart, no desire and no pride in their country, then we may as well start placing bets on the team just getting out of their group, never mind reaching the semi-finals.

    Yes, these emerging teams look hungry, but I really hope they’re hungry to represent their country, NOT hungry to tick a box on a talent scout’s agenda from The Premier League – or before we know it, they’ll go exactly the same way as the England team. And that’s what I think the 2nd issue is: money. The Premier League is obscenely awash with the stuff. So much so, the FA cannot take its eyes off the big fat cash cow and re-avert its priorities to the national game – bringing English players through – teaching them the technical ability to hold the ball, pass it out from the back, up to midfield and confidently bide their time until players making the effort to make incisive runs are in a goal-scoring position – you know, like the current world champions. Despite national divisions and disparate regional identities, Spain has invested so much money and time in its national game over the last 15 years – and boy, does it show.

    And has anyone in our game ever pondered how one of the lower-paid leagues in the developed world, The Bundesliga, manages to produce a national team capable of playing such entertaining, ruthless football as the Germans? It never, ever ceases to amaze me when I hear comments such as, ‘On paper, England are a better side than Germany.’ Trouble is, football isn’t played on paper, it’s played on grass – and currently played a million miles better by Germany, despite a sometimes wobbly defence. But it’s a defence that’s more organised and more spirited than our current bunch of overrated individuals, by far.

    Then there’s the FA itself. At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old fart, the FA has had no backbone since it obstinately refused to hire Brian Clough, the best man for the England job by a country mile all those years ago. He was streets ahead of the likes of Don Revie – and this is coming from a Leeds fan! The FA is too comfortable, there are too many big cheeses on ridiculous salaries to rock the boat by picking a head who will speak their mind and perhaps ruffle a few of the feathers of our preened, prissy playing staff.

    And additional to your ‘brand’ Aaron, which I do think is partly to blame, I really think we can add PR. The media has done our national game no favours whatsoever. They have built some of a better known English players up as gods, as top ten, top three material on the world stage. For what? Because the media arrogantly believes The Premier League is the best in the world? Because some of these players do well in teams crawling with foreign talent which is technically better, fitter and as you rightly point out Aaron, hungrier? Take these Englishmen out of their clubs; teams that because of their riches can afford to be the best in the world and would probably beat most national sides – and you see instantly the talent that is available to us as a country.

    Quite frankly our players just aren’t good enough. And won’t be – ever, until some major changes take place. We are currently a country, a national game, in complete denial.

    Perhaps a total rebrand? Maybe – but as with any rebrand – it has to be backed up by the restructure, the new processes and new ways of doing things that will deliver the new brand promise.

Propositions built on sand

If you caught my last Thomson rant about the use of the word 'passion' you'd be forgiven for thinking I had it in for them.

I haven't.

I've got it well and truly in for lazy copy and even more idle propositions. And because I've written a few ads, brochures and emails for a couple of Tui brands, I do feel somewhat emotionally involved.

This banner that popped up while I checked my emails online is a case in point.

Often, when creating a proposition for an offer, a campaign or indeed a whole brand, it's worth sense-checking it with the question, 'So what?' Okay, if you're in marketing, that's a given in most cases. But it's also very worth while, once you've created your proposition, asking a further question:

'As opposed to what?'

If the answer to the above question is something you should definitely not be doing then you need to take your proposition back to the drawing board. Because more than likely, you'll have created a proposition that merely covers off something you should be doing anyway. It's something often called the hygiene factor by those with 'Marketing' in their job title and you can bet your bottom dollar it's not really pushing a USP (unique selling proposition or point). A USP that will create your own little (or hopefully, big) space within a market that's shark-infested with your competitors.

Let's just think about 'Holidays built with you in mind'.

Aside from the fact I don't really want my valuable time off constructed for me, I'd like to know this: if Thomson are now indeed creating holidays with customers as the sole focus - what the hell is everyone else in the travel industry doing?

Holidays built with the annoying couple that'll latch onto you on the first night and never let go until you land back home in mind?

Holidays built with the rest of the family you really don't get on with that loves it when you spend more than a week away in mind?

Holidays built with slimy pickpockets waiting to fleece you of your Euros in mind?

Oh no... I guess they would have to be built with 'you' in mind. After all, 'you' fits in a 160x600 banner a little better.

And if they are now built with you in mind what the hell where Thomson doing before?

You'll find these kind of propositions on the same shelf as marketing no-nos such as 'passionate'.

Why? Because you could apply this kind of proposition to just about every product on the planet.

iPhones built with you in mind.

Houses built with you in mind.

Wallpaper built with you in mind.

That's right, wallpaper - just like this type of proposition - a proposition that's built with anything but you in mind.

Copywriters: never mind who's the Daddy, who's the market?

A tweet from a very nice bloke I follow on Twitter reminded me of something I've wanted to spout off about for ages.

But first, the tweet that jolted me into action - and words.

As you'll hopefully see from the screenshot, it was from @BestWordsmith, a bloke called Doug - a very good copywriter from what I've read and, as far as I can tell, (as much as you can tell via sociable media) a thoroughly decent chap. Go on, give him a follow. Then check out the other copy monkeys I follow - they're all good people and well worth a sneak up behind. (If you're a writer and don't currently appear on my list, it's nothing personal... well it is... personally, I'm crap at keeping my lists up to date - so please give me a shout below and I'll gladly add your name).

Doug's tweet directed me to a big long list of copywriting tips from a fellow marketing hack called Bill. If you're a writer, you'll have heard of him - Bill Fryer - a Big Daddy amongst the Copy Club.

Now Bill's obviously pretty successful. He's one of the breed of copywriters who's utterly, totally, completely commercially focused.

'What?' I hear the writers scream. 'To be a decent writer (of the marketing copy variety) you are inherently commercial.'

Yup. But I'm talking about being commercial in terms of marketing yourself as opposed to being commercial about marketing your clients.

And here comes the other 'but'. And the thing I've been meaning to mention for ages:

Just who does this breed of copywriter think they are marketing to?

Take a look at the link - if you haven't already.

As I said, a great big long list of copywriting tips. For copywriters.

Now writers, I don't know about you, but my market is not a bunch of copywriters looking for tips on how to improve their skills. My market is a bunch of marketing bods and business bods looking to improve their bottom line.

I'm not talking about posts on SEO, discussions on grocers' apostrophes and debates on copy style - the benefit of a potential client reading those is obvious. They show the writer has more in-depth knowledge; they show the writer thinks beyond wasting pixel ink; they show the writer cares about their craft.

And they show the writer to be someone who can add far more value than the client who can merely string words together.

You know that client. It's the client that forces their version upon you. The cart horse client who drafts their idea of how the copy should be, challenges you to beat it and after you duly knock it into shape and beat its potential pulling power out of sight, still doesn't drink the water.

The client who really shouldn't be writing copy.

So are Bill's tips for that client? Because they seem like tips for writers to me.

Which begs me to ask, 'Is it all a little bit of peacocking?' (Yup, you're allowed to invent new words on your own blog by the way.)

Or is it misdirected marketing?

I've not made up my mind yet but at least I've got it off my chest.

I dunno, you tell me.

Fresh meat, Billy Bob? Copy that!

Howdy pardner,

Lost your way some?

Doan worry nun, weycome to de deep sowth!

A place where families stay real close-knit. Where love is free 'n' eezy and where, if you don't know yo way roun' a good ole country choon on a banjo... well... you won't fit in that good.

But hell, doan worry nun, we'll always find a way to fit in you!

An' yo sho weycome to try our homecooked food anytime. We like ta mosey on down to our local store, Billy Bob Morrison's. Oh he doan run the show no more... hell, he six feet in the groun'. But his boy Ken... boy oh boy... he be turning out some gooood shit on those shelves.

Aint that far away too.... 'bout 12 miles up yonder track. We can git up there lickety-split on the back o' Bertha. She's our prize sow an' she sho goood at taking a fine ole load from time to time, if ya get ma drift.

Anyhoo, we cooking up some damn fine sausage right now pardner... real thick 'n' juicy.

An when ah say thick... ah'm talkin' girth... oh boy... that's right... pork thick!

PORK THICK... ya hear?

Not beef thick.

Not lamb thick.

That's right pardner, PORK THICK. Six of 'em too.

An' doan let a liddle thing like a missin' full stop put you off. Lots a shit go missin' roun' these parts, aint no shame.

Now, sho ya won't stay an' join us?

Off the shelf, completely off the money

I just walked past a Thomson travel agents in north Leeds. I got as far as the entrance of the bank next door.

Then a lightening bolt struck. Something pulled me back. Something a bit Star Trekky... an unfathomable force, a magnetic field that sucked me, frowning and bewildered back to the travel agents - and to the banner you see here.

This dark force then proceeded to swirl around my right hand. Still not quite believing my eyes, the hijacked hand took out my phone and made me capture the banner in all its glory.

Now that strange energy is making me stick a post up about the event.

What is it exactly? I've always said to myself don't become one of those copywriters who bangs on ad infinitum about apostrophe abuse, split infinitives and copy cliches.

But I can't help myself. The Shelf Monster is making me do it, completely against my will.

You see, the Shelf Monster comes from a planet called Thatull Do, is a hairy beast of immense power and, once disturbed, can cause destruction of universal proportions - especially to otherwise well-intended marketing campaigns.

And boy, has someone pissed off the Shelf Monster with this humdinger.

Someone, perhaps a young marketing director, possibly also from Thatull Do, or a young copy monkey travelling the galaxy in search of inspiration has seen fit to sneak into the Shelf Monster's cave and nick one of the beast's most prized possessions: the word, 'passionate'.

Oh boy, that big fella's pretty damned annoyed now. So pretty damned annoyed, he's gonna rip the head off the campaign's impact, take a huge dump on its response rates and trample all over the Thomson brand for weeks to come.


My advice to anyone naive, lazy or pressed-for-time enough to even think of foraging around in the Shelf Monster's cave for effective copy?

Don't. It aint pretty. Then watch this short piece of film from the erratically brilliant David Mitchell.

You'll then hopefully never think of entering the Shelf Monster's domain - ever.

For more cliche-riddled nonsense, take a wander over to The Drum to see what Gabriella Cilmi has to say on the subject.