Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Create an Ad for Something You Won't Buy

If I've got a feminine hygiene client, I'd rather turn the brief over to a female copywriter who understands the product and the audience better than I ever will.

Much of our lives in advertising are spent trying to sell stuff we don't really believe in, much less use. Often, that takes some necessary mind bending and moral adjusting. (I suppose some of us, like the Sham-Wow guy, have no problems selling what we know is a sham.) Other times, you can just put yourself in the shoes or the head of the would-be buyer. I am currently trying to do that with a healthcare client that caters to seniors. It's not a very fun head to get into; the sick, old head. I might be a senior copywriter, but this copy will come out much better if I could assign it to a senior.

As I postpone the task, I decided to exercise my mind and create this spec ad for Vespa. I would probably never buy a Vespa because somewhere along the line I bought into someone's suggestion that Vespas were for girls, gays, and Roman holidays. The imaginary brief for this imaginary ad would say, "We want to target those who are contemplating throwing in their lot with the Harley crowd." That would be a tough sell. Or maybe not.

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  • Aw, come on! The promise of your ad is that Chicks riding Vespa's are hot. Harley Chicks are not all overweight, tattooed and greasy! :) I just like the VROOOOM!

    By OpenID adchick, at August 18, 2009 at 2:19 PM  

  • I know, I know - easy stereotype to target. But the brief was sell the Vespa to someone who wants to buy a Harley. So I try to talk them out of the Harley.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at August 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

  • yeah, well it's called prolepsis: killing a couter argument before it is stated. Downside is that if someone wasn't thinking about that argument you have now brought it up. But I'd blame the brief ;)

    Like the payoff though

    Oh and on the elderly, you already have your insight: not all elderly are weak and of poor health but they are sick of being treated like that. As would you be.

    By Blogger Gijs, at August 19, 2009 at 6:45 AM  

  • Assign the project to me.

    "Relax. Rejuvenate. Rejoice. Discover the feeling of a summer's breeze."

    Mission accomplished.

    BTW, on a related note, how did you justify writing for timeshare for more than a year?

    By Anonymous Mrs. Bruce Lee, at August 19, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

  • Mrs. Lee:

    It was a matter of writing about destinations for me. I can sell St. John. I can sell a comfortable bed and an ocean view. I can sell a a relaxing massage or the promise of a romantic weekend. The timeshare aspect was cut and paste and hold my nose.

    Was I there more than a year?


    By Blogger Jetpacks, at August 19, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

  • I think the "client" would be better served if the ad dropped all the fine print copy and simply went with the 'biker chick' tag line. That really says enough. The rest makes it read like a magazine ad from 1972. I guess the "Mad Men" advertising style is making a comeback though. You go girl.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

  • Yeah, anon - after I posted and looked at it - I thought the extra copy was a little superfluous. Works fine with just the tag.

    But please don't call me a girl.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at August 19, 2009 at 12:38 PM  

  • Sorry dude! Really!

    PS... "You go girl" might not make a bad tagline come to think of it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

  • Ad adjusted at your request, anon.

    See, despite what my co-workers think, I don't get all pissy when people suggest edits.

    As long as the edits make sense.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at August 19, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

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