Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Ogilvy on copywriting

David Ogilvy writes a letter describing his ad producing routine to a Mr. Ray Calt. Modesty and rum, the perfect mix. Pinched from Letters of Note.

April 19, 1955

Dear Mr. Calt:

On March 22nd you wrote to me asking for some notes on my work habits as a copywriter. They are appalling, as you are about to see:

1. I have never written an advertisement in the office. Too many interruptions. I do all my writing at home.

2. I spend a long time studying the precedents. I look at every advertisement which has appeared for competing products during the past 20 years.

3. I am helpless without research material—and the more "motivational" the better.

4. I write out a definition of the problem and a statement of the purpose which I wish the campaign to achieve. Then I go no further until the statement and its principles have been accepted by the client.

5. Before actually writing the copy, I write down every concievable fact and selling idea. Then I get them organized and relate them to research and the copy platform.

6. Then I write the headline. As a matter of fact I try to write 20 alternative headlines for every advertisement. And I never select the final headline without asking the opinion of other people in the agency. In some cases I seek the help of the research department and get them to do a split-run on a battery of headlines.

7. At this point I can no longer postpone the actual copy. So I go home and sit down at my desk. I find myself entirely without ideas. I get bad-tempered. If my wife comes into the room I growl at her. (This has gotten worse since I gave up smoking.)

8. I am terrified of producing a lousy advertisement. This causes me to throw away the first 20 attempts.

9. If all else fails, I drink half a bottle of rum and play a Handel oratorio on the gramophone. This generally produces an uncontrollable gush of copy.

10. The next morning I get up early and edit the gush.

11. Then I take the train to New York and my secretary types a draft. (I cannot type, which is very inconvenient.)

12. I am a lousy copywriter, but I am a good editor. So I go to work editing my own draft. After four or five editings, it looks good enough to show to the client. If the client changes the copy, I get angry—because I took a lot of trouble writing it, and what I wrote I wrote on purpose.

Altogether it is a slow and laborious business. I understand that some copywriters have much greater facility.

Yours sincerely,


Monday, 23 January 2012

The great digital outdoors

After visiting my Pop in Arizona, and returning to flat Copenhagen, I realize how much I miss the magnificent mountains. They follow you wherever you go in Tucson. At least I can get a digital taste of the great outdoors.  Pinched from Minimal Me.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Friday, 20 January 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Shit girls say

It's all true *sniff* (and very funny). See episodes 2 and 3, and the Shit Black Girls Say, here.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Fake tans

Photographer Reiner Riedler created the Fake Holidays series to challenge holiday making and selling, and our perception of vacations. Where's my self-tanner?

Via Fubiz

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Foodie Tunes

Didn't see this lovely little number in 2011.

Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, Argentina produced a limited edition of a thousand microwave ovens that played your favorite song when the food is ready. The microwaves, which came with a USB port that you could just plug in, sold out immediately and will be made commercially available next year.

Via Creativity Online

Saturday, 7 January 2012


If people look closely
They'll see that I'm dragging my left ankle
against concrete sidewalks

I've been trying to twist it back into shape
even added peach foundation to hide
weird bruises and a sick ET color
Funny thing is, it doesn't hurt
Feels like carry-on luggage,
heavy and cumbersome

I try to explain the mystery
flipping through my mental rolodex of events
to assign cause and blame
usually the easiest thing to do
when trying to quiet the banging mental monkeys,
is chock it up to a party
attribute it to a blackout that probably occurred
with a fifth margarita in hand, salt lining lips
while sitting on a faded brown couch
with cigarette burns, charred polka dots
Maybe that's when a cocker spaniel bit me

Frothy waves of relief pass over me,
A part of me feels nothing
Can you imagine what that's like?
Not to care, worry about what she or he thinks,
how you're doing at work, where your career is going,
where your life is headed, what to have for dinner,
if true love really exists,
or if it all fades into who will buy the milk or feed the cat,
if you put down the toilet seat, picked up the dry cleaning,
called your parents on Sunday, burnt the roast, exercise enough,
where you came from and where you're going,
and when exactly you're going to exit the building

This ankle, devoid of skin tone, obscenely twisted,
feels dead
death cascades through my veins
like Guatemalan worry dolls surfing on blood
I won't visit my GP
I'd rather not find out what it is,
or fix, cure or soothe it
There's freedom in the rot
The stench reminds me that I am changed

Friday, 6 January 2012

Paris vs NYC

I've been dreaming of Paris lately, and as a New Yorker in Copenhagen, I found A Tally of Two Cities by Vahram Muratyan right on the money. Nicely done. Pinched from TWBE

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Get some personal space

Stinky print Ad for Heinz Garlic Sauce placed in the personals.
Made by N=5 Amsterdam.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A scanwich a day...

A scanned sandwich a day makes me hungry.  A Tumblr blog celebrates toasties and bread and filling marriages. 

Monday, 2 January 2012

Advice from Granny

Or rather advice you wish your grandma told you. Chacho Puebla puts his talent and great aunt to work.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Once again

I still have to write my list of resolutions. They're in my head, and I'll release the tiny voices when I put pen to paper.  Here's to making better mistakes in 2012.  (Via Share Some Candy)