Wednesday, 24 June 2015

mispelt youth

Everyone loves a party and adland is especially fond of a good knees-up. Clients too have always been keen to be seen to be celebrating something, no matter how trivial. Somewhere along the line they got it into their collective psyche that if they’re seen to be having a great time the general public will want to party with them, and by extension, their products. Anniversaries are especially favoured by the larger corporations, you can hardly open a weekend newspaper without some store or other declaring it’s their “BIGGEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!” usually attached gratuitously to a date, “One Year Old,” “25 Years & STILL GOING STRONG!” I once worked on a major international Brand that couldn’t decide which year was its 100th Anniversary so we created a campaign that started as a BIG BIRTHDAY BASH and ended as a 100 YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG, only to eventually be told by head office in the U.S. that we were a year out and would have to do it all again. And we didn’t receive a single comment on this from a consumer. Maybe birthdays jusy aren’t as important as we think they are, after all everyone has one, except the Queen who has two, obviously.
A good anniversary needs a good party, something unique and memorable. In the unlikely spot of Billericay, Essex, (as once celebrated by the now late, great Ian Dury, listen at: )there’s a “Midnight in Monte Carlo” party that promises to be the best party ever. I know because I found it on

Billed as your chance to “Join the jet set, avoid the paparazzi and stroll down the red carpet into Millionaires Casino”, it includes Grand Prix simulators, showgirl cabarets, and aerial hoop acrobatics. You can Ride, Drive, Dance, Gamble and Party the night away. Or so the ad says. And ads never lie. Not even that strange Forex commercial that’s running where they’ve mixed the voice over so quietly it sounds like he’s purposely trying to mislead the masses. But I might just be over worrying here, they might just be confusing people, it’s happening a lot lately.
My young, and bizarrely frisky, art director is often confused by labeling, Fruit n Veg City’s juice called “Amazing” is always read as “Ama Zing”, mind this is mainly due to an odd hyphen being bunged in the middle by some dodgy designer bloke, or bloke-ette. I’ve been seeing lots of ads promoting some geezer called FLO Rida, now, putting aside the fact that his music is borderline bland, ( for weeks I was staring at his posters until I finally saw the word Florida. “Duh,” as young Stevo and Kate in the office would say. It made me feel as dim as Dan Quayle correcting William Figueroa's spelling of "potato" as "potatoe" at that elementary school spelling bee in Trenton, New Jersey, on June 15, 1992. In adland we have copy checkers to correct our stupidity but in the larger world not everyone is as lucky. The guy in Vermont who painted “SHCOOL” on the road outside the local primary school for instance must have been ridiculed for quite some time.

My current favourite is a sign in my local supermarket in the hot food section where some sign writer has run out of space advertising the various types of pastries available and has resorted to the rather marvellous abbreviation “Ass Pies.”

And as celebration is in the air, by the time this goes to press I’ll hopefully be sitting nursing the world’s biggest hangover having spent the evening at the Y&R “Dress to Kill” party. A good old-fashioned rip roaring adland bash to launch their new exciting building with murals and stunning interior designs to match the brilliance of their staff’s thinking. Now that’s something to celebrate. Now that’s something worth celebrating, tap your feet at: Whoop whoop.

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