Tag Archives: marketing

save the melting polar bears!

Wait..what? Polar bears are melting? Well, if you say so, Coca Cola..


You know that feeling of shock you get when a big brand does something stupid? You think, don’t they have enough money to throw around to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen? Yeah..that.

And you know that feeling of shock you get when you find out white fuzzy cuddly terrifying killer bear things are capable of MELTING? You think, don’t the laws of physics have something to say about this? Yeah..that.

Imagine both of those feelings together, and you’ll get an approximation of my reaction on hearing the soundtrack to the above video, a Coca Cola/WWF charity thingy, asking you to help, and I quote,

save the home of the polar bear, which is melting.

End quote.

Assumptions are never good enough

Yes, yes, I know what they mean. But assuming that your customers will know what you mean when you word something stupidly is just not good enough.

It’s not good enough for Coca Cola, it’s not good enough for WWF, it’s not good enough for anyone who works in advertising or charity.

And it’s certainly not good enough for those fuzzy wuzzy bears, who are pretty genuinely sadface about their home disappearing. Here’s Greenpeace doing it better. Warning: this made me weep actual tears.

homeless polar bear :(((

Am I overreacting? Here’s the thing: Any time your wording causes me to concentrate on the actual words you’re saying, and write a blog post ridiculing them, you’ve just distracted me from your (genuine) cause.

Avoid the smudgy windows

Writer and renowned clever bloke George Orwell once remarked that good prose is like a window pane. When you write, readers should be able to see through your words to the truth behind. As soon as your words jar a bit, it’s like seeing a smudge on a window – you don’t see the view through the window, you see the smudge.

So when you can’t be bothered to sort out the relative pronoun in your sentence, with the result that it sounds like you’re telling me polar bears are melting, my focus has shifted way away from the real problem. And that doesn’t help anyone.

Get your act together, Coca Cola/WWF. The white fuzzy killing machines deserve better.



Filed under how not to write

newtown shootings: a small light in the darkness

I had planned to blog about something completely different today, but I didn’t get round to writing that post because I spent large parts of the weekend reading and thinking about the events in Connecticut on Friday.

I know this goes against my sort-of-but-not-really policy of not blogging about topical stuff (like that time I didn’t blog about the US election), but I just wanted to say a bit about the Newtown shootings, especially about the way these stories are reported in the media.

obama's speech after the Newtown, CT shootings

Obama’s speech after the Newtown, CT shootings

But what is there to say? Hopes, prayers, fears, things to be thankful for, things we should be campaigning for? I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. There is, when you consider all you’ve heard, a blank horror which makes all thought impossible. The BBC’s North America editor said:

I really get the feeling of a country struggling to find an appropriate response to this home-grown horror.

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Filed under things i've seen

the hundred-year-old hamburger

Eric Schlosser’s book on the evils of fast food told everyone a truth they didn’t want to hear. A century ago, Upton Sinclair did the same thing, and changed the world.

amazon: fast food nation (opens in a new tab)

Remember Fast Food NationOf course you do. Blood, burgers, disease, chicken nuggets, death, fries. The least nutritious meals since we stopped eating mud for lunch. The worst working conditions this side of China, or indeed the 18th century. The most predatory marketing since the Romans invaded everyone to show them how awesome their empire was.

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Filed under books