Have you ever secretly thought you'd be really good at writing advertising copy?
Maybe to some of you, writing advertising sounds like hell on earth, but then I suspect there are also those of you who are nodding your heads with me right now.
I mean, have you ever read some ad copy and been like, "Shit, I could do that."
For example, let's look at National Bohemian beer, or as it is affectionately known in my home state, "Natty Boh." This local beer tastes about as good as Keystone or Natural Light, which is to say, not very good, but for some reason, we love it in Maryland. For one thing, it has the sweet nickname, Natty Boh, and that's just fun to say, which makes you think of fun things - like parties, where you should buy beer. If that was created by an advertising writer, my hat's off to them.
Plus, it has a bizarre symbol: the one eyed man that's vaguely reminiscent of the Pringles guy. It's just weird enough to catch your attention and make you ponder it for the half-second needed to make a purchasing decision, but it's not so weird that you're turned off. It skirts that line between affection and disgust.
But check out the copy on the side of the beer can:
"Oh Boy, What a Beer!"
...that's it? That's all you've got? Oh boy, what a beer? That's pathetic. That's almost as bad as the Hot Pockets theme song (skip ahead to 3:53).
Natty Boh also has a secondary tagline, "From the land of pleasant living," which is ok, except nowhere have I heard anyone describe Maryland as the land of pleasant living, so that doesn't really make any sense. Kind of a head scratcher, really, because you can't just declare your home town "the land of pleasant living." That's a bold statement. Plenty of people I know actively dislike Maryland and would call it anything but pleasant. They're wrong, but you get what I'm saying.
What ad-lines would you write for Natty Boh? I'm going to take a crack at a few. Don't judge, these are off the top of my head:
"Sip and smile!"
"The drink we all share!"
"Let's drink to Natty!"
"You, me and a Natty Boh!"
"Nothing's smoother than a Natty!"
"Ahh, that's good Natty!"
Fun, I think the ideas get better as I go :) That's one of the things I love about writing. You just keep playing with the words until you find an order that sounds good.
Want to take a shot at it? It really is a fun game, I sometimes try to get friends to play. What jingle would you write for Hot Pockets?
p.s. Yes, I do think it's weird that as a non-drinker I seem to be talking about drinking a lot lately. Sometimes, like the Pixies, I wonder, where is my mind?
Writer, editor, scientist.