Saturday, June 11, 2011

Half a day in the life of a copywriter

Today I was required to “come up with” a children’s story to explain investments, stocks and shares to three-to-eight-year-olds. My response was that the request was outstandingly loopy even for a generally crazy industry, but a brief is a brief and it had to be done. It was also urgent, of course - rule of thumb is that the more difficult a thing is, the less time you have to do it in.

I sat there muttering at my monitor for a while, thinking how stupid to have to explain investments to my niece, for example. Then I remembered that her level of comprehension startled me on a regular basis so the enterprise stopped looking crazy, but I still had no idea how to explain the stuff so it might interest someone that age.

I spent the next hour exploring one route after another and rejecting them on the basis of boring me to tears. It ended with me feeling monumentally crabby so I went out for lunch. While I was struggling to get myself to want salad instead of penne carbonara, there suddenly popped into my head the sweet voice of an animated piggy saying “I’m Peppa Pig”. It’s one of the shows my niece watches all the time (and my favourite among them). By the time the announcement in my head had completed its litany of “This is my little brother George, this is Mummy Pig and this is Daddy Pig”, I had cancelled lunch and was racing back to my computer. Over the next two hours I wrote a happy Peppa Pig episode of my own, with the names of the characters changed to the ones I was supposed to use and sent it off. It went on to break platinum records with the client and everyone lived happily ever after for the rest of the day, only slightly inconvenienced by a gnawing in the stomach region.

1 comment:

the real nick said...

Aaah, Peppa Pig rocks. Especially the filthy + bearded father rollicking in the mud.

If the brief calls for age group 6-9 you can rip off / get inspired by Ben 10, Penguins of Madagascar and Kick Buttowski. After 9 they're as smart as us.

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