One of the best advertising blogs on the net is Scamp. You probably know that already but I've learnt lots and lots from his Tips on Tuesday specials, of which I will be the first to shell out some cash on the book when it gets published because it's required reading.
Scamp did a post recently about cheesy endlines and asked his readers to contribute their own which is always a healthy reminder that most marketing people who make these increasingly meaningless decisions are far less capable of recognising creative and/or believing their own 'value proposition' bullshit than they would like to think. The proof is in the pudding so to speak.
Anyway lo and behold I was flicking through Insider ("The classic magazine for high society in China") and once I got bored of rich folk telling me why they are rich, I shot through it quickly and reached a classic ad on the inside back cover that I feel compelled to post about.
This is quintessential Asian advertising, in so much as it's far beneath the marketing person at Sofitel to hire a 'farang' or a 'laowei' or a 'gweilo' or a 'gaijin' to check the spelling. There's a reason for all this but lets not dwell on that because even though I'm in Beijing the ad is for for travellers to Thailand, and no better example of what might be called superlatives and 'aliterative copywriting' could exist. Take a look.
I know its easy to have a dig at this sort of stuff but if I was proof reading this ad in a foreign language, I'd hire someone who could actually do it. Anyway right from the git go (after that monumental corpoate(sic) cockup for a headline) we have 'ideally situated in the heart of Bangkok's central business district'.
No it isn't.
It's out in the sticks and if you want to stay in a decent Bangkok hotel it's either The Conrad for the Diplomat Bar, The Peninsula for the ferry ride across the Chao Phraya, The Sukhothai for its elegance (and its Central Business District location between Sathorn and Silom) or maybe The Oriental if you like fawning waiter service that can remember if you like one lump or two after two decades away from the joint while they crawl on their hands and knees in the Authors lounge where Somerset Maugham kept rent boys waiting in a line while he wrote toptastic prose (OK, that bit I just made up; he just stayed there). The Bamboo Bar is top notch Jazz singing at The Oriental but the rest is claustrophobic.
There's more. I've discovered it's actually "Ideally situated on a motorway"
What else? Erm 'Ideally situated' written twice in the first two paragraphs? I thought that was one of my blogging specialities! Is this plagiarism? Have I started a new trend? Is this one of those god damn fucking memes?
Anyway click on the pic and read it for yourself because it ends on that old chestnut. "Who says you can't mix business with pleasure?" I mean that sort of language is for the wankers who have butt plugs fully strapped-in, isn't it?
I see at the end they've gone for a strap-on line of "Simply Thai, Absolutely Different" Isn't that the same as "Sim Same But Different"? (Oh don't get me started on that one)
I'm probably going straight to hell for this post but seriously, I could probably write a better headline in Thai for Sofitel, if I put my mind to it. ("Tam ngarn sudyort, yu sabai sabai?) but the main point is to go over to Scamp, because if you like the craft of advertising he'll put you straight on a few things.
If anyone from Sofitel is reading this I've no regrets, as the Sofitel in Hua Hin which I've frequented more times that I should have, is equally up for a good kicking and just because it featured in "The Killing Fields" doesn't mean its up to scratch. The Elephant bar is possibly the dullest lounge West of "Heart of Darkness" in Phnom Penh.