And neither should good copywriting
There’s a shoe shop in the south eastern Chinese city of Shantou called ‘Good Wine Needs No Bush’. Ha! Those crazy Chinese and their crazy Chinglish. ‘How sweet’ we condescended. ‘What ARE they like!’ Well guess what? It’s not Chinglish at all it’s an old English expression that means (according to Wiki Quote);
‘Something desirable of quality and substance need not be embellished. It was customary since early times to hang a grapevine, ivy or other greenery over the door of a tavern or way stop to advertise the availability of drink within, once something establishes a good reputation for quality the advertisement is rendered superfluous’.
Shows what I know.
But the more I think about it the more inspired it seems. The more slanted the more enchanted and more importantly, the more memorable. It’s classic copywriting. In the same way that a dislocated cliché or spelling might make you stop and reassess so might semantic dissonance or at least something that at face value appears too warped for words. Changing Leopards (the website that growls) makes your mind stumble but in a nice way. Logic gently misaligned. What about Bat for Lashes? What about Microsoft? Sure we’re all used to the name now – it just is. But when it was fresh? Ottakar’s, Google, Vernon God Little, Faulty Scales or a Manchester SEO and design agency called Honey and the Moon. It’s not rocket surgery. You’ve probably got other examples (Andy Maslen certainly trumped mine in my ‘Why did the copywriter cross the road? post with FCUK).
Now maybe I’m wrong. I’m probably breaking every rule in every copywriting or marketing rule book. There’s nothing in these names that conveys benefit, most of the names are a bit of a mouth full and yes… convention counts.
But surely good copywriting challenges convention, doesn’t taste like water, look like wallpaper or… like good wine, need bush.
What do you think?