Wot no reference to copywriter king David Ogilvy? No Joseph Sugarman quote or Andy Maslen reference? Not even any Copywriter Manchester SEO keyword inspiration? No, not this week. This is a PPC tale – pre professional copywriting.
I used to be heavily involved in music promotion – anti-folk, alt country, experimental electronica, anything interesting and original. On the whole all a bit left field, a bit DIY, a bit Calmer* and proudly so. It was a great place to be and I got to hang out with and become good friends with some wonderfully original, innovative and hugely talented people. As well as good ears I had good judgement and despite being endlessly hassled by some artists for a show, if I didn’t like them or didn’t feel they were right I didn’t put them on.
Except for one notable occasion
I shan’t name names as the experience was doubtless as difficult for him as it was for me, but once and only once I disrespected my principles, my audience and my reputation by putting on someone I really, deep down, knew I shouldn’t. For some strange reason, maybe because I’d known him for a while, I’d felt embarrassed to keep saying ‘no’. I justified my ‘yes’ by convincing myself I was doing a good turn and anyway, he’d pull a good crowd.
As it happened he didn’t pull a good crown at all. Unless a guest list of a dozen in a micro venue is considered good. What’s more his songs and his performance stank the place out. That’s not the worst of it. I was already feeling pretty upset, sulking and skulking around at the door when I heard my guest introduce a new song as follows:
“Sometimes when you’re feeling a bit down, a bit blue, when you feel the world’s got it in for you…what can you do to cheer yourself up? Here’s what I do….. I buy a new car!”
A part of me died. What had I done?
This is what I’d done. I’d put a smug, saturated muso who lived in a comfortable world of skiing holidays, 4x4s and old family money in front of an audience of dreamer experimentalists, students of raw emotion and commercial suicide; believers in belief. Black had met white. Oil had met water. George Osbourne had met Donnie Darko and I felt sick. I even feel sick writing this now. “I buy a new car!!” Jesus.
Of course people were too polite to tell me to my face that I’d messed up. They normally are.
Is there a moral of this tale that can be translated into a copywriting context?
Know your audience. Know your content. Align as appropriate or diminish.