Copywriting car crash

This upsets me.

It was recently at the top of the Video Viral chart. It didn’t stay there for long. I’m not surprised. A celebration of 80 years of one the greatest toys ever created – and they created this. I hope they’re hanging their (square, yellow) heads in shame.

You have a great brand. You have a great story. You have a significant budget.

Like the product itself, here was a brief that was full of potential. A little inspiration, a little innovation, a little imagination and you could create a magnificent little film to celebrate Lego’s history.

I can just about get over the pronunciation of Ley-go. But who in their wrong mind wrote this horrendous excuse for a script?

It reads like a factory tour presentation video. And a badly written one at that. I couldn’t watch it all. Yet I couldn’t help but skip to see if it improved. It only got worse. The man who invented Lego had imagination, talent, innovation coarsing through his veins. Yet they imagined, as he was inspired to create Lego, he said:

“Children have only been offered ready-made solutions. They need something different that will strengthen their imagination and creativity.”

He didn’t. I’m sorry – he just didn’t. No one speaks like that. Only terrible third-rate marketing presentations to fourth-rate accountancy folks drone like that. And even then they deserve to be shot.

Even if they insisted on following this dull format, at least give the man some personality. Ready-made solutions? It makes me want to cry. It makes me want to buy Mega Bloks.

Lego fans deserved so much more. These are people who will do things like this.

Lego should apologise to them for this 17 minutes of shame.

They should remember that once upon a time they brought you this…

Simple. Imaginative. Joyous.

Just like Ley-go should always be.

Book love

I feel so lucky that I love reading so much. I’m trying to install a love of books in my son. He might not be old enough to read yet, but he already enjoys the pictures. And what are words in a book but pictures waiting for your mind to form?

Libraries, bookshops, particularly secondhand ones… there’s something magical about them. So much there simply waiting to be discovered. Interpreted. All hidden away, dormant. Until that dusty cover is opened.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-ebooks. Anything that gets people reading is great by me. I’ve even been known to enjoy well-written shampoo bottle copy before. (Aussie Haircare if you must know.)

But what could be better than something you can enjoy anywhere (in whatever format) and that has the potential to take you anywhere. Stretched out in the sunshine or curled up with a cuppa, there’s little can beat getting stuck into a great book.

There are the ones you read in one sitting, others that are a worthwhile struggle, some that you would rather read by torchlight under the covers than abandon for a few hours.

Sorry – but I’m going to have to go now. I need to get a few chapters in before sleep beckons (and then attacks).

Sometimes we don’t know where things will take us. Sometimes that’s the point.

Today I inspired someone to do nothing.

Perhaps that doesn’t sound like much of an achievement but it’s one I’m very proud of. A good long chat with a fantastic friend (one with a clinical aversion to sitting still) led to her proclamation that I had inspired her… to do nothing.

 

Of course, when she says nothing she means reading a book, watching the world pass by, simply sitting. There can be a lot goes into doing nothing. There’s a lot went into our conversation about doing nothing. Including a talk I watched earlier – John Cleese on Creativity. (I’ve had it ready to watch for so long I’ve forgotten who’s blog to credit finding it with – apologies if it was yours.)

 

One of the things he talks about is the importance of play. Play has no outcome, no goals – its purpose is play. But it’s through play that we discover things. Things we sometimes didn’t even know we were looking for.

 

Even committing myself to sitting down to watch the 36minute YouTube video felt like doing very little (I can’t bring quite myself to class it as nothing – I might not have the time to put it into practice lately, but I certainly know how to do nothing). But that particular ‘nothing/very little’ was instrumental in a great conversation that served a vitally important purpose.

 

I hope to continue doing very little in order to inspire nothing.

Where’d it go?

Well another week (and weekend) has whizzed by. Once again, missing many of things I had intended to do. I realize I may need to set myself some specific blog targets. How often to write? What to write? How about some sneaky ‘weekly’ ideas to up the post count? That does feel a little like a cheat’s way of getting out of doing my homework, although I do enjoy that structure on other blogs I read regularly. Funny how I can keep up with them easier than I can my own!

Time is such an odd thing. You’d expect it to be precise. An hour is an hour. It’s sixty minutes. It’s quite a lot of seconds. (Maths isn’t my strong point.) But it doesn’t actually work like that. An hour spent chatting with a good friend isn’t half as long as hour spent deep cleaning the kitchen. As my grandpa used to say when encouraging early nights, “An hour before midnight is worth two after.”

I’ve realised lately that making the most of time is a skill I need to improve on. I am getting there – I miss swimming regularly and know I need to do some exercise yet have so little time. So I’ve got into gardening with gusto. My hour in the gym is an hour in the garden. It fits in with my life, gets me out in the fresh air, and (hopefully) I get to enjoy the results too.

I went to give blood yesterday (if you don’t, you should – blood.co.uk) and looked on with envy at those who’re well ahead of me in the making the most of time test. A significant number of those waiting had come prepared with a book. So keeping a book in my bag is my next lesson learnt.

Anyway, I must get on…

Loo and behold

I recently took a trip to Scotland. It was a good 7 hour drive – or 12 hours with a little one and plenty of stops. It was definitely more relaxing taking our time and stopping often, including a couple of hours in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. But this isn’t about anything as lovely as the architectural delights or stunning scenery captured along the way – nope, it’s about the bogs. The loos. The toilets. The ladies. A fair few of which we encountered along the way.

To be precise, it’s about the loos at our very last stop off point. It was their cleanliness that struck me – more reminiscent of a posh hotel than a roadside caff. The kind of cleaning where it’s clear there’s been a good scrub and polish at least once a day over some considerable time, rather than a halfhearted effort every now and then.

The fact that they cared so much about this area of their business (and yours) gave me great confidence in the kitchen. I imagine it was gleaming too.

I’m slightly worried I’m sounding like an oddball. But seriously, the difference was so notable I did consider commenting on it to staff. I mean you compliment the kitchen, tip the waiters, so why not offer the same gratitude to the cleaners?

In fact, it’s still bugging me a little that I didn’t give them their well-deserved accolade. Perhaps that’s why I’m writing this post. I wish I could remember the name of the place. But if you ever find yourself heading north on the A90 just south of Aberdeen, look out for the sparkling porcelain. If nothing less, it may temporarily blind you.