Browsing Month May, 2011

Say it ain’t seo, Joe.

May 25th, 2011 // 6:18 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. How are you doing today then? Everything ok? Life going well? No grey clouds, ( volcanic ash notwithstanding ), on the horizon? Everything just tickety boo? Well bully for you, you smug git.

I’ve had a couple of days of nightmarish techno-fear. Well, I say techno-fear. It’s probably a walk in the park for loads of you out there but for me it was a nightmare. My website went down on me you see, ( which is nothing like as pleasurable as it might sound by the way. Just imagine my disappointment ), and with it my andy@whitewriting.com email address. For me, such events are nothing less than terrifying as they mean I have to get involved with the dark arts and wizardry that make the World Wide Web work. And that’s just not me at all. I know, as a copywriter of some repute, ( please don’t snigger, you just look stupid with that stupid sniggery stupid face of yours ), I probably should know the ins and outs of the internet but I’d really rather not. I have quite enough useless rubbish tumbling around in my head without having  http, html, coding and all that malarkey jostling for elbow room. So, as I always do in these circumstances, I phoned someone who does know about such matters. In this case Gary at Mediaburst. Gary’s ace Gary is and he knows this stuff so it all got sorted out in a matter of moments. Turns out these ‘Web hosts’ need paying from time to time. Who knew?

Anyway, while all this was being cleared up, Gary decided to check out how my site was performing SEO wise. Now I’ve never claimed to be the World’s leading authority on SEO but it turns out I’ve not really paid the kind of attention I give to clients’ websites in that area to my own. You see, having done one of those ‘Keyword density’ test things it turns out that, according to Google, I’m not a Manchester copywriter at all. I am in fact Stockport’s leading Radio Art Director. Now that would be simply lovely if I was in fact a Radio Art Director, better still if there were such a thing as a Radio Art Director. But there isn’t. You see that would be a bit like being Radio’s leading make-up artist, set designer, juggler or fire-eater. So saying, there was a ventriloquist with his own radio show some years back. That’s a great gig isn’t it? He must have had a terrific agent, in fact I think he’s still in the business, working closely with the Commissioning Director of ITV 3.

So, having taken some SEO advice on board and with a view to increasing my ‘hits’, I’ve spent some time this afternoon shoehorning the words ‘copywriter’, ‘copy’, ‘writer’, ‘Manchester’ and ‘Stockport’ into the home page of The Whitewriting website. Which leads me neatly to a subject close to my heart. And that  subject is, copy written specifically to work for SEO.  I hate it and it is, by and large, bloody awful. Just clunky and clumsy and horrible. Ok, it may appeal to the spiders that run the search engines but once you click a link, arrive and start reading, you pretty quickly want to stop reading. I wrote a post about it a while ago, if you didn’t read it then, you can have a look by clicking here.  The problem as I see it is, once you start to rely on on keyword heavy copy to reel in the search engines, it destroys what I like to think of as ‘real’ copywriting. Words that flow, pulling the reader along for a pleasant ride, sometimes meandering to take in an interesting thought or two, occasionally stopping off at a particular idea. Hopefully providing a little entertainment along the way.

I’m not going to go though it all again here because it would just get repetitive and slightly dull, wouldn’t it? Very much like SEO copywriting in fact. However, I suppose I’ll have to face up to it and try to make my site just that bit more SEO friendly.

Either that or remain Stockport’s leading Radio Art Director.

 

 

 

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Golden Greats – 6 Sensational Songs from the Telly Ads.

May 12th, 2011 // 4:23 pm @ // One Comment

Hello there. Well it’s that time again isn’t it? Time for me to run through the apologies for the non-appearance of a new post, time to make excuses for my tardiness, time for that same sorry round of self pity and flagellation. Well no. No it’s not actually. Henceforth there shall be no apologies, no remorse. For today I have turned over a new leaf. Leaves in fact. You see, life shouldn’t be about guilt, shame and remorse should it? For god’s sake if it were I’d be on my knees begging forgiveness so much I’d get nothing else done. And don’t you sit there nodding. Yes, YOU. You’re far from blameless aren’t you? Pervert.

Anyway, I have no real excuse for being away from the blog so long, even if I were in the business of apologising. Which I’m not. New leaves remember? For Christ’s sake keep up. It’s not like I’ve been up to anything in particular. I’ve had a fairly quiet couple of weeks actually. Not much work on, no wild parties, nothing. In fact, it’s been so quiet that I’ve caught a bit of daytime TV. That’s grim isn’t it? ( Not the quiet bit, that’s been quite nice. The daytime TV bit, That’s bloody grim ). This morning I saw The Jeremy Kyle Show. And that’s what inspired me to write today’s post. Golden Greats – 6 Sensational Songs from the Telly ads. ( I know it’s taken a while but we’re there now. Relax )

Right. It wasn’t so much The Jeremy Kyle Show that inspired me, it was actually the little ident thing that goes in the ad breaks. It’s a bingo company that sponsors the show and they’ve chosen a Cyndi Lauper type of song, the lyrics of which would appear to communicate with their chosen audience. Now, I can’t actually find out which particular Cyndi Lauper song it is ( if it is indeed her ) so I’ve had to just listen to it on the telly and transcribe the lyrics myself. And they go like this.

‘ IIIII know weeere alldigiirlsgoooooo. Yip yip yip allwigetagethuh wepwebwepamanaporrageee. Allmoddahdigiiiiiirls guuurangedagetha. Waddleplehplehplehpleh,plehhhdadeeeeh.’

They do. Honestly. Look.

Now you can’t deny that’s a cracker can you? I may have misspelt a phrase or two in there but I don’t feel it detracts from the overall message of the piece.

Now that little gem got me thinking about some truly great songs in TV advertising and there have been some absolute belters written specifically for the ad, not just picked out of the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles and bastardised for advertising purposes. I’ve been guilty of that myself, I have to admit. I’ve made total bastards of Dion’s The Wanderer and Frank Sinatra’s Nice ‘n’ Easy to name but two.

First of all who remembers Mr. Cadbury’s Parrot? It’s a few years old now but completely wonderful. Here, have a look. And a listen.

That was written and performed by the mighty Viv Stanshall of The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band and based on their own ‘Mr Slater’s Parrot’ Great, isn’t it?

Actually, while we’re with Cadburys, who could forget the Fruit ‘n’ Nut ads?  ( I’m talking about the classic Frank Muir ones from the 70s by the way, not that terrible updated one they did with the singing bar of Fruit n Nut, that one was bollocks ) . Come on, let’s have a bit of Frank Muir too.

Make ‘em up as they go along eh? If only.

After all that chocolate, let’s have a couple of soft drinks to wash it down with eh? How about a Kia Ora? Ooooh, we all adore a Kia Ora, don’t we?

Now, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t get made today. Possibly due to accusations of racism, probably because no-one seems capable of making stuff this good anymore.  Next,  UmBongo. Some cracking lyrics in this rascal.

Lovely isn’t it? No strategy to speak of, no big plan, just a great big silly song. I’m not sure if the drink even exists anymore but ask anyone of a certain age and they’ll sing that song back at you. I guarantee it. That, to me, is pretty good advertising.

Here’s another great ad song. Universally loathed for many years but firmly nailed into the heads of several million reluctant grimy carpet owners.

Makes you cringe doesn’t it? But ask someone to name a carpet freshener and they’ll say Shake n Vac. ( come to think of it, I’m not sure there is another named carpet freshener so that may not be a fair comment. However, stuff it. I don’t care ). They’ve tried to revamp this campaign a couple of times. Most forgettably with that Jedward thing. No joy though. You can’t improve on perfection.

You may well have noticed that all the examples I’ve been putting on here are years old. Well there’s a good reason for that. I can’t think of a single new one that’s stuck in my mind for any reason other than it being completely shite. There’s that Richmond Pork Sausages one and, if you read this blog on a regular basis, you’ll know my opinion on that. If not you can read about it here.

Can you think of a good recent one? Can you? CAN YOU?

Well if you can, please mention it in the comments section on here. If you’re right and I’ve overlooked something wonderful, I’ll be happy to write a new post, aplogising for my crass stupidity and giving you full credit. If you send me one that’s crap, I’ll be equally happy to humiliate you mercilessly.

That’s got to be a deal, hasn’t it?

 

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