poet, lorry, hate.

poet, lorry, hate.

February 17th, 2010 // 2:47 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. Today I feel the need to tackle a particularly thorny problem. Poetry in advertising. Personally I feel that poetry in any form is something that should be left to the experts, not just any old copywriter but a proper poet. You know, one of those people who just writes poetry. No Direct Mail, not the occasional website. Just poems. Day and night.

The whole subject has been thrown into light, for me anyway, by the current  Cathedral City cheese ad. And, oh god, is there cheese involved in this ad. For some reason best known to whoever conceived of this nightmare, the best way to sell us some prepacked plastic cheese is with the aid of Pete Postlethwaite, ( who frankly should know better ), lending his actorly vocal chords to a poem while a traditional cheesemaker’s 18 wheel articulated lorry goes about the business of cheese delivery. Yes, a poem. And I reckon it wasn’t written by a poet but by a copywriter, ( who frankly should know better ). I mean, I have a mate who’s a really excellent painter and decorator but I wouldn’t commission him to do a bit of remodelling on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. So it should be with poetry. Just because you can write a bit of copy here and there and even rhyme things with things, ( see what I did there? ), it really doesn’t mean you should go waving your poems around the place.  Here, see what you think.

Gruesome isn’t it?  You can feel each rhyme being set up and then drawing inexorably closer like a big, runny cheese flan about to be rubbed into your face. The word cucumber gets forced into a shape it really isn’t comfortable with in order to rhyme with slumber and so it goes on, gradually becoming less and less poetic, more and more painful.

Abbey, cabbie. Queues, dues. Able, bagel, Lonely, macaroni. Dinner, winner. May, day. Socks, box. Rippon, Britain.

So I say it again. Leave the poetry to the poets, lest we end up with lines like “cheesey bake was a winner” served up before dinner.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.

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2 Comments → “poet, lorry, hate.”

  1. Phil Turner

    12 years ago

    I completely agree about the poetry – seems to me another agency meeting, big client, big bill, small idea – reminds me of something dome before

  2. andy

    12 years ago

    You’re right Phil. I think just about everyone’s had a go at a bit of Auden at some point. Most of them re-enforcing the theory that poetry is best tackled by poets.

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