Tuesday 21 February 2012

Ever written an off-the-page ad selling sex toys?

When a client phoned one day a few years ago and asked if I wanted to write a ‘sex ad’ I was horrified.

Is this the kind of work I want to be doing? Isn’t it a bit sleazy? What would my Mum say?

But I was young, foolish and needed the money.

After all, aren’t they just products?

Haven’t they got features that I can turn into benefits? Don’t they need short, punchy selling copy and captions that create a response? Aren’t there punters out there that want to buy these products?

So I wrote a couple of them.

Looking back now, the copy isn’t bad. But if I wrote them now, I’d have a lot more fun with it.

A bit more innuendo, a few more double entendres, a large dollop of sauce.

Not because I want to be self-indulgent. But because I think this would make the copy a better read, more engaging and would encourage people to respond.

Finding these ads also got me to thinking if there was an account I definitely wouldn’t work on, for moral, ethical or religious reasons.

I’ve since written mailing packs for both the Labour Party and the Conservatives, so for me, political sensitivities obviously don’t come into it.

But I wouldn’t touch anything to do with tobacco, or lethal weapons systems being marketed to unstable rogue states or a certain Nottingham-based football club.

How about you? What do you draw the line at?

For more invaluable help and advice on writing, marketing and advertising, go to www.jamiehudson.com

1 comment:

  1. Is this what they call a hard sell...?

    I've worked across several sectors that have raised the question of marketing morality - from gambling to alcohol and loans to vegetarian food (all of which are arguably taboo...).

    Ultimately, an agency needs to live and breathe its creative output - and that means getting behind the brand values and truly realising them. If you can't do this, then you can't produce meaningful work. So walk away...