Without going into enough detail here to lose my job or anything....
It amazes me the amount of money that people in advertising get paid. I mean, really, a lot of what I do all day is surf the interwebs trying to "stay on top of trends" or doodle in my notebook hoping I come up with exactly the right turn of phrase that will compel all diabetics (sorry, people with diabetes) to immediately put down whatever they are doing and sign up with one particular durable medical supply company. Like NOW muthereffers!
But then something happens and I remember why we earn a King's ransom. We deal with clients.
One client has found a very convenient loophole to upcoming regulations that, while legal, is kinda nasty and underhanded. But that's okay because the competition is even way more nastier and underhandedity. So we were instructed by the client to compose a newspaper ad that kinda sorta would hint that if people didn't SIGN UP WITH US NOW!!!!! they wouldn't be able to get their medical supplies. And thus, THEY WERE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!
So, I wrote the ad - kept it just short of blood-red dripping type - and we sent it off to the client.
It came back today with this note: "This ad sounds like you're trying scare people into joining by making it seem like they won't be able to get their supplies if they don't sign up with us. Can you try it again but make it less scary?"
I got the email. I read it. I laughed. And then I said, "thank you." Because at least now I know I can deliver to spec.
By the way - here's the award-winning headline they've asked us to use: "Attention Diabetics!" Wow - so glad I read all those copywriting books.....