Whether writing a novel, a novella or short story, I’ve learned that just because I know what’s in my brain, doesn’t mean my readers do. I must convey my ideas to my readership in a clear and concise fashion. In other words, they must know what I know.
I find that in the advertising and packaging industries, this particular formula does not ring true.
For instance (and allow me to set the scene):
A slightly disheveled bedroom, early morning light streams through the windows. A young couple awakens. The man, in his early twenties, rolls from the bed, donning nothing but tighty-whities. He pulls on a pair of pants, all the while smiling at the attractive young lady still lying in the bed. As he heads for the bathroom, the woman throws back the covers and steps onto the floor, wearing a man’s button-up shirt with the fringes of her underwear visible from behind. She also makes her way to the bathroom.
The scene changes: Both stand in front of a large mirror, the female shaving her head with a disposable razor as the man scrubs his teeth with a used toilet brush. The camera pans back, the screen darkens and a company’s logo appears, finally revealing what the commercial is actually trying to sell.
Not exactly “clear and concise”, is it?
I’ll admit that example was a little over the top, but come on. It seems that some commercials are written for absolutely nothing… Kinda makes you wonder from which elementary school these advertisers obtained their degrees? Moreover, what company would actually purchase these ads to promote their products?
Maybe I should rethink my career choice?
Continuing the bedroom theme, in the early 1970s, the Ivory Snow Company chose a pretty young actress cuddling an adorable infant to grace their boxes. This young woman turned out to be none other than porn star Marilyn Chambers. Talk about burying the lead…clear and concise? I think not.
Now let’s jump on our ladders and crawl out of the bathroom.
There’s a commercial that has recently surfaced that promises pure dog and cat food. It asks the viewer if the food that they’re feeding their pet now contains the proper nutrients in the appropriate amounts; such as, “Is your pet getting too much protein?”
Stop the presses. Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless things have changed recently, cats and dogs are carnivores. If they were living in the wild, they would eat nothing but protein, except for the occasional grass salad. If you want to sell me dog food, sell me dog food. I don’t need a multivitamin for my pet…clear and concise? Nope.
I believe I have laid some of your most worrisome questions to rest which leaves me with a very satisfied feeling. One could almost use the term “warm and fuzzy” to describe it.
Oh, and the product being advertised in my example earlier in this post? It was obviously a commercial introducing a new anti-inflammatory cream exclusively for vegan dogs and cats. Duh.