Flashback Friday: Work

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This flashback only goes two weeks into the past.
New Orleans is a conference town. For a small city, they have over 40,000 hotel rooms. That’s how I was able to stay at one of the swankiest hotels, the Royal Sonesta, for a fraction of the normal price. As long as you book your stay for weeknights and it’s not Mardi Gras, Jazzfest, Dracula’s birthday, etc., you should be fine.
While I was there, an asset managers conference was in full swing. As someone who worked in corporate communications, in truly boring industries for over 20 years, I appreciate the almost poetic conference tagline, “To deliver safe, efficient production, every single day.
I’m guessing this conference was for asset managers who either research or invest in power production, an industry closely connected with New Orleans.
Some copywriter had to think of a one-liner that encompasses every single thing the organizers wanted to convey to the attendees. Here’s how I imagine the copywriter’s pitch to the organizers went down:

Copywriter: The oil industry is under attack, people think you are monsters, so we need a bold and powerful message. Here it is: “We kill ourselves drilling for oil so you can live your life uninterrupted.”
Organizers: But what about the survey showing that people’s first priority is safety? Your tagline doesn’t address it and makes the oil industry sound like a bunch of wildcats. Dangerous wildcats.
Copywriter: I hear you. So, “We drill, safely, for oil so you can live your life uninterrupted.”
Organizers: Why are you focusing on oil? You know we are reaching out to an audience much broader than oil. Natural gas. Solar. Wind. Your tagline is going to confuse everyone. People who deal in natural gas and wind will think they are not welcome.
Copywriter: That’s a great point and that’s why it’s so important that I talk to the experts like you. So, “We produce power, safely, so you can live your life uninterrupted.
Organizers: No, no, no! What the hell is wrong with you? Some of these asset managers cover companies that produce the machinery. They don’t produce power at all. And you’re making the end-user sound very selfish with this life uninterrupted business. And it is really unclear to me when we are being safe. Was it yesterday? Today? Tomorrow? You’re leaving it open to a lot of interpretation.
Copywriter: Wow, you are super smart, creative and fun. I’m embarrassed because not only do you do your job really well but you also do my job better than me. So, here are two more options:
To deliver safe, efficient production, every single day” or “Kittens!” Everybody loves kittens.

2 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Work

  1. Amazing, your blogs are always so funny and I will share these with my copywriting chums at Flag (you will remain incognito of course). Please don’t stop blogging!

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