I usually only go to Hackney under cover of darkness, but I can now confirm that it actually looks worse in the morning. Only art students and northerners move to Hackney, and that's because they have no fucking idea. Hackney is officially the only place in London with a greater predominance of betting shops and charity shops than Shepherds Bush. In fact, Kingsland Road is perhaps the only road in London that a native of W12 can go strolling down, twirling an umbrella, chuckling noiselessly and thinking, 'wow, this place is really shit.'
Cheered me right up.
I also happened upon this poster for the new Mother Coke campaign 'Yeah yeah yeah wang splat.'
I don't mind the headline so much, there's something ballsy about its utter disregard for meaning, it's the strap line that bothers me.
You can't see it in the photo, because by that point I'd had to board a bus to escape a pack of feral dogs, and the bus was pulling away from the red light to avoid the 13 year old bus-jackers, with guns, but the strap line is: Open Happiness
Ok, super huge brands like Coke and McDonald's demand a generic line, but isn't there something about this that just doesn't sound like English? I mean, there's not a mistake in it that you could explain to a non-native speaker, it's the old adland imperative plus abstract noun one-two, but isn't it somehow less good than for instance 'Drink Coke', or 'Enjoy'. And isn't its inferiority to do with the indefinably non-native quality of the idiom?
When I was on the D&AD Workshop I remember Dave Trott telling the non-native English speakers that they'd have trouble as copywriters. I'm not sure that's true any more. I mean, they might not be as good at writing, but it might not even matter.
Don't get me wrong, I know some really good non-native English-speaking copywriters, but their strength tends to lie more in the conceptual bit of the copywriter's skill-set Venn diagram than the actual sitting-there-for-hours-adjusting-the-words-till-it-sounds-ok bit, one of the best bits IMHO.
In fact the code of modern copywriting is much less like David Abbot holding forth in the back of a limo and much more like quite an awkward conversation with a really hip Parisian exchange-student with passable English.
Clients mistake awkwardness for originality.
I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just that it's a thing.
UPDATE: Dave Trott's latest post begins 'I went to a gay wedding at a castle in Scotland recently.' Now there's a man who understands intrigue. I haven't even read it yet, but I just bet it's mental.
UPDATE: Yep. Chicken Oriental.