A Monthly Meditation on Branding Language
From Your Favorite Copy Shop, Editorial Emergency

Issue 19 (Aug. 29, 2008): Myself Help

In this ish: a pair of mea culpas — one a case of "stickler, heal thyself," the other a correction; repeated references to Pineapple Express; reflections on our intrepid encounter with the "youth market"; readers' ruminations on "fruitcake" (including our very first poll); the mentioning in the same breath of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" and Zeppelin's "Black Dog"; and the very latest in Not Our Clients boners.

Vocab Lab: The Myself Generation

ImageHave you noticed people saying "myself" when, as far as you're concerned, they really should be saying "me?" It seems to have become an epidemic.

Why do the folks in question feel compelled to say things like, "Mollie called Simon and myself to see if we wanted to go to the 4:20 showing of Pineapple Express." Maybe it's because they've decided "myself" sounds more correct, more elevated, than plain ol' "me." This may also account for the boneheads out there saying, "Can you come with Simon and I to the 4:20 showing of Pineapple Express?" (you and I know it should be "Simon and me"). Maybe it's because "me" sounds too self-involved — "me me me" — and "myself" is considered more modest. Maybe it's because you're in law enforcement and you've signed an oath that requires you to say "individual" instead of "person," "vehicle" instead of "car" and "myself" instead of "me."

Read the rest here.

Market Research: Their Name Is Dude

ImageWe recently headed into the field to research the coveted 18-24 male demographic. By which we mean the energetically consumerist, technologically savvy boys of Generation Y (aka "Generation @," aka "the millennials").

Well, that's not strictly true; we just went to the movies.

We were eager to catch the very first showing in our area of Pineapple Express. But said prized demo was there in force. They sat in a cliquish clump in front of the not-yet-open box office. They gathered for a spirited game of Egyptian Ratscrew outside a neighboring cafe, sucking as coolly as possible on their American Spirits. They processed the voice and e-mail messages on their tricked-out phones and texted idly on their PDA kalimbas.

We knew this bunch of early adopters — so keen to watch Seth Rogen (their Cary Grant) et al. cavorting across the cannabisphere with guns and wisecracks a-blazing that they'd made camp hours ahead of time — represented a goldmine of market research. What were their current passions in TV, tech, games, clothes, food, drink? Like naturalists in the Serengeti, we strained our eyes to observe.

Read the rest here.

The Fruitcake Files: Readers Respond

ImageTo recap a segment of our last issue, longtime reader and FOEE Cybele Parsignault had asked us to conjure a name for unwanted mass e-mail from family and friends — in other words, spam from folks you know, which is an altogether different class of annoyance from ordinary stranger-spam.

We proffered "fruitcake," likening these well-intentioned but unwelcome digital broadsides to mass-produced, implicitly unsavory holiday foodstuffs. But we also asked our readers to chime in. And unlike those yet-to-be-definitively monikered messages that sparked Cybele's inquiry, their suggestions were most welcome.

"Since forever, my term for the endless stream of solicitations, encouragements for li'l cousin Alphonse, who's swimming Lake Erie to raise awareness of some peculiar disease, etc., has been 'jam,'" relates SAP Canada marketing director Patrick Hart. "'Cause it ain't spam, but it rhymes with spam, and it jams up the in-box."

Read the rest here.

Round and Shiny: The Audacity of Opera

ImageFrankly, it sounded like a terrible idea: arias from the world's best-known operas done up rock-style. But Olde School, the first major-label release from New York's East Village Opera Company, is a daring effort that successfully places the towering emotions of the original works into a new musical context. Things start off, appropriately enough, with "The Ride," as a male-female vocal duet invokes the God of War, trading off with a monster guitar riff. After the shock wears off, that riff reveals itself as the martial motif of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" ñ but the arrangement clearly emulates the brutal syncopation of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog."

Read the rest here.

Not Our Clients: Knitwits Edition

Just because we goof on occasion doesn't mean we can't continue pointing out the gaffes of others. Witness this sign, which compounds the too-cute pun of the store name with a disastrous apostrophe.

Three months to knit a sweater; two seconds to proofread a sign.

If you have the requisite intestinal fortitude, sample the entire collection by visiting the Not Our Clients section of the Editorial Emergency website. And remember, if you This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it a prospective Not Our Clients entry and we post it, you'll score an iTunes gift certificate.

We Were Wrong: Variations on a Theme

Thanks to James Young, an account exec at Campfire, for writing to say: "I just read the [Editorializing] article about our True Blood campaign for HBO, and we truly appreciate the kind words. Weíve put a lot of work into this project and itís enormously satisfying to see people enjoying it. [However,] while we've had our hands in many, many aspects of this campaign, we canít take credit for writing the Tru Blood beverage ads." Sport that he is, James made a follow-up call for us and reported back that credit for the print ads lionized in our previous issue rightfully goes to Tom Schlange's team at ... And Company. Editorializing regrets the error; we promise to try harder next time.

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