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

Issue 20 (Sept. 26, 2008): Thumbs Up

Take a little scroll with us down early-'60s Madison Avenue; ready those opposable digits for our transformation of texting; place your bets as "fruitcake" and "jam" fight to the finish; prepare to say, "You're welcome"; and hold your nose for another noxious installment of Not Our Clients.

The Gospel According to Don Draper

ImageEverything I know about copywriting I learned from Don Draper.

Okay, that's not true. Don Draper is a fictional character, the protagonist of Mad Men, that AMC show set in the early-'60s advertising world that just won Emmys for Best Series, Drama, and Best Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special, among other categories (believe the hype). Still, Sterling Cooper creative director Don Draper has reinforced for me the cornerstone of effective branding: the emotional connection between the product and the consumer. Whatever bells and whistles you've mustered, if you don't bind with that tie, game over.

Per Newsweek ("A Word From Our Sponsor," Aug. 4): "In one of the signature scenes from the first 'Mad Men' season, Kodak is looking for a campaign for its new slide-projector 'wheel.'

Read the rest here.

Text Messaging for the Testy

ImageYou say youíre not familiar with text messaging? Well, all the kids are doing it. Itís so much easier than talking on the phone, which, after all, requires the laborious movement of one's jaw and the ever-taxing production of sound. And itís useful for communicating at and from loud events like concerts and ball games (having shelled out 60 clams for a ticket, one wants to ignore said events discreetly). Texting is also handy when you absolutely must converse with two people at the same time, i.e. one on the cell, the other through acronyms (it's still rude but in a cool, cutting-edge way and so much less obvious than clackety-clacking away on your desktop while on the phone with Aunt Barb). Furthermore, it can be downright indispensable in class and while traversing surface streets (don't try this on the freeway).

Read the rest here.

The Fruitcake Files: You Voted. We Tallied.

ImageWe're beyond delighted that so many of you weighed in on the subject of what we should call unsolicited mass e-mail from family and friends. To reiterate, this digital-era nuisance differs from spam in that the sender is known to the recipient and can therefore claim (however erroneously) to be offering something interesting, amusing or helpful.

Reader and FOEE Cybele Parsignault asked us to coin a moniker for said e-irritants, you may recall, and after proffering "fruitcake," we solicited ideas from our readership. Your suggestions were all marvelous, and — curiously enough — all carried on the theme of foodstuffs (except that of EE pal Chris Wolfe, "spamily," which arrived too late to be added to the slate of nominees.) In our previous issue we asked you to vote among the final five alternatives; now we present the results of that poll.

Read the rest here.

We Salute You, Silent Majority

ImageTwice this week we ran into long-lost, sorely missed friends, who, after bringing us up to date on their various goings-on, bade us farewell with something along the lines of: "I read your newsletter religiously, even if I never respond." You'll be happy to know that here at Editorializing, we believe non-responders are not only people, too, but some of our favorite people. We can never say it enough: Thank you for reading (or for at least not selecting "unsubscribe," a "word" we really don't care for, by the way). And to those of you who do drop us a line every now and then, keep the feedback coming, secure in the knowledge that all sticklers go to heaven. XO.

Not Our Clients: Cold Soup Aftermath Edition

Our readers are known for their intestinal fortitude, but even they may not be able to stomach the latest outrage on the Not Our Clients menu.

Image
Like gazpacho, but with direr consequences.

You'll find a smorgasbord of unsavory entrées in the NOC section of our site. Have you been put off your food by an egregious misuse of the language? Send a photo of the offending item to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and if we post it, we'll send you an iTunes gift card. You can use it to buy a thematically appropriate song like this one.

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