Ijust finished reading Debra Goldman’s “Don’t Ask, Please Tell” column [The Consumer Republic, Feb. 9], and I just want to say what a pleasure it is to read the writing of someone who so obviously delights in well-crafted prose. You could practically sing her sentences!
Ms. Goldman wields alliteration, using its power wisely: ” it felt good to hear the soothing sibilants of ‘surplus’ and ‘Social Security,'” she writes, soothing the reader with sibilants. And having soothed, she whacks us upside the head with “collection of cue card-sized cliches.”
She eschews everybody’s favorite verb, “is,” moving her argument forward on the wheels of action verbs, thus: “For all our professed distaste for the seamy details, we’ve been spinning the TV dial, chasing rumors of chimerical dresses stained with presidential semen.” Or: “No wonder the American public has stampeded off like a rogue elephant, unmoved by the media’s rush to judgment.”
From time to time, I teach advertising to undergrads, with a special emphasis on writing well. This column’s going into the here’s-how-to-do-it-right file.
Gary M. Boyer
Eric Mower and Associates
A while back, I watched TBWA Chiat/Day win the Levi’s business [Adweek, Feb. 2]. A few days later, I watched Lee Clow celebrate his silver anniversary with the agency.
What is amazing, though, is the combination of the two; the fact that of 420 employees at TBWA Chiat/Day, the Levi’s client demanded to have Lee, a guy celebrating his 25th anniversary, not his 25th birthday, on the account.
That’s when I realized that if I’m still part of Ground Zero 20 years from now, I’ll be thankful if someone throws me a party. But I’ll be overjoyed if they ask me how to market a product to my 22-year-old son.
Ground Zero, Santa Monica, Calif.
SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE A STORY
Twenty-six years ago, a creative team walked into my office and presented its solution to an assignment. A concept line was read to me, and without a moment to reflect, I said, “That line’s good for the next five years.”
Little did I think the concept would outlast three agencies and live into the millennium.
I wish I had written the line. I didn’t. I wish I had written the lyrics. I didn’t. Fred Massin wrote the line (for Peter Paul Almond Joy and Mounds): “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.” Cliff Freeman wrote the lyrics.
Me? I learned that if you hired people more talented than you, well, you could be a creative director for at least 26 years.
Stanley R. Becker
Vice chairman, chief creative officer
Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, NY
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