Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl has worked hard to earn his reputation as the nicest man in rock. And yesterday’s press release really captures why it’s true.
After breaking his leg at a show in Sweden, the band have had to pull out of their UK tour, including two Wembley Stadium shows and their first ever headline slot at Glastonbury Festival. Gutting. For them and 240,000 ticket buyers.
So what does Dave do?
He tells a compelling story. And it’s a great read full of ups and downs.
He tells the truth, there’s conviction to everything he says.
He writes it as he’d say it in person, ‘fucks’ and all.
It’s proof that if you deliver your bad news in the right way, you can do it without alienating your fans (or customers).
But don’t take my word for it. Look at what their fans had to say.
This year, for the first time ever, I’ve been given the responsibility of cooking Christmas dinner. So I’ve been looking into whose recipe I want to follow. To Delia or not to Delia? After much toing-and-froing I decided on the warm, cheeky, down-to-earth scribings of Jamie Oliver.
Whilst writing my shopping list (or shopping scroll, as it were), I remembered a conversation I’d had with a client recently. They were gushing about their new CEO: ‘He’s just so friendly and inspiring. And always to the point. We really need his voice to come across in our writing.’
Admittedly, this isn’t a luxury every company has. But identifying your brand with a familiar personality can be a great reference point for writers. By asking yourself ‘what would (actual human person) do?’ you can get a huge team of people writing in a consistent tone.
It’s not just celebrity status that helps Jamie Oliver to sell books, salts, sauces and seats in his restaurants. It’s his humble public persona. And the fact that his team (of TV producers, publishers, FMCG marketers, festival promoters, waiters, tweeters and charity workers) all completely get it, and reflect it in what they do. Hats* off to them. And crossed fingers for me on the big day.
*Santa hats, obviously
In yesterday’s London Evening Standard, Richard Godwin wrote about the changing culture of the ‘OOO’.
Godwin reckons the best OOOs go for brevity over personality. He says the last thing we want when we’re stuck behind our desk emailing someone for answers is a humblebrag, or half-hearted attempt at humour.
And we agree, to a point. The whole idea of the OOO is to let people know you’re not around to help them, but here’s what they can do instead. And if that message is getting garbled behind a load of info about your travel itinerary, then it’s not doing its job.
But our clients are always forwarding us examples of nice OOOs they’ve seen, because they were a little out of the ordinary or raised a smile. So as long as you tell people what they need to know, and aren’t too smug about the great time you’re off having, we think you’re missing a trick if you don’t show a little personality. It’s a little bit of extra thinking that really sticks in people’s minds.
If you’re jetting off halfway across the world, that’s exciting. ‘I am currently out of the office until August 18th with no access to emails. Contact Mr Brown on 54321 if you need assistance in the meantime’ might get the job done, but it makes you sound crushingly dull. You wouldn’t be so bland in real life, so why do it here?
Here are a few that people have sent us because they really hit the mark.
I fancied a curry so I’ve gone to India. If I don’t get spotted by a Bollywood film director, I’ll be back at my desk on Tuesday 20th April. Can’t wait till then? Get in touch with…
I’ll be experiencing one of life’s necessary evils until about 10.30am on Thursday morning, in the form of The Dentist (gulp).
It’s Friday. It’s Sports Day. So I’ve gone to cheer on the egg and spoon race. Be back after lunch.
For a lot of us, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a champagne breakfast, a glass of after-dinner port or a selection of spirits in the evening. So it’s a busy time of year for the beverage brands.
I spotted a Jack Daniel’s poster on the tube that said ‘Celebrate joyfully. Drink responsibly’, instead of just ‘please drink responsibly’ or adding the drinkaware.co.uk logo. Jack Daniels have loads of variations of this important and obligatory message, and each one fits with their campaign.
‘Drink responsibly, it’s a tradition.’
‘Play with heart. Drink with care.’
Hats off to them. They’ve proved that you don’t have to dilute your tone of voice when it comes to the serious stuff. And you don’t have to start a war between your creative agency and legal team.
They’re not the only ones at it. Here are a couple more of our favourites:
‘Enjoy your night, take it easy.’
Roll out the red carpet, the BAFTA nominations are here. Film distributors are currently competing to try and match critical acclaim with box office success. And as a result, film posters are everywhere. Each of them sprinkled with star-ratings, superlatives and spin.
Do you need a tagline?
Well, two of this year’s screen titans haven’t bothered. Both Lincoln (20th Century Fox) and Skyfall (Sony Pictures) use iconic imagery instead of language. But for those films without globally renowned spies or historic US presidents, taglines can be really useful. They add a little intrigue, play with our expectations and pull us into the world of the film. So, which nominees have the best and worst taglines going into this season’s awards?
And the winners are…
Les Misérables (Universal Pictures) ‘Fight. Dream. Hope. Love’
Short. Powerful. Inclusive. Engaging.
Django Unchained (Sony Pictures) ‘The D is silent. Payback won’t be’
A tongue-in-cheek tagline with some personality and gusto.
Silver Linings Playbook (Entertainment) ‘Love hurts’
Ambiguous title? Use a simple tagline that sums up the genre.
Sadly, going home empty handed…
Argo (Warner Bros.) ‘The movie was fake. The mission was real’
Without the pretext for the film, this tagline is just plain confusing.
Zero Dark Thirty (Universal Pictures) ‘The greatest manhunt in history’
Who says so? Not the worst, but unimaginative and restrictive.
Life of Pi (20th Century Fox) ‘Believe the unbelievable’
In the context of the film this works, but outside of that it’s clichéd and nondescript.
Which is your winner?