Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Punch Up Your Ad Copy! #1, Quaker Oats

Listen, we here at Consider Your Ass Kicked! are going to help some companies out there add value to their brands, and maybe who knows? Inspire some aspiring ad copy writers out there to do the same, with this brand-new feature "Punch Up Your Ad Copy!" Our regular Sunday God Blog Theology feature will return next week (or on some future week to that effect).

Here's what I see on the back of my Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal box (by the way guys, love the new hand punch-back pull-out "handy pantry pack" back-panel opening!):

For over 130 years, Quaker has unlocked the power of oats to help people get the perfect start to each day.

Folks, that's perfectly good ad copy. There's nothing wrong with that ad copy. Until you see this -

For over 130 years, Quaker has unlocked the proper secret of ultimate oat goodness to unleash the power of oats on YOUR breakfast.

See? See? Now that ad copy is punchy. Oh, the other one was fine, but where's the punch? It ho hums along 'til it suddenly hits that "perfect day" and you're like, "Oh god damn it, that's a bit much, Quaker. PERFECT DAY? Nobody ever has or has had a perfect day. And if you think a bowl of hot wet oats is what will do that trick, you need to get that hat examined! Maybe it's too tight. Giving you the shakes."

Wait actually it says "perfect start" not perfect day, but I'm right there with you on that one. I thought the same thing. So this new version of theirs with "perfect start" instead of "perfect day," it's just - well, it's less of hysterically-overreaching hyperbole, but if anything, it becomes too timid.

Mine on the other hand. Check that out. Now at first you might say, proper's kind of an odd word, coming there. Wrong. Because Quaker is one proper company, and getting that out of the way up front sets the tone, and keeps the whole thing "on-message," brand-wise. If you're going to write ad copy, you better learn that lesson. And then the rest of it just brings the message home - like a freight train.

Quaker does not endorse or pay for this post. Nor should they! I provide this as a free service to the public - and you just keep making that oatmeal, boys.


John Dantzer said...

I think "Unlocking the power of oats", is making them digestible, so that you can take a massive dump, thereby making a "perfect start to your day". So, unleashing the power of oats on your breakfast makes me think of someone shitting all over my oatmeal. Haha. Talk about punchy!!!

dogimo said...

Your thought process makes sense, but whoa. That would be one fast-acting oatmeal!

I usually expect to see breakfast by dinner or bedtime.

JMH said...

Breakfast out by dinner or bedtime? You must not be a habitual user of opiates.

Although I would postulate that religion's relationship to the people has only a negligible effect on the digestive process, despite the part about the sigh of the oppressed creature (who cannot poop).


dogimo said...

What's supernatural is according to some accounts, also natural - yet this is scant comfort to those of us, suffering in our ailments.

Mel said...

I had no idea oats were so influential on, er, back panel openings.

Also, one of the first things my first boss after journalism school, an old editor with decades of newspaper experience, said to me was to never say "over" when it should be "more than". I may have told you that before but. Always stayed with me.

dogimo said...

Mel, I'm not entirely sure it is - at least in terms of influencing it to hasten! My understanding was rather the opposite is true, but either way, it is certainly true that one unlocks the power of any food item by making it digestible. The primary purpose of digestion being extraction of nutrients - and oats as we know are chock with these. Some raw food items need no unlocking at all, but I wouldn't want to have a go at unprocessed oats.

Quaker's use of "over" here feels justifiable to me. I see what you're saying, but in terms of ad copy, "over 130 years," I don't know, it just conjures the right image. Mr. Quaker, watching benevolently over us all, all that time!

Mel said...

Oh yeah, that kinda does work if I imagine this oats dude as one of those characters with a soft grey beard and kindly eyes, the kind who whittles toy dolls and cars for boys and girls every Christmas.

My current oats are a bit disconcerting.

The "unstabilised" makes me feel like they're off their meds or something. Like, I don't even know what they're gonna do next they're so cray.

Jen said...

The proper secret of ultimate oat goodness.

Sounds Masonic.

Cultish, but in a Victorian kind of way.