Author Archives: Alan Paterson

Passionate about communication

I’m sure I can’t be the only person left enervated rather than inspired by the recent trend for companies to declare their ‘passion’ for whatever it is they happen to do. Have to admit I’d view anyone with a passion for, say, logistics, as a chap probably best avoided.

Discussions thereabouts led a friend to pass on a clip once seen but long since forgotten; a perfect illustration of how in the business of communication, passion needn’t necessarily be one’s ideal ally…

Terrible tone of voice analogy

Re-reading Life of Pi, I came across a brief passage that brought to mind a slight difference of opinion earlier in the day over tone of voice on a current project.

My client, I think, felt I’d erred too far from simple & straightforward toward a brand-inappropriate highbrow. I needed to ‘get closer’, to engage. The discssion continues, but in the meantime, what a cracking bit of writing!

Positively good

As part of feedback on a job last week, my client said he felt his client would probably prefer to focus on their positives rather than on peers’ supposed shortcomings – a more elevated positioning, you might call it. I said it brought to mind a quote from David Ogilvy which I recalled from back in the day.  I later managed to track it down – when it proved to be not David Ogilvy, but a colleague of his, quoted in his Ogilvy on Advertising:

Seems to me that contains as good a description of a copywriter’s role as I’ve ever seen: say the things that matter, clearly, honestly and informatively.

Musical or mechanical?

Sent this to a musician mate of mine…

…and slightly to my surprise he came back saying it ‘leaves me cold’. To quote him further:

“It’s like watching someone doing incredibly complicated mathematical calculations. Astonishing in terms of ability and technique and as spiritually moving as a phone book.”

I can kind of see where he’s coming from. He admitted when challenged Ali G stylie that the fact that she’s Japanese ‘doesn’t help’…I suspect he finds it just a little too reminiscent of these sinister young North Koreans:

But I don’t find it creepy in the same way. To me it’s just an astonishing performance from a staggeringly precocious 12 year old. I wouldn’t want to listen to it all the time, but I take my hat off to her sheer virtuosity.