Wordbrain found itself in the Bath and Bristol area not because I knew there was a cluster of creative and digital industries here but because I liked the idea of living in this part of the world. But it’s become clear over the years that there’s an extraordinary array of hi-tech and creative businesses round here.
Archive for the ‘Life & words’ Category
This just beggars belief. ‘Hardworking Britain Better Off’. Sorry, could you say that again? Actually, please don’t.
It’s occurred to me that the campaign against Scottish independence has had a problem right from the start, and that lies in the wording of the referendum question.
The Oatmeal explains how to use a semicolon (the most feared punctuation on earth), how not to misuse ‘literally’ (please may the whole world hear), and how to spell a bunch of words that people keep misspelling. Funny and (even better) clear and memorable.
The ad that News Corporation placed in British newspapers at the weekend was intriguing. It posed as a letter from Rupert Murdoch but read like what I call copywritten copy. Like something carefully composed, calculated, tuned and polished by a professional writer. Indeed, by a writer used to selling things.
Finding a resonant name for an organisation or product is a powerful marketing tool. It can position you, attract attention, define your target audience and help establish your values and attitude. But only if it’s not a lie. (more…)
Here’s an interesting insight. Adding features doesn’t always make a product – or a website – more popular, even though it’s often an obsession among designers and managers. In fact simplicity and ease of use is usually the way to appeal to a mainstream audience. More usually isn’t more.
Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered.
That was Julius Caesar’s snappy slogan, sent back to the Senate in Rome to announce his victory over Pharnaces II. It was so memorable that people still know it by heart today. It uses alliteration, assonance and rhyme, and it’s compressed into just three words. It’s majestically assertive, and it’s unarguable since it presents objective fact – but presents it with poetic power and immense authority.
This advert appeared in the build up to the World Cup:
If it was being a bit ironic that would be OK. But it’s not. The pose of the guy in the England shirt shows you that. The people behind this ad really don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying ENGLAND EXPECTS… A FREE TV.