By thejolliffe

I'm here to show you how good copywriting makes even better brands. From core brand strategy, manifesto, signature and tone of voice to communications of all kinds.

Thank-you’s.

Like the beautiful flower that it is, Paris is opening up.   Restaurant tables are being wiped off. A thousand barmen are blasting dust from billions of glasses. Folk are smiling again. Parisians are shouting “Mais Non!” again (mind you, Parisian cynicism survives anything). Mates and muses are shuffling back into town, some rejoicing, some wondering why.   Personally, I’m a rejoicer. Three months on my own have been a trial. Yes, I’ve had work. Yes, I do Zoom. Yes, I got called and called. But even the best-crafted words will never replace touches on shoulders, handshakes, hugs and glances.…

LITTLE LOCKDOWN THINGS.

Some little things lockdown has helped me realise. Maybe natural catastrophes happen to help us appreciate what we all have in common. Even when viruses, markets and consumer confidence all say no, clients still say yes. Thank you, I love you. When economies slow down, bank transfer systems don’t. Cheers, all of you, even more. When shares plummet, the value of thanks goes the other way. Boredom is probably a bigger killer than a virus, but easier to prevent. And even viruses can’t stop leaves unfurling, shopkeepers smiling or trees bursting into pink and yellow. Old ads are still great…

NATURAL HABITATS.

Thank you, thank you, Chas Bayfield, Mark Fairbanks and others. You turned my lonely lockdown into a joy.   You kindly posted some of the most memorable and effective ads of past times. The Guardian. PlayStation. Blackcurrant Tango. UPS. Hamlet. John West. BT. 27 years ago, they inspired me to get into this filthy game. Now, seeing them again reminds me it was all worthwhile.   They also reminded me of another David Ogilvy quote. Sorry to mention him so often. It’s just that he was so often right.   It’s this. When people aren’t having any fun, they seldom…

THE NEW BLACK AND WHITE.

When this is all over, if it really ever is, a new species will emerge from the darkness and inhabit the earth.   What it does and looks like will depend on where it lives, but here are a few guesses. Hair right down to the knees, maybe. Guts down to the feet. Glass-smooth hands. An accumulated allergy to sourdough. Right-angled leg joints. A corkscrew-shaped right index finger. Technicolor livers. Rectangular eyes with a big red “N”- shaped iris.   There will be a rainbow plethora of regional and national variations, but one common trait. More space in our cerebral…

THE AGE OF MODESTY.

I’m self-isolating here all on my own. It could be a lot worse.   I’m in Paris. And can leave twice a day for bread, eggs, silence, architecture and a chat with a statue. Believe me, Paris is even more beautiful without Parisians.   And I have things to keep me going. I still have work. Then there’s a good cello, a decent library and the laundry. Bit by bit, they all help keep me off the gin and out of hospital.   The odd social post helps, too. Each day George Tannenbaum reminds me in a different way that…

Hidden Heroes, Two.

A clear mind takes a clear life.   Clear of the empty carcasses of the stuff of life. Its sustenance, maintenance, fancies, fripperies and last-minute wants.   Clear of spent boxes, empty tubes. Empty skins, weeks ago crafted by nature and for now we longer care. The cast-away, empty-bellied mothers of meals. The cheese-turned-something the fridge holds and the memory no longer does. The packet that just yesterday satisfied one last plain chocolate, caramel-filled morsel of desire.   Clear of the death that blots the sparkle of living. The dust, the fluff, the withered nail, the layers of cells that…

Hidden Heroes, One.

While we sit and write, let’s remember the one who sits and sells.   Never shifting, just tapping. Eyes up, eyes down. Up-belt, down-belt. Four euros twenty. Eighteen dollars ten. Box, bottle, box, bargain-box, carton, special offer. Pack of six. Treat for just one.   Tap-tap. Thank you, and you.   The server of all. The short, the high and the mighty. Strutters, shufflers and soul-seekers. The swearers, the thinkers, the thankers and the mindless drifters. The charming, the rough, the unruly. The sprightly, the clearly sick and the maybe, maybe, sick-to-be.   Tap-tap. Take care.   The saver of…

THINGS TO DO TODAY.

THINGS TO DO TODAY.   First, stand still and listen. No, it’s not squeaky brakes you hear outside. It’s the first sparrows of spring. Walk past an apartment block, look up at a second-floor window and shout I love you. If you’re a loudmouth, try the fourth. For the first time, nobody will think you’re weird. Look up at the sky, and love that it’s not streaked with vapour-trails like track-and-change on copy. Look at leaves swinging to a beat. Someone, somewhere, is making music. Buy three croissants, one for your morale, one for the lady at the till and…

TO THOSE WHO CAN’T.

This is for those who address nations and tell everyone to work from home.   It’s fine to say. After all, they can themselves.   And if you are right now, good for you. The world, the air and the oceans will say thank-you later on.   Meanwhile, you’ve every reason to say thank-you right now.   To the millions who can’t simply tuck a laptop under their arm, find a cosy spot, make an expresso, tap a key, sign in and plough on.   Yet plough on nonetheless.   Those whose everyday tools don’t move as easily as a…

HERE’S TO THE HIDDEN ONES

  This is for those of us who never really talk about what we work on.   There are those who do. And rightly so.   “I’m working on Nike”.   Good for you. Really. Those who can say, deserve to.   They’ve done the 52-hour days. Slept under desks. Eaten their millionth stale boardroom sandwich at sunrise. Suffered repeat rejections in front of whole departments.   Yep. All that.   But here’s a thing.   So too have the people who slave over brands the world has yet to see.   Let’s never forget that making a brand famous…