I, the Copywriter

Pitch meeting completed. Materials received. Price quoted. Now all that’s left is the slightly more-than-prospective client to OK the deal and I’ll be¬†for me to start writing copy for an annual report for the latest client. It’s not quite booze and showgirls in Vegas, but it’s work.

Besides, this engagement could be fun and rewarding, since the contract involves an independent school (rooted in the Catholic tradition) for disadvantaged girls. This won’t be flogging one of many indistinguishable robust, seamlessly integrated, best-of-breed solutions (or whatever the high-tech argot is these days — it’s been a while). The work these folks do (and, by extension, the work my sister and I will be doing) is important stuff. But I’m already way off track.

What’s with the oddball title of the post, “I, the Copywriter?”

This morning while goofing off (my favorite vice, surpassing even whiskey, cigars and crap TV), I basked in the sun and leafed through the pages of the latest Cigars International catalog, a/k/a “cigar porn,” contemplating my next purchases I can scarcely afford. There, amid the Sumatran-, Oscuro- and Connecticut shade-wrapped stogies, I encountered some of the most crisp and pert copywriting around.

Churning out fresh and flowing text in the face of the hundreds of handmades to be touted in each month’s catalog must be a Herculean undertaking, but Cigar International’s copywriter tackles the task with gusto. It’s as if Mickey Spillane had chosen a career in grinding out catalog copy rather than hammering out bestselling crime novels."I, the Jury" by Mickey Spillane

The following could describe an impossible-to-resist gun moll, yet it’s applied to a Nicaraguan cigar:

“El Mejor is quite the package. Beauty, charm, substance, and flavor in spades. If this little beauty only did laundry and made a rockin’ meatloaf, I bet more than a handful of you fellas would be down on a knee in no time.”

Yeah, corny as hell. And entertaining as hell. (Of course, the pairing of a masculine noun with feminine characteristics is impossible to overlook, and the word “beauty” is repeated in one sentence. It ain’t Shakespeare but, then again, neither is “I, the Jury.”)

Elsewhere, cigars are seen “sporting a chunky 54-ring frame” or “draped in an oily, richly hued Ecuadoran Habano sun-grown wrapper.” And these wares sprouting from Central American soil aren’t just bargain-priced, they’re a “scorching-hot dealio.”

Someone had some fun writing the Cigars International copy, and I had fun reading it (then writing about it here). I’m hoping my own copywriting journey will be as diverting.

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