Another riotous demolition job from Ryan Wallman

“Monkeys on typewriters” was his title:

I’d say unfair to monkeys

David Ogilvy once said one way to judge the quality of a piece of copy was to ask if you wished you’d written it yourself.

Now that I fast fade into irrelevance and sloth I almost always wish I’d written Ryan Wallman’s copy – or content, as they say now. It is invariably funny, relevant – and often laudably furious.

Here’s a brilliant example. As you read it, reflect that as Ryan notes, these management consultancies have started buying ad agencies.

I’m a discreet man when it comes to copywriting criticism. As a rule, I don’t like to single out specific companies for naming and shaming.

But of course there are exceptions to every rule.

Pretty much every time I’ve ventured online recently, I have been confronted by an ad for Accenture. Actually, “confronted” is not the right description. More like “visually violated and intellectually insulted”.

It all began with this little gem.



As I said on Twitter at the time, this copy seems like it was written by a monkey with a typewriter, on a 3-day meth bender.

As you can tell, this particular copy-monkey is obviously quite partial to a portmanteau. Unfortunately, though, his drug-addled simian brain can’t tell when the portmanteau doesn’t really work. Here’s another one of his portmantattempts.



Queasyou? Then I strongly suggest you take an anti-emetic before reading any further. I’ll wait.

Ready? Here goes.



Rotate to the new? Rotate to the new??

It’s a grammatical abomination, of course. But that might almost be acceptable if it made a scintilla of sense.

I’m intrigued, you see, about how one might arrive at newness via a process of rotation. Is this an ad for rotisserie ovens? Hell, maybe it is – it seems as good a guess as any.

Clearly, the Accenture copywriter has a penchant for the surreal.

Or even the apparently impossible.

For example, you might think that ‘the future’ is merely a function of time. If so, prepare to be Accentureducated.



See, there you have it. Not only can you invent the future, you can actually reinvent it. Someone call Stephen Hawking and let him know.

These Accenture ads don’t always suggest the physically impossible, though. Sometimes they just go for the physically incongruous.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to advertise the concept of making a profit. What physical metaphor might you use?

Leaping? Soaring?

Or something like this?



And with that, I think we’ve sufficiently plumbed the depths of Accenture’s advertising.

The context to all this, of course, is that consulting firms are moving in on creative agencies’ territory. Indeed, Accenture itself recently acquired Sydney agency The Monkeys.

But will it improve their own communications?

I guess time will tell. Or to put it another way, the future will be reinvented.

BIRD WARNING: In November I’ll be coming to Australia and New Zealand to do some talks. Maybe I should just stand up and read out some of Ryan’s stuff.


About the Author


<p>In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.</p>
<p>He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.</p>
<p>Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.</p>
<p>He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.</p>

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