Jeff was a copywriter, a word he didn’t know the meaning of until he was informed he was one by The Company almost a year into working for them. The Company had decided to whip him up a set of business cards while they were making some for everyone. You can’t have someone working at The Company without their own card. There it read, in some crisp sans-serif font or other:
“This will sound daft, but…”
“What does a copywriter do?”
“Haha! What you do, of course.”
“…like, slogans and bits of promotional writing and stuff.”
“Saying things are good and the like.”
“Yes. But, well.”
“What makes me do it well?”
“Look at your card. You’re managing copywriter.”
“What does that mean?”
“Haha! Oh, Jeff. You’re a laugh.”
The Company had a new product. If you put an apple on the product, the apple would automatically be turned against a blade, peeling it. Jeff had to come up with some marketing materials for it. He had been given his own demo of the product to test out, which he did. As intended, it removed most of the apple skin, not unlike a pencil sharpener. He opened his laptop, then opened a new word processing document.
Picking out his letter carefully with just his index fingers, Jeff typed, “Yes!” It’s important to include affirmative language. Makes people feel good, implies confidence. That sort of thing.
Over the next three hours, Jeff smoked no fewer than fifteen cigarettes and had prepared five hot drinks. Two tea, two coffee, one green tea for variety. Three had gone cold without a sip. The peeled apple was now an amber brown.
“It even does potatoes!” Oh, now I’m cooking, thought Jeff. After a quick victory cigarette, he began worrying that maybe it didn’t even do potatoes. Pacing. Pacing. Sip. Pacing. A quick nip down to the cafeteria. Jen, who prepared the cafeteria meals, might have one.
“Jen, we have any spare potatoes?”
“Er, yeah, I reckon so. What kind you after?”
“One about the size of an apple would be good.”
“You want it… like, cooked, or anything?”
“No, thanks.” Jeff ran back upstairs with his potato.
Sadly, the product didn’t even do potatoes; not well, anyway. Jeff put his head in his hands, the crowded cups clinking against his ashtray. This was bad, he had nothing! He had a quick look through his notebook, where he’d put down turns of phrase he toyed with while in traffic jams and such.
“Can’t live without it.”
“Can’t spell hope without look up words that have hope in them”
“You are the only person in your life that doesn’t have this.” (In retrospect, a bit grim. He struck a line through that one; must have been having a bad day at the time.)
“We care because you care.”
“You don’t need this, but then again, someday you might.”
Ah, now, there was a bit of truth in advertising! Jeff liked it. He was sure people would like it, too. He typed it up, chose a nice font, and uploaded it to the cloud drive. It was now 4:33pm – he’d have to tell Jo tomorrow that he’d worked a half hour of overtime. Well worth it though – he hated leaving things undone.
Needless to say, the product was an unparalleled success. Statistics showed that one in every three households had one in the country after just a year on the shelves. Jeff’s boss was very pleased. In turn, so was Jeff. Everything had worked out well!