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Archive for November, 2010

It’s a fairly common tactic in advertising: inventing a fake disease or syndrome that only your product or service can relieve.  Goodwill did it recently with TMSS, or Too Much Stuff Syndrome.

And now, Philips joins the fake disease game with DBA, or Dead Battery Anxiety.  I believe the local creative director came up with this idea. I like it because it could almost be a real thing. People living in fear that the batteries on their cell phone or MP3 will die at the most inopportune time – haven’t we all been there?

So we conjured up this fake foundation to promote awareness, and started writing various case studies and video vignettes to illustrate the heartbreak of DBA. I did several of the pieces here, an agency did several more, and there are several yet to be produced. In addition to the copywriting and script blocking, I also got to help direct the casting session, and I even did some voiceover work. This took me ALL the way back to the corporate video days!

Anyway, check it out. And if you’re wondering which pieces are mine, the answer is simple: whichever ones you like!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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Between the usual freelance load and my half-time gig at the Global Giant Consumer Electronics firm, the blogging has been next to nil. Well, the Global Giant thing is winding down, as the office is pulling up its Charleston roots and moving Up North. But it’s all good.

It’s been an OK ride. Good people, downtown location, good schedule, GREAT money, etc. But as for the work itself…meh. Unfortunately, conditions on the ground did not quite match the job description at the outset. It wasn’t a matter of misrepresentation, but some big changes in business conditions that shook up the job mix.

Basically, what promised to be a healthy mix of web, video, brochure, point-of-sale, trade show, special projects and technical writing became overwhelmingly technical writing. Nothing against tech writing, but it’s not my strong suit, and not what I enjoy.  You can read my thoughts on that here.

So, after enduring it for a while and pushing through some huge projects, I turned in my notice. The timing seemed right; freelance, which had been kind of sleepy throughout the summer of 2010, was making a comeback. I gave a healthy 4-week notice and suggested to my boss that he try to find a true tech writer to do the, you know, tech writing, and perhaps save me for the creative stuff. He agreed, and… and… and then they announced they were closing the Charleston office.

Funny, you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you wail and gnash your teeth and cry out in anguish, “How much LONGER can I do this job?” Then you get the answer: four weeks. And you’re like, “Cool.”  So, I will be in the office until the first week in December or so, and then go home and wait for those creative projects the boss promised. Will they come? The office is supposed to be closed by spring, so we will see.

At every big serious gig I take, I am always trying to figure out “why I am here.” What is the lesson I am supposed to be learning? How will this benefit me in the future?  In some ways I think the “purpose” was that I needed to support myself throughout a sleepy freelance period.  Another thought was that I always said I could never, would never, do technical writing. But I did. I didn’t love it, and I never felt very proficient at it, but I did it. And I suppose I could do it again if absolutely necessary.

So, soon, it’s back to the full time pursuit of freelance work. And blogging more regularly, because I need to rebuild my Google strength.  So stand by for more pearly pearls of freelance copywriting wisdom, fans of freelance copywriting wisdom!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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