If you’ve seen a recent T-Mobile commercial that features a grumpy old man complaining to his wife about their mobile phone contract, did you catch what they said about the dog?
Husband: Great, another contract. You know I hate commitment.
Wife: We’ve been married forty years.
Husband: Thirty-eight. What if I want some variety?
Wife: We’ve had eleven bulldogs, all named ‘Steve.’
Okay…think about that for a second. 38 divided by 11 is about 3.5. Bulldogs live about ten years, so what the hell are these people doing to their dogs? Someone call the Humane Society, pronto.
Of course, this old couple isn’t real. They’re actors. And their lines were written by a copywriter who either never grew up with dogs or who’s father ran a dog murdering business. But even if the copywriter was raised by a doggie death-dealer, where were the proofreaders, account managers, and even the client to think about these poor fictional bulldogs being killed. Does nobody in the T-Mobile marketing department own a dog?
Ultimately, it’s the copywriter’s fault. One little slip at the keyboard, and I’m not thinking about T-Mobile phone service—I’m thinking about dead dogs. So, the lesson for copywriters: every word, every idea, everything you do tells a story. Make sure it’s a good story. And dead dogs are never a good story.