« Attention Media: Quit fucking trying to terrify parents. | Main| American Copywriter #65 is Hot. »

November 10, 2009

My day-to-day life in 5 simple words.

"Strawberry Flavored Juice Drink Blend"

Take a second and read them again. Done? Good. Let's proceed.

These words appear in the photo below (centered, just above the tree line) and on the front of every Strawberry Capri Sun pouch being produced at the moment. But why do they resonate so well with this young copywriter? Well, let's think about how they were created:


It all started when Mr. Capri Sun asked Mr. Junior Copywriter's agency to come up with a name for the contents of his exciting new drink pouch. Ms. Account Coordinator then wrote up a job order, asking him to give an exciting new name to this fantastic, life-changing product.

Mr. Junior Copywriter knows that the target doesn't have time to stop in the grocery store and read a lot of copy, so he decides to call this drink "Strawberry Juice." He thusly types up the copy doc and sends his words over to Ms. Account Coordinator for approval, satisfied with a job well done.

So imagine Mr. Copywriter's surprise, then, when he comes back to his desk 10 minutes later (because a job well done deserves a fresh cup of coffee) to find Ms. Account Coordinator waiting for him, recently-reviewed copy doc in hand.

"What's up?" Mr. Junior Copywriter says.

"Well, I saw your copy," replied Ms. Account Coordinator "and I think the client isn't going to like it."

"Really? What's not to like?"

"Well he told me that he wanted something that's going to be exciting and tempting. I just don't know if this is enough. He kept saying something about comparing this drink to wine."

"What about, like, Strawberry Juice Blend"

"Oh my god that's perfect! Can you put that in a copy doc on the server for me? I'll send it over and see what Mr. Capri Sun thinks."


And so Mr. Junior Copywriter does indeed edit his copy doc and save a new version to the server, now a bit annoyed, but hey -- he's got fresh coffee, so life ain't all that bad.

Now fast forward to several months later. Mr. Junior Copywriter has forgotten all about Strawberry Juice Blend. Until, that is, he's called to a Strawberry Juice Blend touchbase meeting. Upon walking into the conference room with his 17 other meeting-mates, he's greeted by a sad-looking Mrs. Associate Account Executive (ah, Ms. Account Coordinator is moving up in the world!). She says that after countless months of sitting around doing next to nothing, Mr. Capri Sun consulted the legal department, and they have a few concerns.

"Like what?" says Mr. Associate Copywriter (who is not currently moving up in the world).

"Well everybody liked the copy overall, but they don't think we can say 'Strawberry Juice Blend' because the drink is not technically juice."

"Well can't we just call it something like 'Strawberry Juice Drink Blend'? It sounds a bit awkward, but I don't really see a better way of getting around that one, unless we can take out the word 'Blend' and just say 'Strawberry Juice Drink'."

"I wouldn't recommend taking out the word 'Blend'. Our focus groups say it makes the product sound premium." chimes in Mr. Research Nerd.

"*sigh* Alright. 'Strawberry Juice Drink Blend' it is. I'll get you a copy doc in a few minutes," replies Mr. Junior Copywriter, as he gets up to get a fresh cup of coffee in advance for his job well-done.

"Oh sorry, but there's one more thing," says Mrs. Associate Account Executive. "Legal also said that since there isn't a shred of actual strawberry in the drink, we have to call it strawberry-flavored." 

"What? Isn't the world 'Strawberry' in big splashy letters on the pouch already a bit misleading then?"

"The client doesn't seem to think so. He was pretty adamant about this one."

"Whatever. I'll get you a new doc shortly," says Mr. Junior Copywriter.

"OK. I told Mr. Capri Sun we'd show him something by 4:00."

"It's 3:58."

"I know the timeline isn't ideal, but files have to be to the printer by tomorrow morning."

And with that, Mr. Junior Copywriter makes his way back to his desk, making sure not to forget that fresh cup of coffee. Later, after 1.92 minutes of staring at "Strawberry Flavored Juice Drink Blend" in disbelief, Mr. Junior Copywriter saves, prints, and routes the new copy doc. 

And just as Mr. Junior Copywriter returns to his desk from dropping his copy off with traffic, Mrs. Art Director approaches and says "Hey Mr. Junior Copywriter, wanna get a fresh cup of coffee?"

"Fuck that," Says Mr. Junior Copywriter. "I need a beer."


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference My day-to-day life in 5 simple words.:


I see your "Strawberry Flavored Juice Drink Blend" and raise you a "Cheesy Smothered Meat Patty Meal" courtesy of the fine folks at Banquet.


Brilliant. It'd be even more funny if it wasn't *exactly* what happens... on *every* job... I... I just... *sob*

Love it. And fits nicely with Jonathan Bender's post on the Pitch's Fat City blog today.

You MUST watch the YouTube videos.

Such a perfect post. Well done.

I kinda think Mr. Jr. Copywriter made the mistake of starting with coffee instead of beer in the first place. If we would all get drunk before we sat down at our desks, I think these kinds of things would be a lot more entertaining.

Oh well. It's somewhat enlightening to me to be reminded that this kind of bullshit happens in literally *every* agency.

Nice post, friend. I miss kicking around ideas with a good copywriter.

I used to do some label work in CPG and it was very restrictive like that. Now I write copy at a beauty retailer. I know how frustrating it can be to have lots of cooks in the copy!

This real put a smile on my face. It's nice to know that we (in the architecture world)are not alone when it comes to ridiculous procedures/clients/office hierarchies/coffee drinking habits.

LOL! This is what is advertising creativity is all about! eh! Poor, illiterate idiotic consumers!

Wow, if that's how it's done to come up 5 words then I'm glad I work for myself :)

Ha, ha. I'd like to read about his work on "potted meat food product."

I remember those agency days.

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Latest Podcast

Ad Age Power 150

As Heard On

Radio Talent Zoo


Audio Comments

Record a comment from your computer right now. Be pithy.


Recent Comments

Podcasting Links

Sites of Note

Talent Zoo Column

Everything I need to know about advertising I learned from Star Wars