Jim recalls a priceless piece of advice that an English teacher once gave him. Throwing a dictionary onto his desk he said, “All of the words are in there, Yoakum, just put them in the right order.” Putting the right words in the right order has been Jim’s goal ever since, and he has honed his skills over the years to include award-winning copywriting, the scripting of three produced movies, the authoring of numerous novels and non-fiction books—and even a stint as writing partners with the late Graham Chapman of Monty Python fame. He is also US Curator of Chapman’s archives. To make himself even more insufferable, Jim has also produced comedy CDs and DVDs. While Jim does not lament his misspent youth, playing drums in a rock ‘n’ roll band, he does however wish he had back all of those brain cells that he ruthlessly killed.
The band OK GO pitched Apple a video ad idea only to be turned down. Months later, Apple posted an uncannily similar video—and hired the same exact production crew. What ensued raised the question: who really owns an idea?
When Rhode Island launched a promo video featuring stock footage of…Iceland, potential visitors were not impressed. This advertising failure highlights the importance of accuracy in marketing—and shows exactly how cutting corners can backfire.
When the US Bureau of Consular Affairs tweeted a travel “safety” trip implying that U.S. travelers are unattractive and therefore likely to get scammed, people were not amused. Here’s how a poor attempt at humor can go awry.