All puns are bad puns.

20Jul09

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As a Creative Director, I don’t have many rules I make my teams follow. Show up on time. Work your ass off. Stay as late as it takes. And don’t ever, ever think of bringing me a concept with a pun for a headline.

Puns are lazy copywriting, pure and simple. They’re the base, boring junk that every copywriter thinks of in the first 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the above outdoor board is proof that not every copywriter throws them out and keeps working toward a good headline. It’s not even a simply bad pun. This one is even worse because you can almost hear the jr. copywriter who came up with it snickering in the background like Beavis & Butthead because he got a naughty word into the concept.

Repeat after me: even a great pun is a shitty pun.

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4 Responses to “All puns are bad puns.”

  1. 1 Matt

    Serious question. Did VW’s “Lemon” use a pun? Or is it different when the word works with a visual?

    Thanks – Love the blog.

  2. 2 NDog

    ‘Work you ass off’ 0/10 – repeat after me: check copy.

  3. 3 dognpony

    Matt, there’s a difference between turning a phrase and making it a pun. “Lemon” just made you wonder why any car company would call their own product a lemon. Then you read the copy and realized they were talking about quality.

  4. 4 Matt

    Cool. Thanks for the quick response.



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