Use a Foreign Language, or How to Write Bad Copies

by Chikashi

You know why!

I know right.


Copywriting is a difficult craft. Good examples are difficult to come by. Bad copywriting is produced by either of two sorts: those who do not depend on copywriting as a means to earn wages and those who do. It is not rare to find enthusiastic owner-proprietors whose strengths lie elsewhere, such as water management or whatever, writing dreadful copies. There is also a whole bunch of professional copywriters who earn a decent living churning out utter nonsense, which is actually quite impressive as an enterprise.

In a Venn diagram, the circle that overlaps both categories described above represents those that completely underestimate the difficulty of the craft and use a language that is not native to them. It’s difficult enough in one’s own tongue; it’s just silly to even attempt it in a foreign language. There are countless examples to be seen in Japan, mostly in English (or Engrish, as the case may be) and sometimes in French or Italian (or Flench or Itarian, more likely). They tend to be amusing so I suppose that one could view them as having one benefit.

The Belgian example shown above is not amusing, just bemusing. It neither informs nor entertains. Examples like this make me wonder why some feel compelled to have a tagline in the first place. But I suppose I should know why…