Copywriting the right way?

I saw this product at Macy's in downtown Seattle the other day.  It's a "Dual Event Timer" from the "Martha Stewart Collection."  I guess it's a neat idea.  It let's you have more than one timer in your kitchen, which is great when you want to time both the bagel bites in the oven, and the coffee steeping in the french press.  But I wasn't too keen on the name.  This is how my though process went:

"Dual event timer? That's stupid.  How pretenscious.  Is that because it's from the Martha Stewart collection?  They have to make it fancy?  That's just obnoxious.

It doens't need to be that fancy, people.  It's a simple product.  Just give it a simple name. Just call it the...


Hmm.  What should the call it?

It's a kitchen timer.  Well, I guess you can use it outside the kitchen, too, so maybe there's no need for that word.  And 'dual kitchen' doesn't make sense anyway because most people only have one kitchen. But I guess it should mention that it support two different 'activities.'  Or maybe 'events' which may be simpler.

It's two timers in one, so the number two should be in the name.  Or the word 'Bi.' (Maybe not bi -- too controversial).  Or 'duo.'  That might work.  Or how about 'dual?'

So that's it.  Why didn't those stuck up writers just call it something simple like 'dual event timer' instead of 'dual eve...'


I guess they did a good job afterall."

So after I managed to swallow my populist outrage, I had to admit to myself that the name they came up with was pretty good, and that copy writing is hard.

And that maybe, just maybe, thinking to myself in parenthetical expressions is over doing it just a little bit.


Sharkbytes said...

That's pretty funny. I remember going through some similar thought process with a product a while ago. Economy of words is HARD. I bet you've heard the joke about the man who hung a sign outside his shop. Was it hats or boots? The one where all his friends kept paring words off because they were unnecessary until he didn't have a sign at all. I think I should go look that up.

Rich Sands said...

This is funny. I hate it when I become annoyed at something like that and then, after some thought, realize that I'm wrong! Even if I haven't said anything to anyone else, I'll still have those mental digressions, which are, as I said, maddening when it turns out my first critical thought was badly flawed.
Very nice blog. I'll be checking in regularly.

Lola said...

How about 2 timers in 1 case? So that when one of them breaks, you have twice as big a timer to find space for in your kitchen.

Lola said...

Or if you have kids...you can lose both at the same time.

Jon Clarke said...

You're welcome.