User avatarI’m better at someone else’s job than they are

I don’t say things like that lightly. I don’t walk around, smugly declaring myself better at other people’s jobs. Most of the time I trust that if someone has a job they got it because they can do it.

But I make an exception for the people who write adverts for the tube. Most adverts on the tube are in the form of a jokey tube map. In the winter, every other advert is for cold medicine or cough syrup or something similar, and every single one for years and years has been in the form of a tube map-style line diagram with stops labelled “sniffly nose”, “tickly cough” and “aches and pains”. There’s no imagination. If you’re advertising on the tube apparently the only advert any advertising executive can come up with is a tube map.

All these adverts are crap, but I have now definitively found the worst one. It’s for one of those new companies whose whole existence is to make one kind of mattress that they claim is the best mattress in the world and which they only sell online. I don’t know how this is suddenly such an exciting business model but there’s a lot of them doing it. Anyway, here’s their crap, predictable tube advert.

Oh, look! It’s a fake tube line diagram. This one has tube station names on it, altered to make puns on words to do with sleep. I can live with that – in the same way I live with all the other crap adverts like this one, living with it while silently hating and resenting everything about it. What I can’t live with is how bad the puns are.

“Snoredon” is the worst. That’s the one that got me worked up. I’ve lived in London for 11 years, lived in all parts of it, done the Tube Challenge where you go to every station in a single day, and it still took me several minutes to figure out what that was a reference to.

Eventually I got it when I said it out loud. Morden, the southern terminus of the Northern Line. Morden, which ends “en”, not “on”. Morden, which is at the furthest extremity of the one line that goes a significant distance into South London, used in an advert on a transport network that exists almost entirely in North London and will be seen almost exclusively by people who will not be familiar with Morden at all. If you want a pun on “snore” using a tube station name, go for “Moorgate”. A tube station in Central London on four different lines that far more people will have heard of. A tube station with a distinctive ending that makes it easier to guess what the pun’s about. “Snoregate”. There you go, Casper. I did a better job than your advertising copywriters and I did it in about a minute.

I don’t mind that I can come up with a better crap joke than they can. What irritates me is that someone pitched that advert idea – the one that’s been used a thousand times before and which can be seen in multiple adverts for all sorts of products in every tube carriage already – they pitched it like it was their own brilliant original idea, and they got told it was a good idea, and they got paid for it. And then someone sat down and came up with four of the most half-baked, half-arsed puns on tube station names – so bad that at least one of them is obscure to the point of not working at all when a moment’s thought is all it takes to find a better one – and they put their pen down because they thought they were good enough. And then someone else agreed, and they paid money for it. People got paid for being this bad at their job.

That’s why it bothers me. Because I know I could do bedder. I just need snore of a chance.

18 comments to I’m better at someone else’s job than they are

  • It may be the angle of your image, but what annoys me about this snoreful a poster is that what ever lazy marketing person tossed it together couldn’t even be arsed to line up the angled ‘place names’ with the circles on the line.

  • This is also true. But if you’re making a terrible idea for a poster using badly written and unfunny jokes, why bother designing it well?

  • Elena...

    It’s like someone was asleep when they designed it! It’s a shame they couldn’t dream up something better.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    If it was an advert in the North-East it would have a nice smiley person on it, trying to sell you a mattress. As it’s down South they cannot allow any sign of emotion whatsoever and must therefore rely on the default approach that everyone rides the underground, and everyone knows about Tube stations.

    If I were Casper, I wouldn’t wanna know Casper.

  • I don’t need to be Casper to do that. I’m not Casper, and I still don’t wanna know Casper. I’d quite like to put Casper in the bin.

  • I am pretty sure that after I first saw this, with my seeing eyes, I then, on the way home, saw a man pulling a Casper box out of his car. I almost leaned out of my car and lambasted him for the sole reason of this advert.

    LAMBAST!

  • Nobody wants Casper or a Casper, they just think they do because they are LITERALLY everywhere. Wherever you go you can’t avoid their smug nonsense and eventually a bit of it will end up seeping into you head and you’ll end up buying mattresses you don’t even need. Hundreds of them, just to make the voices stop.

    LAMBAST THEM!

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    I don’t want anymore voices in my head. It’s bad enough I have my own. But also I don’t want any mattresses. What should I do?

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Anymore? Any more voices? Amy Moore voices?

  • The thing is, you see, I would quite like a new mattress, because mine is dog shit, but I don’t want a Casper mattress. If someone turned up at my door with a Casper mattress I would refuse it and, furthermore, I would take them to task over their advertising campaign and lambast – LAMBAST – them in a very forthright manner.

  • And you’d be right to do so. The bastards.

  • Smug mattress bastards. I think that could work as a rival company. Would you buy a mattress from smug mattress bastards?

  • Depends. What would Smug Mattress Bastards put in their adverts?

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    ‘Smug Mattress Bastards: We’re better than Casper.’

  • That’s more than enough to make them market leaders.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    I’ll start printing the t-shirts right now.

    We’ll be dukes of the mattress world. I don’t want to say kings because that’s a pretty tall order.

  • ‘Smug Mattress Bastards: Good enough to exist, and no more.’

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Would you like a job in our marketing department? I heard you spend most of your days making rocks with faces on, so you probably need employment. Have some employment.

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