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28 05 2011

I could have been a Mad Man.

In fact, I almost was.

Shortly after graduating journalism school, and still trying to find my way into the industry, I interviewed for a copywriter’s gig at an ad agency. The job demanded short, punchy writing and an abundance of creativity, both of which I believed I could deliver in spades.

Alas, I was short on experience.

Had they taken a chance on a green journalism grad, who knows where I’d be now, probably living in an upscale downtown loft somewhere, driving a BMW or Porsche, maybe wearing a fedora, rueing the invention of the PVR that allows TV viewers to skip commercials.

I love a good advertisement. It’s storytelling at its most concise. Its wit can be subtle or overt. It can be clever or sad or just make you smile. Heck, I bought my first Acura based upon its commercial, a sleek red Integra racing along orange Hot Wheels’ track, the driver grinning ear to ear. The spot evoked memories from my childhood, excited me about the car; the copywriter had succeeded at every level.

Bus shelter billboards are the commercial breaks of my rides.

On the bike, I’ve come to appreciate well-designed and written bus shelter posters. At pedaling speed, you can see them coming from a distance, enough time to appreciate the art and creativity that went into a particularly effective one. The best ones are simple, make me lust for things I can’t afford, or refreshment on a hot day, or just lust.

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