Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sky Mall Part 2

It might be fun to write the copy for Sky Mall catalogue. Remember when Elaine from Seinfeld wrote the copy for an outdoor clothing catalogue? The idea was to be absurdly over the top. These phrases keep popping in my head. Feels like a winner… Why would you live without?...Be the first on your block… A must for every household… Imagine yourself on the beach…The envy of your friends. If it were your job to write for Sky Mall, your writer’s notebook would be filled with this stuff.

If you got good at writing like this, you would look at the world differently. Even everyday things could become extra special, glamorous, exciting. Belts, slippers, sunglasses, even kitty litter boxes would have an alluring appeal they wouldn’t normally have.

Imagine if you were an inventor of this stuff. Chase away stress with soothing sounds and enriched oxygen… Enliven your shower experience by transforming your regular shower into a fountain of brilliant fun… Want to raise eyebrows at your next sales meeting?... The most sought after helicopter on the block… The first shoes that make your feet feel like you are defying gravity…

Take a simple everyday task like showering, pouring a liquid, putting on shoes, lying down or even breathing. Then think of a way to shake it up, make it a little different. Add a dose of ridiculous hyperbole, and… Create a personalized meal by branding your steaks and chicken and burgers… The ultimate in gear management clothing… Bring out your inner diva… You can’t help but have happy feet when you wear these adorable slippers… Experience ultimate relaxation… You’ll feel better and perform better when your feet enjoy the comfort of customized footbeds.

Footbeds? Ingenious. Not just reallyreallyniceslippers. ‘Footbeds’ is underlined by a squiggly red line on my computer. The writer created a new compound word, never seen before. That would be a cool component of this job too. You could describe everyday things with your own groundbreakingcompoundwords. Rings could become fingerbracelets, shirts might be upperbodywraps, belts – trousertrusses, socks – footsleeves, spoons – minimouthshovels. The possibilities are endless!

And what about all that spy stuff? This equipment compares with (no, far surpasses) the Mission Impossible and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. of the 60’s. If what they advertise so gloriously is true? No one is safe from surveillance. I mean it. Check these out:

136 Hour Digital Voice Recorder – This is the next generation in technology. Discreetly and remotely record conversations in the room next door or even over the telephone. $149.95

This in RED: RECORDING CONVERSATIONS IS NOT LEGAL IN SOME JURISDICTIONS. CHECK WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT BEFORE RECORDING ANY CONVERSATION. I’m totally sure that anyone who buys one of these devices will be checking with local law enforcement before recording any conversation. Thank goodness that was in red because otherwise those who record other people’s conversations may not have checked with local authorities.

Bionic Sound Technology Microphone Listening Device. “Hear” and “See” a conversation from a football field away. What’s with the quotation marks?

Carry your eyewitness in your pocket – picture and video recording pen.

Picture taking, night vision, monocular, video-recording sunglasses to discreetly record all that you see.

Who is going to buy this stuff? Can you imagine listing spying on your friends and neighbors as an interest or hobby on a job application form? What would you say on Monday morning when your coworker asks what you did over the weekend? Would your answer be something like, “Not much really, but you wouldn’t believe the conversations I recorded through my apartment wall.”


Kelly said...

absolutely too funny! sounds like the KGB would have had a field day with the sky mall catalogue. It almost sounds like something Orwell or Bradbury would have 'invented' for one of their novels-which, incidentally I can't read because they freak me out too much. So, did you buy anything? At least it sounds like it was all on sale, right? I have to ask, what would be your ultimate newly minted compound word?

Chris Hass said...

Like all writers, they see magic in the mundane. Well, probably what they are doing is trying to create magic in the mundane. You know it works, though. It'd be fun to take a critical look at the text and photos in these ads with your class to see how the catalog is evoking emotion in the reader. The same can often be found in classified ads. Last summer I tried to write a humorous classified ad for someone wanting to sell their blood donor card. Try evoking emotion from a blood donor card. We had been asked to pick an item out of our purses (yeah, I was the only guy) and write an ad for it with some of the language we were noticing in other ads. It was a lot of fun. I don't think I'd want to make my living that way, though!