Wednesday, May 28, 2008

They say it's your birthday

It seemed like there were a disproportionate number of birthdays at the agency last month. And with birthdays, come birthday cards.

For those of you who don’t live in an office, this is how it works. Someone will inform you that there is a card at Ted’s desk that you need to sign. So you stroll over to Ted’s desk, and he hands you a card and a pen. Then the trouble begins. As a copywriter, everyone expects you to come up with some incredibly clever message.

There are three problems with this. First, you probably don’t know the birthday person very well. Two, this card is for public consumption, so no penis jokes. And three, high up on the list of things copywriters hate is coming up with clever ideas on the spot.

Usually I will just jot down some generic message, And Ted will give me a look that says, “Wow, you’d think a professional writer could come up with something better than, ‘Have a great day!’”

So to make birthdays easier for all of us, I am making up some new rules about cards.

1) Copywriters get at least a day to come up with their greeting.
2) Copywriters will receive a brief bio of the birthday person, so that we can construct a personalized message.
3) Art directors have to design their own cards. (If we have to write, they have to design.)
4) On my birthday, skip the card.

Extra Credit: Fill up the comments section with witty things to write in a birthday card. Then when one of us needs to sign a card, we can refer to this post.


Spork in the Road said...

Here's a birthday card line or two from a fellow copywriter who has certainly encountered the same dilemma. It was inspired by your post-

Every day you live is a day closer to death. But remember, every day you live is one less day you'll have to listen to all these people.

Every year you live means one less crappy birthday card like this signed by people you don't know who are just waiting around to eat your cake.

If you're reading these lines out loud, you're not only really silly, but about to sound really strange in that 90s breaking the fourth wall self-aware sort of way.

Allright, that was three, but I hope they help. You're also welcome to check out my blog at Just don't kill me for using the same template, I swear I made it before I found yours.

Elvina aka LaoNiang said...

You can write:

"May your life be like toilet paper - long and useful. Happy birthday."