Freelancers! Copywriting! Unemployed Bums from the Slums!

Image result for confusing copywriting

Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa….ha….haaa.h.a……….sniff, sniff…sniff sniff sniff…

I laughed so hard when I pulled up this image. A friend of mine (one of my BFF bestest friends, actually!) sent it to me by email with the subject line “Harris, you suck big, long,  sharp-ass rhino horns.” (He’s always doing cute things like that with the English language.)

Anyway, I was almost crying when it suddenly dawned on me: Wait! I’m a freelancer. Then the waterworks really went on full blast and people around me thought it was rainin’!

Moving right along, a couple of days ago, Jason Fox penned something that many corporate freelance writers will be able to relate to called “When Copy Loves Itself Too Much: I’m not a narcissist but sometimes my copy is.”

Mr. Fox backs up this title with the following explanation: “Narcissism in writing, as I see it, is when preference is given to a strategy, technique, or style that aligns with personal preference rather than what actually works with a given audience.”

I’ve done copy for magazines and brochures many times, and while Mr. Fox presents a very convincing argument about the technicalities of bad copy in English, I’d like to share some of my favourite copy from Korean companies. Your challenge, if you so accept it, is to read the following taglines and see if you can guess the product/company in question.

Ready? Set? Let’s go…………..

1) Big Plus!

2) Be Alive!

3) Change the Life

4) Have a Good Time

5) Ice Cream & City

6) You Can Do

7) Bravo Your Life!

And the absolute “piece of resistance” from back in my day in Korea:

8) Even Hitler Couldn’t Have the East and the West


1) LG (credit card…better than a minus!)

2) Minute Maid (fruit juice…as opposed to dead?)

3) Daehan (life insurance…I’ve always wanted to be someone else.)

4) KTF (telecom/cell phone services…Thank you! I will have a good time…with another service provider.)

5) Baskin Robbins (ice cream…so if you don’t live in an urban centre…)

6) Pagoda (cram school/private language education…too many possibilities here, but it’s perfect that it’s a language school that f***ed up the grammar of their slogan)

7) Samsung (opera insurance…Ha ha ha. Just kidding. It’s life insurance. Obviously.)

8) Coreana (mung bean skin care product…Just watch the TV ad yourself by clicking on this link.)

Finally, to see some funny – and twisted – slogans that got seriously lost in translation, check out this slideshow from Business Insider.


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