Writing Samples

Some samples of our applied writing

(with permission for publication obtained from clients)

 

1) Speech Written for a Burns Night Address to the Ladies

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I’d like to thank all those of you told me how much you were looking forward to this speech… but I can’t because none of you did! I can say how much I’ve been looking forward to enjoying this splendid Highland supper and I’d like to thank, on behalf of everyone else, those individuals who have created the veritable
feast we enjoy this evening: the spud boiler, the neap and tattie peelers, the Haggis simmerer, the Whiskey marinater, the pudding makers (or pudding buyers as the case may be), the tea brewer and, last but not least, the coffee percolator. If any others have been left out, you have both my apologies and sincere appreciation.

In opting to give this address, I cannot say that it was in taken a haze of self-deceit because I profess to know at least as little about women as any other man here. In fact some would say that I know less than that. One can only attempt to compensate for this deficiency by being at all times tactful and courteous to the opposite sex.

However, I can at least observe that in 25 Plus, we men folk are blessed with as talented and as fair a variety of women as one might hope to find anywhere… in the world… of English Christian social groups. In many ways, it is not possible to generalise about the ladies of 25 Plus when they express such a rich variety of characters and dress styles! But it must be stated that it is largely through the imagination and endeavours of the 25 Plus women that we all have such a splendid and varied programme of events to look forward to each month; and it is through the wise and discerning council of the 25 Plus women that we have been spared the pitfalls of unsuitable venues for 25 Plus events such as Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club, the Metropol Casino on Princess Street or Jilly’s Heavy Rock Club on Oxford Road.

One must not forget the forbearance and patience of the 25 Plus Women: their sheer fortitude in listening to Charlie talk all night about cricket, the discretion shown in not commenting on Robin’s choice of shirts, the bravery in testing Jonathan’s cooking experiments, the courage shown in coming in some my own walks or indeed, the sheer self-denial in choosing venues for 25 Plus weekends at places that never seem to have a pub nearby! It is then with these sentiments that I ask you all to charge your glasses and drink a toast to the Ladies.

 

2) Media Article

The UK advertising industry is still trapped in an eighties mentality, assuming that consumers are twenty-three year old London yuppies eager for novel consumptive experiences. In terms of age (under 40), location (London and South East), attitudes (‘left-wing’ and individualist), education (graduate or post-graduate), British advertising professionals are hopelessly out of touch with the audiences they are trying to reach. So says a major study headed by Adam Tenzer, head of Group Insight at Trinity Mirror Solutions.

Tenzer, who wrote his university dissertation on Margaret Thatcher, says that the advertising industry is so youthful that it is staffed almost exclusively by people with no experience of UK society before the watershed of the former Tory leader’s first election victory in 1979, which he says established a neoliberal consensus in British society and defined the approach of modern British advertising in appealing to individuals rather than universal values. Proof of these weighty assertions may be found in the so-called ‘golden era’ advertising campaigns from the 1970s. These still perform well in favourite ad polls among the public.

“If you populate your industry with people under the age of 40 they literally haven’t experienced a world before the Thatcherite approach that has existed since 1979 and I think a lot of great advertising was built by people who experienced a pre-1979 world, which is why that advertising is so successful,” Tenzer says.

Perhaps for these reasons, British advertising no longer leads the cultural conversation as it did in the 70’s and 80’s. The values it embodies are simply too outlandish and back-dated, too mired in the fixations of unrepresentative elites. Tenzer warns that advertising risks lapsing into complete marginalisation unless it corrects its current course.

The study, titled ‘Why We Shouldn’t Trust Our Gut Instinct’, concludes that “individualistic values and thinking styles drive the core assumptions of contemporary advertising and its fundamental (mis)understanding of human behaviour. The result is advertising that is obsessed with personalisation and the expression of individual identity, where even the most mundane products are sold as routes to self-actualisation and signifiers of personal achievement and status.”

Tenzer’s research was influenced by the work of David Goodhart who, in his book ‘The Road to Somewhere’, identified two British tribes; the elite ‘Anywheres’ who are mobile and global looking and have come to dominate cultural life, and the ‘Somewheres’, a much larger mainstream demographic that values conformity and continuity. Goodhart suggests that the Brexit vote was a protest by the Somewheres. Tenzer believes that advertising is comprised almost exclusively of Anywheres, which raises questions about its long-term effectiveness.

“Don’t assume people are bored of established media,” is one of the study’s key findings, a warning to agencies that endorse “unproven media platforms” because they wish to be associated with “the shiny and new”. The false assumption that ‘everyone’ uses social media is not exclusive to Britain. A study of the Australian advertising industry showed that advertising professionals massively exaggerated the importance of Facebook and Twitter, overestimating public use of these technologies by over 200%.

What is the solution? If advertising can shed its idiomatic fixation on ‘youth’ and ‘novelty’, it can regain its prestigious role in the cultural conversation. If it does not, it risks losing all power of influence and persuasion. Perhaps employing people from more demographically representative backgrounds would be a good start.

 

3) A Best Man’s Speech

Hello everyone I’d like to say a few words.

I know I’m reading from a script but that’s kind of appropriate since I first met Andy way back in 1983, in the back room of the Brookdale Theatre in Bramhall where we were both scene painters and set-builders. That was a time when there were great TV series like ‘The Sweeney’ and ‘The Professionals’. Do you remember them, Bodie and Doyle, the intrepid duo with their perms, pouts and double-entrendres? Though it’s very hard to believe, Andy was quite similar to Doyle in several ways. For a start, he had brown curly hair back then and more importantly, Andy drove a shiny black version of that great 70s icon, the Ford Capri, driving around with the same speed and style as Doyle because Andy was also into intrepid things, like riding a motorcycle with no brakes can you believe, when he was a junior Speedway rider at both Belle Vue and Ellesmere Port. In fact, going to Speedway races was one of the ways that I and one or two of you here today here got to know Andy.

Now, both Andrew and Deborah are long standing members of the community that is Marple and the surrounding hamlets. We can look forward to seeing them now becoming one of Marple’s institutions, perhaps becoming the village experts on good books, classic comedy shows and films. After all, Andy has an encyclopaedic knowledge of classic British comedy that would put many historians to shame. From On the Buses to Dad’s Army, he is the go-to source for all quaint gags and puckish anecdotes. Deborah on the other hand loves sci-fi films and light-hearted novels, so if you want to know about Blake’s Seven or the latest Jilly Cooper, you know who to ask. Deborah also apparently excels in solving logic puzzles and practical problems. Now this could come in very useful for life’s little problems. I mean, have you actually tried finding a table in a Marple pub on a Bank Holiday where you can sit down to a decent meal, for under a tenner, without being surrounded by drunken chavs, members of the Womens’ Institute, Crown Green bowlers or having football blaring out on huge TV screens? I know I have.

Now, I think you all know that both Andy and Deborah have had their fair share of challenges down the years and each of them has faced up to life’s ups and downs stoically, not expecting too much from others yet being there to offer support to their friends. Having not always found things easy in their respective lives, Deborah and Andrew have both developed a special empathy in relating to other people’s issues and together, they are not just ideally suited partners for each other but also doubly empowered to help others. Both have a deep and long-standing Christian faith and, with God’s grace and blessing, Team Andrew and Deborah are now an established reality and here to be of service. So would you all join me in raising your glasses to the wonderful couple and many years of happy marriage.

 

4) Copy describing an electronic product

The Lightronic TL2448 Lighting Console

Performers live in light as fish live in water, as birds live in air. The stage space in which they move is their aquarium, their portion of the heavens. Within translucent walls above the stage floor, the best stage lighting supports their flashing grace and ecstatic flights.

The Lightronic TL2448 lighting console was designed and constructed with all these considerations in mind. No matter how big your show, performance or event, the TL2448 is more than capable of accommodating the most advanced directorial expectations. All the things you expect from a Lightronic device are present, but also so much more. With a staggering 142 channels, 1200 scene memories, 50 scene banks and 156 DMX channels, this flagship console can handle the most complex multi-day performance without breaking sweat. A cue stack of 600 and 36 chases with 40 steps per chase means you will never be out of options, even when handling the biggest and most elaborate events for the most demanding directors and performers.

Designed and manufactured to the most demanding standards, the Lightronic TL2448 puts a whole universe of lighting possibilities at your fingertips. Believe us when we say this console will make you an artist in light.