A Monthly Meditation on Branding Language
From Your Favorite Copy Shop, Editorial Emergency

Issue 18 (July 25, 2008): Blood and Guts

In this visceral edition we drink up some bloody-good ad copy; ponder possible names for unwanted e-mail from non-strangers; express our admiration for a peppy crew of internal organs; and bear witness to more Not Our Clients carnage. Sink your fangs into this latest issue and you'll be ours forever.

Full-Blooded Copy


Got your attention, didn't I? That's not one of my headlines, though I wish it were. It's part of the advertising campaign for the new HBO vampire series True Blood (premiering Sept. 7), a state-of-the-art promotional juggernaut I'd have given my (pointy) eye teeth to participate in.

There's been something of a fuss about the True Blood campaign. It was created by a production company/ad agency called Campfire, headed by the fellas behind The Blair Witch Project, who know something about pre-release buzz-building.

Campfire's True Blood campaign — according to the New York Times, "the most extensive that HBO has ever undertaken" — is pulling out all the stops: letters written in dead languages (Babylonian, Ugaritic) enclosed in black envelopes sealed with red wax sent to pillars of the goth community; "BloodCopy," a faux blog chronicling "the amazing days we live in as vampires attempt to integrate with humans"; YouTube-ready prequels dramatizing the series' backstory; TV spots promoting a human-blood substitute called Tru Blood.

That last example betrays the real genius of the campaign — the advertising not of the show, but of this groundbreaking product. Which brings me to the print ads.

Read the rest here.

You Coin It: Spam Substitutes

ImageWelcome to a new feature in which we ask you to help us name a modern phenomenon. We have loyal reader Cybele Parsignault to thank; she wrote in requesting EE's assistance in brainstorming a term for unwanted mass e-mails from someone you know. She defines the sender as "a friend you hardly talk to but who insists on including you in their e-mail forwards/blasts, as in, 'Protect yourself when you walk to your car late at night,' or, 'Support my brother, who is riding his bike for XYZ charity'" and adds, "It's really irritating to only hear from people this way. Is there a name for this? I'd like to use it in a sentence but don't have a word. Help!"

Not to worry, Cybele — we're on the case. While unsolicited messages from total strangers (male enhancement, anyone?) are called "spam," what should we call these unbidden missives from people in our own circle? After some cogitation we came up with "fruitcake." Like spam, it's a foodstuff; it's usually generic-tasting and delivered en masse to friends and family (the moist, liqueur-infused, cheesecloth-swaddled holiday delicacy annually made from scratch by Julia's sister Meg is exempt from this description). Store-bought fruitcake is sent out with the best intentions, but the recipient may well not want it. What say you, readers? Do you have a better term for the in-box-padding nuisance described by Cybele? Unlike those hoaxes, jokes and entreaties, your e-mail is most welcome. Send suggestions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text92554 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Inner Beauty: Why We Heart I Heart Guts

ImageWith this item we introduce a semi-regular tribute to one of our clients. As you know, we're the brainy types, but we've got a lot of heart, too. And we're livers. Of life. So the
I Heart Guts line of T-shirts, plush toys, stickers, buttons and get-well e-cards naturally occupies a special place in our, um, well, you know. This team of genial internal organs created by Wendy Bryan, aka Weeber, is warming cockles from coast to coast. After all, who wouldn't want to wear a T-shirt sporting a jaunty heart and the slogan "I Got the Beat" or curl up with a fuzzy pancreas? Of course we were honored that Weeber invited us to write taglines to accompany some of her Guts merch, but we'd still adore these upbeat innards even if we weren't involved in their promotion. We heartily recommend you visit the Guts blog for up-to-the-minute bulletins on breezy brains, blithe bladders, lively lungs, sanguine stomachs, unflappable uteruses (the latter recently deemed "awesome" by Bust) and the newest additions to Weeber's anatomical family: glands.

Not Our Clients: Need More Brains Edition

In an otherwise solid bit of T-shirt copy about what to do in case of zombie attack, we found a spelling error worthy of the undead.

Well, isn't that spacial?

Do the marauding hordes of language manglers have you cowering in fright? Exorcise your fear by sending the most spine-chilling examples to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text22887 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it We'll send you an iTunes gift certificate (ideal for downloading songs by The Zombies, Rob Zombie or even The Grateful Dead). If you're ready for an entire graveyard of gaffes, visit the Not Our Clients section of the Editorial Emergency website.

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