Copywriters on the rack #30: Tom Davies
No pain, no gain. Welcome to Copywriters on the Rack.
Right, you little ‘erbert, who are you and what do you do to pay the bills?
My god, where am I? And who are you?
If you must know, I’m Tom Davies, a freelance copywriter. Now what have you done with my purse?
I blew the lot on this lovely leather mask, mwahahaha. Anyway, what was your career path to get to where you are now?
Before stumbling upon the weird and wordy world of copywriting, I was a blazer-wearing English teacher. Not a bad one, either. Most students called me Mr. Davies. Others used more exotic names (which I’m guessing meant they liked me). But to protect my heart rate and hairline, I packed it in. I swapped my satchel for a fancy laptop and never looked back. Speaking of looking back, any chance you could loosen this pillory?
Tighten, did you say? No problem. What’s the best thing about your job?
Messin’ around with words and getting paid to be creative. Apart from being a rockstar (I did try), I can’t think of a better way to make a few quid.
What’s the worst?
Chasing invoices. Hate it. Here’s a photo my last late payer took moments before my eight-stone Bernese, Joey, took a chunk out of his left cheek.
Mmmm, he has the eyes of a cuddly demon. How do you fill the gaps when you’re not doing the day job?
Running around after my two daughters, Pip (5) and Roo (2). Having a paddle in the sea or a jog along the promenade. Removing evidence from Joey’s gnashers.
Now we’ve got the formalities out of the way, let’s tighten those straps a little more:
You’re locked in a cell with 2-foot thick stone walls and no windows. Outside the solid steel door, two fully tooled-up guards keep watch in shifts, 24 hours a day. Armed with only a tube of Anusol, a pack of Party Rings and a mousetrap, what’s your escape plan?
I’d clip the mousetrap across my nose and down the tube of Anusol. Once sufficiently unconscious, I’d arm my spiritual self with the Party Rings, float through the stone wall and discus the contents of the bag at both guards. In a state of confectionary-caused concussion, the guards drop the keys, leaving my spiritual self to unlock the door, repossess my body, and strut off into the distance.
Fancy. But I’m telling you now, you’re gonna need more than biscuits to wangle your way out of here. So, write me a poem about breathing.
Breathing. ‘Tis vital for you and me,
But not for twatty bots, like ChatGPT.
Ha. Write me three straplines for:
1) The newly formed separatist state of The People’s Republic of Yorkshire
We’re on our ey up.
2) Scrogget’s 20-a-day-fag-breath mouthwash
For when your breath’s a drag.
3) Unwin’s Seed – a repository of Stanley Unwin’s finest comedy spermatozoa (not to be confused with Unwins Seeds)
Explain Eurovision to an alien.
It’s like an interstellar car boot sale: mostly rubbish, but now and then you come across a gem.
Draw me a picture of an orangutan at the barbers (yes I know you’re a writer, but do it anyway).
Copywriting is like finding a hair in your ice cream, discuss.
It’s true – disappointment can strike when it’s least expected. Usually in the form of an email with the subject line ‘[URGENT] Quick chat about your first draft’.
Make my skin crawl.
Make my heart melt.
Every last chatbot disassembled and chucked on a scrapheap.
Ah, how romantic. Talking of which, what is love?
Love is one of many abstract nouns experienced by a freelance copywriter. Others include fear, failure, fragility, and freedom.
Who would be the guests at your nightmare dinner party and what would you serve to make it even worse?
Peppa Pig, Anne Robinson, and those twins from The Shining.
I’d serve portobello mushrooms stuffed with fennel and blue cheese.
Pick a random pic from your camera roll and tell us about it.
Here’s my Roomba i7. It’s a disc-shaped autonomous vacuum thingy that cleans every square millimeter of your floor with Dirt Detection™ technology. Sadly, the tech isn’t smart enough to detect cat shit on the floor and, instead, its twin microfiber twin rollers just plough straight through it. You think I’ve got it bad in this wooden rack, matey. Try cleaning feline faeces for four hours.
Write me a very short story featuring: The Royal Philharmonic brass section, Ed Sheeran dressed as a vicar and a jar of Gentlemen’s Relish.
Ed returned home after leading another Sunday service at his local church on Castle Hill. Saddened by the flop of his latest album, X%+÷, he flung a half-eaten jar of Gentlemen’s Relish at a Justin Bieber poster pinned to his kitchen wall with 83 sharpened plectrums. Sinking to his knees and surrendering to overwhelming desperation to save his music career, a sudden surge of gas sprouted from Ed’s alimentary canal. For Ed, it was a sign from God to partner with the Royal Philharmonic brass section.
You’re feeling down in the dumps. What do you need to perk you up again?
A stroll with Joey usually does the trick. Dogs put things in perspective.
Write me dictionary definition entries for ‘Wilcock’s Lexicofantabulous Compendium of Oddities and Soddities’:
An inconsiderate person in a busy traditional pub who orders a carbonated cocktail that takes 17 minutes to make, leaving other unserved punters thirsty and furious.
An ancient Icelandic absinthe so potent that just one sniff will get you off your tits for 72 hours.
3) Morgan’s Guff
A neotropical toad native to South America and Slough that paralyses its prey with methane.
If you were alone on a desert island for a month, what 6 items would you take with you? (they have to fit in a *Morrison’s bag for life and yes, you can keep the bag)
A box of Barry’s Tea Gold Blend, four pints of blue top milk, my VW campervan mug, and a multipack of BBQ Beef Hula Hoops.
That’s not six, but as you weren’t a maths teacher, I’ll let it go. Now, make up your own question and tell me whatever you want to get off your chest.
Approximately fifty percent of the UK population wear the wrong sized trousers. Discuss.
As a 33-inch waste copywriter, I’ve never understood why jeans sizes are limited to even numbers. It means I either suffer the squeeze of a 32 or settle for the slack of a 34.
Give me three reasons why I should let you go.
I’ve soiled my knickers.
Nope, nope and aha; job done – bingo!
Before I remove the shackles, tell us where we can find you online.
You can find me lurking around LinkedIn here.
Right. Be off with you. I think I can hear your Roomba skidding round the kitchen.
Want to hear another Copywriter squeal like a pig? Copywriters on the rack #15: Chris Miller