Working in marketing includes a lot of bullshit. We bullshit how long it will take us to finish a job, we bullshit how cheap we can do it for, and we nearly always bullshit rationales for our ideas when the client questions them.
It’s all part of the fun.
I bullshit all the time, but then I’m a copywriter, so it’s in my DNA. If I’m trying to write about a product, often the truth is a little underwhelming. However, the story I can tell around the truth leads to more opportunities, so I bullshit it.
Does product A lead directly to X? Of course not. But, if you use product A in a certain way and the stars align perfectly in the sky, X is a very real possibility.
I also bullshit a lot about myself. The Ash Billinghay brand relies heavily on imagination, as without it, I’m just a copywriter.
With it, I’m so much more. So, suspend your disbelief for a few paragraphs, and come with me on a journey through the bullshit I’ve told people. Starting with…
I’m Stephen King
Most rational people wouldn’t give this one a second thought, but the person who believed it wasn’t rational at all. In fact, she was very drunk and propping up a bar. We got chatting as I ordered some drinks, and when she asked what I did for a job I didn’t have the patience to explain copywriting to her. I just said I was a writer, and she asked what kind of books I wrote. I said horror, she said, “No way! Like Stephen King?” I smiled, and she said she knew she recognised me from somewhere.
Thus, a legend is reborn, and my drinks are paid for by someone who thinks she’s just met a celebrity. I’m much younger that Stephen King, but she was very, very drunk.
My parents were both writers
I don’t think copywriting ability is genetic. My diabetes might be, and my bad eyesight definitely is, but I learnt how to write irreverent nonsense all by myself. Still, it sounds grand to say I come from a long line of copywriters, and when you’re speaking to someone you know you’ll never have to meet again, you can be whoever you want to be.
I was Ash Billinghay of Billinghay and Billinghay, a family-run agency with excellent heritage. Not heard of us? That’s because we’re incredibly bespoke and entirely fictional.
I’m allergic to marketing jargon
This one is clearly a lie. If it was true I’d have died long ago, or at the very least be rolling around on the floor in agony with hives all over my skin.
I just don’t like jargon. There’s no need for it, plain English is the way forward, and you absolutely need to stop using it.
But it doesn’t bring me out in a rash, unless I’m feeling particularly bored in a meeting, in which case I may start sneezing until someone notices and asks me to stop so they can carry on talking about the digitalisation of Gen Z. Bless me.
There’s value in bullshitting sometimes. It spices up your day and lets you have some fun along the way. Admittedly, most of this post has been bullshit too, but if you’ve got to this point, it’s done its job.