Friday, November 02, 2012

Seriously, Brawny? (Not to be confused with "seriously brawny!!")

There are three things I find amusing about this sign.

Number 1: This was not posted over the sink in a kindergarten. It was posted over every adult-size sink in a restroom at Walt Disney World's Epcot.

Number 2: While I will concede that there are no doubt pockets of humanity in the world who don't know the value of hand-washing, does the overpaid and underworked marketing idiot who came up with this idea think those people will be able to read English? And does said idiot really think they will be visiting Walt Freaking Disney World??

Number 3: When I see the word "tips" in this context, I'm looking for added value -- not a rehash of the self-evident. What about a tip such as "Use a soap in a fragrance you love to encourage frequent hand-washing." Or maybe "Follow hand-washing with a moisturizing lotion to keep skin hydrated."

And of course, because I think about writing all the time, I wondered what I could learn from this, writing wise. Here's what I came up with.

Number 1: Don't state the obvious. For example, when writing about a character's height, occasionally I find myself writing something like "Tom was tall. Every time he walked through the doorway, he had to duck." Of course, I can leave out the Tom-was-tall part, because in the next sentence the reader will know Tom is tall because he has to duck under doorways. Which, of course, in writing parlance, is known as "show, don't tell."

Number 2: Know your reader. I write adult contemporary romance. I need to create characters, language, and plots targeted to that genre.

Number 3: The hand-washing tips offered by Brawny are tantamount to writing "tips" such as "Place your fingers on the keyboard, and press gently to make letters appear on the monitor." And "Choose letters that form actual words."

And now, I will (ahem) wash my hands of this, and place my fingers on the keyboard to make some words in my work-in-progress.


Cari Hislop said...

I hate soft-advertising/brain-washing! You know the big-wig said, "The idiots washing their hands won't know that Brawny paid us a fortune to put their brand over every sink. It's a win win!" Not really. It makes me not want to buy the brand.

Out of curiosity, the paper towels on offer, were they actually Brawny or the usual gas station variety?

M.V.Freeman said...

LOL, JoAnn, you made me laugh. Thank you.

Now I will press gently on the keys!

Awesome post!

Carla Swafford said...

Great points, JoAnn. Hugs.

JoAnn said...

Cari -- I agree. Totally made me think "Wow, Brawny. I know you think I'm stupid, but I'm not stupid enough to buy your stupid product!" There was no indication that the paper towels in the restroom were Brawny -- they appeared to be "standard issue" folded paper towels. Crazy!

JoAnn said...

Mary -- be sure to choose letters that actually form words! :-)

JoAnn said...

Thanks, Carla. Hugs back. :-)