Prawns On Prozac

In Sad Men, I explore my love of prawn advertising, and reveal that in order to keep up with prawn-related happenings, I have set up a Google Alert. Recently, it brought me disturbing newsTiny quantities of anti-depressants flushed down our sinks and toilets are having a dramatic effect on the behaviour of my favorite crustaceans.

Maybe I could use this new-found information next time I get a brief for an ad about chilled prawns.

I’ll get my coat.

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It’s an ad. For a book about ads.

As part of my no-expense-spared multimedia advertising campaign for Sad Men, here’s an ad put together by a team of crack London creatives working around the clock my wife Liz last night. It’s a slideshow (just click the circled arrow to see the next slide) and will probably make you want to buy a copy immediately. As luck would have it, there’s a link at the end allowing you to do just that. You can also share it with anyone you like. How modern is that?


YouTube’s brilliant, isn’t it? You can find just about any long forgotten ad and remind yourself of how good or bad it was. One such ad, which readers of Sad Men will know almost sabotaged my career, is here in all its glory. Kiwi Sexhunk John Rowles, shirt unbuttoned to the navel, barges into someone’s courtyard and starts singing a heartfelt ditty about their roof.

Being set in Adworld, no-one is remotely surprised.

My First Ad as a Sad Man.

Not everyone can be a Sad Man. It takes a special kind of ability, as demonstrated here in my first ever ad. You need a combination of clumsily-worded headline, overwritten copy, tired clichés and implausible claims. It’s the latter that I’m most proud of in this example, where the premise of the ad is that “almost any commercial vehicle owner” will say that WASS, a relatively small provincial dealership, is the best in the country. This is followed by the claim that the very same commercial vehicle owner will happily give you a department by department rundown of the WASS organisation. Er, no he/she won’t.  


The Difference between Mad Men and Sad Men. Illustrated Using Footballers and Cars.


The Mad Men were at the top of the advertising tree, working on accounts like Lotus cars. And how did they make products like these desirable? Easy. Make sure football’s most glamorous player, George Best is snapped confidently posing on the bonnet of one.

Sad Men worked on accounts like Lada cars. And how did they promote Lada’s used car warranty scheme? Easy. Make sure football’s least glamorous player, Bobby Charlton is standing by one of the cars, pointing at the windscreen and looking uncomfortable.