Holidays and sports can bring out the worst in copywriters

Yet one more holiday season is gone. We’re headed into the slowly lengthening but still cold light of January. It’s a good time to reflect – beyond the demands of gift and party giving and before the rising sap of spring.

The memories of the season just past still linger, and among them are thousands upon thousands of ads and commercials attempting to demonstrate how some product or service is a perfect demonstration of or accompaniment to the holiday spirit. No matter how strained the metaphor, advertisers have tried to show how their legal prowess, shoes, tires or razor blades are what Christmas is all about.

Of course, this kind of overreach isn’t limited to the Christmas season. Anyone who has watched a football or baseball game knows what it’s like to be bombarded by commercials loaded with sports lingo: “Don’t get sacked by high prices”; “Superstud Condoms: a home run every time.” And every holiday, including Labor Day and the Fourth of July suffers from the same sad wordplay.

It’s tiresome.

All this isn’t to say that ads and commercials with a holiday or sports theme can’t be clever and fun. They can, but it takes a little imagination, usually more than what’s necessary to come up with a pun or some graphics featuring firecrackers, reindeer or footballs.

I’m trying to think of an example. I’m sure there is one.

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