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Author: on Friday 12th October 2012

“The 73 words that ruined my dinner and changed my life.” Guest post by Art Director Craig Lovelidge.

In this weeks' Friday guest post, Creative Director Craig Lovelidge explains how 73 words ruined his dinner and changed his life. Craig started work as a painter and decorator and now paints pictures in the imagination. He is an Amsterdam-based Creative Director to independent business and ad agencies and can occasionally be found roaming online and offline keeping his inspiration and digital scrapbook alive.

Years ago, a newspaper ad came out.

It was simple.

It was true.

It was clever.


It didn’t star the latest X-Factor winner.

It didn’t show a stunning woman.

It simply showed meat and two veg on a plate (and a tomato for garnish).


So it wasn’t the visual that grabbed my attention. It was the copy.


When he read a government leaflet on hygiene, the copywriter found he had almost everything he needed. All he added were a few colloquial words.

And a fantastic last sentence.


This ad has stuck with me to this day. It has embedded itself into my conscience.

If I see flies on my food I throw my food away… 73 words have had the power to make me do this.


Today, copywriting is more often what we read on the internet than in the papers.

But we need writers more than ever. Writers who keep things to a minimum. Writers who land a punch with every word they write… imagine what effect that would have.

Here’s the poster, enjoy.

(Twitter: @_craigology)

























Agency: Cramer Saatchi

Year: 1970

AD: John Hegarty

CW: Mike Coughlan



Author: on Friday 12th October 2012 Tags: , ,
12-10-2012 09:38Chris West

thanks Craig. It’s a great ad. And a great sentiment. We need more copywriters. And less copy.

12-10-2012 10:41Walter Jones

Clear, plain and simple but still a good story. We should all write like this. Thanks for sharing, Craig.

12-10-2012 01:54Gareth Cook

Nice one Craig. The method here matches the message perfectly and demonstrates the sheer power of simple, skilful writing. As does the ad. Agree about the killer final line – always great to go out with a bang. The echoes of that one still reverberate down the years.

12-10-2012 02:05Craig Lovelidge

Thanks Walter. The ad was made the year I was born. The words have stuck with me ever since! Great copy leaves its mark. For sure.

12-10-2012 05:15Jay Jurisich

Very nice, Craig. I think I’ll have a bowl of flies for lunch, unless a vegetable lands on them — that just ruins it for me. Nice to see a copywriter getting away with using “vomit” and “excrement” in an ad — that’s just so rare these days. Cheers.

12-10-2012 06:15Manjeet Khurana

“So it wasn’t the visual that grabbed my attention. It was the copy.” So Craig, is that why you set out to make visuals attention-grabbing and became an art director?

I am just making a wild guess, but you are bang on about the effect of this ad. When I first saw it, some months back, I was inspired. Now I know, I wasn’t alone.

Thanks for sharing.

15-10-2012 08:58Craig Lovelidge

Thanks Jay. It is nice to see a copywriter use colloquial words correctly to strengthen his verbal idea.

Manjeet, I became an art director not because of this ad, more because many many years ago at my advertising college I was seen to be a visual thinker.

29-04-2013 07:36Martha Riley

I think this is a beautifully written ad. I think the art direction is deceptively simple.
The headline leads you, like the buzzing fly, to the harmless looking food. Nice one JH

    30-04-2013 08:37Chris West

    hi Martha
    thanks for your comments and it’s lovely to hear from you.
    Everything has been stripped away from this ad, leaving the best bits.
    “It’s what you leave out that makes an ad great.”
    Hope all is well with you


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