Monday, 28 June 2010

We are Santander. We are illiterate!

Over the past few years I've been getting increasing frustrated by the standard of English in this country. More and more people seem to be monosyllabic these days and unable to string a sentence together without going “err”, “um” and saying “you know” and “like” every other word.

Writing is even worse. Now, I appreciate how delicate I have to be here; I have to try and write this entire blog using perfect grammar and punctuation so I don’t look like a complete muppet (did you notice the use of the semi-colon though?)

Punctuation is something that can be open to interpretation to a certain extent but there are some clear cut rules that nobody seems to learn at school.

I’ve always had a problem with people who don’t know the difference between “its” and “it’s”, “their”, “there” and “they’re” and “your” and “you’re”. It’s really not that hard people!

Take a look at the letter that we received from Santander recently:
Are you serious? These are the people we are entrusting our money to. I know that they are Spanish but surely they have English people working for them? People who surely had a good enough education to get a job in one of the world’s largest banks.

The letter basically reads “Dear scum whose name isn’t worth knowing. Please find enclosed you are standing still request.”

Come on Señor, que realmente es un esfuerzo de los pobres. Ven a verme después de clase!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Returning after these short messages

It has to be said that I don't watch much television now. There is nothing on but rubbish like Britain's got the Celebrity X Factor on Ice or some similar tripe. Movies are out of the question because anything that is worth watching I already own on DVD and, quite frankly, I'd rather not have a good film interrupted every 5 minutes by adverts.

Whenever there is a commercial break I use that opportunity to make a cup of tea or relieve myself of the last cup. Failing that I just hit the mute button.

I know I'm not the only person who does this. In fact the majority of people I've watched telly with do the same thing which gets me wondering why people bother to advertise at all. Obviously TV advertising works otherwise people wouldn't do it.

The only adverts I like are funny ones but they usually end up getting banned because one person with ginger hair complains. The only other adverts that I appreciate are the ones that have the rare ability to laugh at themselves. There are two companies that spring to mind: Skoda and Marmite.

Skoda play on their old reputation for building rubbish cars by suggesting that hitch-hikers would rather jump out of one on a motorway than be driven anywhere in one. Marmite appreciates the fact that half the population hate their product and this has become their biggest selling point.

As a company that is famously rubbish at advertising itself, I thought I'd give this self-deprecating approach a go for Datapartners. I have a couple of ideas too. You see whenever I phone somebody up I have to say where I'm from. Often people ask me to repeat it, presumably because they hear the word "Date" and think I'm winding them up. When I repeat myself I always say it slowly and deliberately separate the syllables. As a result it comes out as "DATA PARTNERS" which, of course, sounds like "date a partner". I have hours of fun in the knowledge that all my clients colleagues are convinced they are on a dating site.

So how about playing on this? Something like "Datapartners: We're not a dating agency but we'd love your business". I know I'll get told off for we'ing all over our customers with that one so maybe simplify it to "Datapartners: Love Your Business".

This goes even further. We could put ourselves in the classified section with something like "Fun, web based company with GSOH seeks rich, solvent company for mutual satisfaction." Or "Small, fun loving geeks looking for lots of LOL's and cuddly nights online."

So what do you think? Would you go out with us?