The Headline Hall of Fame
Five years, 11 issues per year (not counting our Buyer's Guide), an average of 110 product per issue. That's over 6,000 product spotlights in Promo Marketing magazine since I began, and that number doesn't count our Product of the Day, Threads Editor's Picks, our supplemental issues and other special projects. I've read, edited and (especially) written more than my fair share of product headlines in that time. And nearly every single one was a bad pun. A really bad pun.
Maybe it's a trend among writers, or a sociological side effect of the Internet on humor. It could be the insanity that comes with trying to think of 12 unique and clever things to say about 12 different tote bags every month (you can only say "It's in The Bag" so many times). Whatever the cause, everyone in the PM office has a thing for bad jokes, and so we try to cram as many lame puns as possible into the headlines for products, making them as laughably bad as we're able. I suppose, taken another way, you could say we're bad writers.
Don't take it that way.
I don't understand why I think creating a sitcom about Bruce Springsteen visiting other planets called "Bossed in Space" is a good idea, and I don't know why Mike "What's Wine is Yours" Cornnell and I broke into peels of laughter when Nikki Stella wrote "It's A Wallet—For Your Neck" next to a badge holder. But it's true. I think there's something in the coffee.
Behind my desk, on a whiteboard, we have the Headline Hall of Fame, commemorating the most embarrassingly bad jokes we've written. Some of them I already mentioned, some of them are very recent, and some of them are for items that no longer exist (I've done my best to find comparable products). Without further ado, our top 5 headlines are:
5. What's Wine is Yours - From this past March, Mike's blog reviewing a bottle from A+ Wine Design. He didn't actually give me any of this wine. He lies.
4. Onesie to Rule Them All - And in the diaper bind them.
3. Clean-up on Aisle Tote - The most recent edition to the list, from this month's issue of Promo Marketing.
2. A Tote Uncommon - The only headline I think I've ever refused to run because it was too embarrassingly bad, going way back to 2006. The product no longer exists and I can't find an image of it. Imagine a tote bag with a picture of King Tutankhamun. I can hear you groaning from here.
And the number one in the Headline Hall of Fame is...
1. Lenticular? I Hardly Know Her!
This is what we do all day. It's a rough job.
If any of you have the bad pun bug, pick out some products from our Search engine and write your own headlines in he comment section below. And if you don't like puns, I cannot believe you read this far.
Kyle A. Richardson is the editorial director of Promo Marketing. He joined the company in 2006 brings more than a decade of publishing, marketing and media experience to the magazine. If you see him, buy him a drink.