Daily Podcast: Go to Work on an Egg

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Few people will recognize the name Salman Rushdie. Those who do will know know Rushdie as the Indian-born fiction writer whose novel The Satanic Verses inspired the Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a death sentence against its author. After attempting to read the work in question, I can tell you that it’s far more likely that the the fatwa was, in truth, an act of literary criticism, rather than a divinely-inspired retribution for Koranic blasphemy. Suffice it to say, the rest of Rushdie’s literary canon can be safely placed in that special category pretentious people call “challenging.” In fact, Rushdie’s greatest work was penned when he worked as advertising copywriter for Ogilvy & Mather. The headline above is one such Rushdie meisterwerk, written for the UK’s Egg Council. He also wrote “Naughty but Nice” for a cake maker. But just try and find a bio that gives proper credit for these bon mots, or explains the creative process they required. As Justin and I dissect ad slogans on this podcast, try to remember that it takes a blazing talent to find a few words that can carry a car brand into the hearts and minds of consumers. And a great company to recognize and embrace them.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 5 comments
  • Chanman Chanman on Sep 21, 2007

    A fatwa is merely a religious decree http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/fatwa It doesn't necessarily mean a death sentence.

  • GEMorris GEMorris on Sep 21, 2007

    The shorter the Rushdie book, the better. Fury was quite good

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Sep 21, 2007

    chanman : Sorry for not being clear. I didn't mean that ALL fawtas are a death sentence. In this case, it was. I've edited the piece to make it more accurate.

  • Brian E Brian E on Sep 23, 2007

    Sorry for not commenting. I was otherwise engaged. I'm surprised to not hear Lexus brought up in the podcast. Do they even still use "the passionate pursuit of perfection"? That's one of the best slogans I've ever heard, and I don't remember seeing it on a Lexus ad in quite some time. Infiniti as far as I can tell doesn't even have a tagline now (rocks and trees?), and Acura's one-word "Advance" is completely utterly and boring. I think the marketing departments at these companies just get bored after a while and want to switch things up just to switch things up. It doesn't make any sense to abandon a strong tagline, but otherwise sensible companies do it every day. All of that energy should be devoted to building a better product, not changing the marketing just to change it.