There’s a terrible poster adorning the side of bus shelters in the UK right now.
It features a picture of Sir Alan Sugar, star of the UK version of “The Apprentice”. He stares menacingly out of the poster, finger pointing directly at you. A wisp of smoke rises from his finger.
Beneath it, the caption: Ready. Aim. Fired.
This makes no sense.
Who’s fired? Well, the picture is of Sir Alan. Is he fired? No, he’s the firer. Huh?
And the phrase is Ready. Aim. Fire. So it’s not as if someone has just copied the phrase onto the poster without thinking about it. Oh no. Someone has actually gone ahead and thought “You know what that poster really needs? A D on the end.”
Many pub urinals in the UK now have adverts at eye-height so you have something to read while you piss. The versions of the poster in there make sense. Same picture. No extraneous D.
And of course, you have the beautiful double-meaning. Ready. Aim. Fire.
You see that? That’s good advertising.
This isn’t the first time that a D has screwed something up. Let’s take a few moments to look at “Tomorrow Never Dies”, the 18th James Bond film.
Take a moment to consider the title.
It makes no sense.
In no way could it be said to have anything whatsoever to do with the film. At no point does anything bearing the epithet or metaphor for Tomorrow come close to dying, or indeed not dying.
But when you find out that the film was written under the title “Tomorrow Never Lies”, suddenly you discover a world of beauty. The Chief Villain quotes the title when explaining his dastardly plan. Filled with delicious double-meaning, as the paper he owns – Tomorrow – is filled with lies from end to end. And, of course, thematically you can lie all you want, but James Bond will find you out. A beautiful title.
And then a D came along and spoiled it all.
Advertisers, I’m begging you. Resist the lure of the D!