We followed a Malan’s Dairy van the other day. Malan’s Dairy is based in Paarl, and has been supplying dairy products since 1948. Experience.
The thing that concerned me about their van, other than the fact that there were copious amounts of milk leaking from the back of it, was the… well… let’s be civil here, the “disappointing” effort at a poem on the rear doors.
If you click on that image, you can see it too:
We are busy as a Bee
for the best quality DAIRY
products and delivery
FOR YOU our customers
What’s wrong here?
Random CAPITALISATION, an appalling lack of punctuation, a mishmash of attempted rhyming poetry, but without the given structure of ballardry, nor the natural gait of narrative prose, and just to top it off, the mysterious apian context, which clearly has nothing to do with dairy or dairy products.
Let’s run through it, shall we?
We are busy as a Bee – It’s “bee”. And why only the singular? Is it because “bees” is Afrikaans for “cattle” and you’re an Afrikaans company from an Afrikaans-speaking town? Still, while they might not have the reputation for the tough grind that the buzzy insects have, cattle do at least make milk.
for the best quality DAIRY – Heaps of issues. Heaps. This doesn’t scan with the first line; it doesn’t even logically follow on from it. And just because DAIRY is your core business, doesn’t mean you can randomly select UPPER CASE and expect to get away with it. That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.
products and delivery – Look, it’s a nothing sentence, but at least it rhymes with the first two. And that’s about all it’s got going for it.
FOR YOU our customers – This is what happens when you employ a (crap) poet with ADD. S/he has got fed up with the whole poetry idea moved on to other things. “Better finish it off,” they’ve thought – just lob in some line or other. It doesn’t have to rhyme, it doesn’t even have to make any sense. The contract says four lines, I won’t get paid for any less. Just chuck anything down and ooh look, a squirrel!
But there’s no “pint” in simply slagging stuff off (see people moaning about loadshedding passim). That’s rubbish too. Suggest an alternative. Make a difference.
So here’s something that took me almost 30 seconds to come up with:
Our driving skills are smooth as silk,
As we deliver your cheese and milk.
Our brilliant distribution team,
Are always on top, just like our cream.
Dairy references: check
Note to logistics: yep
Rules of poetry: adhered to
What’s not to like?
I’ll obviously be sending this to Malan’s Dairy, but in the meantime, why don’t you help raise the profile of this post by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org and telling them about it?
Together, we can overcome disastrous, amateur slogans on trucks.
Let’s make a start right now.