Crime Pays. Crime Writing Not So Much.
17 October 2011
Regular readers of this blog - now officially recognised as the 3rd most widely read blog on Planet Earth* - will have noted the subtle change to the top bar image, and the introduction of the new catchphrase: Crime Pays. Crime writing not so much.
The simplistic yet beautiful and incisive catchphrase has already been nominated for a Financial Times Business Award 2011 in the category of Best Catchphrase On A Thing. The question is, how do we go from no catchphrase, to a situation where we have possibly the finest catchphrase in the history of the internet?
The first thing to recognise is that DouglasLindsay.com is operated from within the confines of an extraordinarily large multinational media organisation. As most people know, Douglas Lindsay as an individual does not actually exist. He is a creation of LMP, a gargantuan publishing company operating out of Bandar Seri Begawan. Close followers of the Barney Thomson series will recognise that one man could not possibly be responsible for the colossal output of books, short stories and online serial novels.
Like other great series of books, such as the Hardy Boys, Harry Potter and James Bond, for years now the Barney Thomson books have been written by a committee, which varies in number from between anything as low as ten to sometimes twenty-five or more. Currently there are nineteen writers on the committee - most of whom are called Maurice - working around the clock to assemble around 80,000 words in the right order for the upcoming Blasted Heath ebook, THE CURSE OF BARNEY THOMSON.
The division of the company in charge of corporate logos is Strategic Marketing Operations (SMO), headed up by crack American pitch executive, Clay Velociraptor. When the decision is made to look for a new catchphrase or other corporate logo, the initial work is tendered out to experts in the field. In this case, catchphrase construction was handed over to Seattle media gurus NightmareButtcrackLtd. They were not tasked with producing the final product, but with supplying SMO with a wide range of options from which to choose.
The executive board of SMO then sat down with over seventeen thousand potential catchphrases for the site, ranging from the derivative:
Writing Crime Novels, So You Don't Have To
to the existential
No Rules. No Shit. No Anything. Just Stuff.
to the hubristic
A Committee of Giants Casting The Shadows of Greatness
to the absurd
Unleashing The Inner Alpaca
Among the others placed in front of the committee were such marketing diamonds as:
- Well You're Here Now, You Might As Well Take A Look
- A Fuckbucketing Shitstorm Of Words
- No Excuses. Just Reasons Why Things Aren't His Fault
- Every Little Helps
- Vorsprung Durch Technik
- In The Kingdom Of The Blind, The One-Eyed Only Have One Eye
- A Website 65 Minutes In The Making
- Crossing The Line Between Dull And Not So Dull Every Single Day Of Your Life
It was a tough call, and the SMO board sat in countless meetings over a period of fourteen months. Finally, however, they settled on the catchphrase you see at the top of this page. Crime Pays. Crime writing not so much.
Why did they go for that one? Executive Vice-President in Charge of Catchphrases, Horst McGuire, explains: "Crime pays? Why, yes it does. For sure, some criminals get caught, but then you have the likes of Tony Blair. It is quite apparent that crime pays. However, while there is the occasional crime writer lucky enough to make a living, for the most part one will find the average crime writer raking through the bins of dead celebrity animals for scraps of food. This is a catchphrase that has it all. At least, it has words, and tell me a catchphrase that doesn't."
The contract is in place for Crime pays... to be the website's catchphrase for a three month period, with an option for a further twenty years.
*where Planet Earth is defined as the planet containing people who read this blog and no more than two other blogs. Other conditions apply.