Friday, March 23, 2007

When no moos is definitely good moos

I’d just finished lunch with my old friend Russ the other day when a cow accosted us in the middle of the Tottenham Court Road. Well, I say a cow. Actually, it was a bloke dressed as a cow who was handing out leaflets for the optician 20/20 Vision. As we approached him, Russ pointed out to me that no matter how bad things get, we can always thank our lucky stars that we’re not the 20/20 cow man. As if to confirm the point, the bovine leaflet distributor greeted us with a rather lacklustre moo.

Somehow, I think this kind of promotional work is greatly improved if you’re playing the part of a named individual. Russ and I used to work with someone, for instance, who had once dressed up as the larger-than-life burgermeister Mr Wimpy. This kind of role at least allows you to get into character.

But a cow is just an anonymous cow.

A N Udder.

And there’s something even more distressing if your cow costume has no relationship whatsoever to the product or service you’re promoting. If you’re a cow advertising butter, you can maybe milk it a little. But a cow promoting spectacles? No. It just doesn’t work. Cows know about grasses, not glasses.

I’ve just reminded myself of the pantomime cow that once paraded around my table in a bierkeller in Lucerne, Switzerland. Oh no it didn’t, I hear you say. Oh yes it most certainly did. Maybe I’ve written about it before on Washed and Ready. The lolloping beast appeared out of nowhere and started wandering aimlessly around the place, while other performers threw flags and yodelled on the stage. Mrs W thought it might all be part and parcel of an authentic Swiss-style evening out, but I suspected there might have been a passing nod to the tourist market.

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