Having only recently derided a press release with the meaningless headline “I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas”, (https://fwords.co.uk/2011/09/27/crappy-press-releases-of-the-week-more-moans-about-punny-irritating-and-meaningless-headlines/), I was delighted to receive another release with a headline referring to the tired old festive Christmas hit by Bing Crosby.
“Here’s Dreaming of a White (and Black) Christmas…” proclaimed the release from a tool maker. It seems they have both a white and a black edition in their multi-tool gift set, which is being marketed as a Christmas gift for the amateur DIYer. Well, it would have been rude not to use the title of a 1950s hit record as the press release headline, wouldn’t it?
Here’s the conversation in the PR department as I imagine it.
Over-enthusiastic PR: “Hey, d’you like this headline for our latest press release? Dreaming of a White (and Black) Christmas. Fab, isn’t it?”
More intelligent colleague: “I don’t get it – how is it about DIY products?”
OEPR: “Well, it’s a pun, isn’t it? You know, like the title of that boring song by Frank Sinatra or someone that really annoys everyone each Christmas.”
MIC: “Yes, I can see that. But what does it mean? Where do DIY products come into it?”
OEPR: “It’s a play on words. In the intensely irritating song from several decades ago, the singer says he’s dreaming of a White Christmas. We’ve got a white product, so what we’re saying, in a roundabout sort of way, is that our customers will be dreaming of a white Christmas too. And cos we’ve got a black product too, they’ll also be dreaming of a black Christmas. Clever, innit?”
MIC: “Mm, except what they’re dreaming of isn’t a white – or black – Christmas literally, is it? You’re saying they’re dreaming of getting one of our products. But the headline doesn’t mention our products.”
OEPR: “No, to be fair, it doesn’t. But the thing is, everyone’s heard of that mind-numbingly trite song by someone from their grandparents’ generation that makes last-minute Christmas shoppers run screaming out of department stores, so when they read our press release they’ll be humming along and tapping their feet, and it’ll be all lovely and festive! And they’ll all think how clever we are.”
MIC: “Wouldn’t it be more straightforward just to tell them we’ve launched some new DIY tools?”
Random editor, glancing at press release before pressing ‘delete’: “What’s this old shite? Another bloody pun about different-coloured Christmases. Sod that – has anyone got any news about DIY tools?”
Ooh, and hot off the presses here’s another company that likes festive colours. See if you can guess what this headline’s about.
“Choose RED… but stay in the BLACK.”
To me, that’s a call to join the Communist Party – or buy a particular women’s magazine – or a brand of perfume, without spending much money.
I was right about the not spending much money; this release is promoting affordable personalised handmade Christmas tree ornaments. “Spread Christmas cheer without breaking the bank,” it exhorts the reader. Where the “red” comes into it I’m not sure, except that one of the ornaments depicts Father Christmas in his traditional red outfit. Perhaps they realised that the ethical retailer and the tool manufacturer had cornered the market in green and white and black Christmases and were looking for a new festive hue to focus on. But wait, no, “there will always be a place for a little black number at Christmas” continues the press release. The company’s black snowman will “bring a smile to even the grumpiest amongst us”. Not me. I’m far too grumpy; I’ve realised I can’t get I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas out of my head.
Pic credit: David Castillo Dominici, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3062