BrokenJPG

A Copywriter’s Blog
28 in Dog Years Ben Levy 22, January

Today is the fourth anniversary of BrokenJPG! Quick- somebody make a poop joke!

Oh. Covered that, huh? Maybe some technology humor?

Really? Jeez. Ok, how about a hate-fueled rant regarding popular culture?

Augh! Fine! Let’s just rip on something topical!

Yeah, yeah, you’re right. That is how this whole thing got started.

Fuck. I better come up with some new material before this shit gets stale.

…aaaaaand there’s your poop joke.

Eh? EH? Zing.

hey look
you found
the hidden text!
Ninjas

Seriously, who’s still reading this stuff?

Thanks internet, for suffering through my self-indulgent crap for a whole four years! It warms the cockles of my heart. Which is creepy. Get out of my cockles, you perverts.

Ninja Teachings Ben Levy 17, February

I’m a teacher. (cue laugh track)

I’m done with school now, but I make it a point to go through life as a student, constantly looking for opportunities to learn from those better than myself (ie: just about everyone). Which meant that when the Ad School contacted me asking if I’d like to teach, it was a little weird. If I was still dedicating myself to learning, how could I possibly be ready to educate others?

I asked my CD (who also taught there) what he thought. He told me “It’ll force you to know your shit cold. There’s no way you can teach unless you do.” Which is interesting, because about sixteen years ago, Storm Shadow told me the same thing:

ninja1
ninja2

Now my reasons for showing that are two-fold. First, GI Joe ninja comic. That is just about the maximum amount of awesome I can take. Secondly, while the whole “Ninja Force” concept may have turned Storm Shadow into a tool, he and my creative director had a great point.

I’ve learned a lot by teaching others. There have been plenty of “ah-ha” moments for me, where I realize the reason why some things work and others don’t in the process of explaining them to the class. Instinctive techniques get replaced by conscious understanding.

I’m constantly energized after class, excited by the raw concepting that goes on when there’s no budget, no brief, no pressure to land the client. I always go into work the next day with my mind a little more open, a little less constrained.

Teaching for me is one part performance, and two parts education. This is partly because I’m under this horrible misconception that I’m funny, and standing at the front of the class makes me feel like I’m on stage at the improv. But also, I want my students to understand that this job is fun, damnit. One of my favorite moments teaching so far was when a student raised their hand and asked “Is this what it’s like at an agency? Are people really tossing around ideas in a group like this and laughing all day?”.

It is if they’re doing it right.

So even though I’m teaching, I’m still learning. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t pretend to. I’m sure I’ll get even better at this teaching thing if I keep doing it. For now, I parrot the lessons I learned at school: Write how you talk. No puns. Strategy first, everything else second. That’s not me talking, that’s the advertising greats I learned from. Well, it is me talking, but the words come from people a hell of a lot smarter than me. Like Storm Shadow.

The crappy jokes, those are all mine. Hopefully they’re just ignoring those.

Since I first learned of Bill the Ninja Killer, I’ve been uneasy. Always has the silent assassin existed at the height of the pseudo-Japanese/anime food chain. But now, with a mere word, Bill and his ilk can upset the balance forever.

In order to protect this cherished order of helpless trained killers, I have compiled quick list of ways in which you can differentiate between a Ninja and a Terrorist. Spread this list far and wide, and perhaps together, we can save a Ninja:

#1:
This is a towel.

This is a ski mask.
Nuff said.

#2:
The terrorists weapons of choice are explosives. You will most likely notice them strapped to the terrorists’ chest.

The ninja’s weapon of choice is the katana. If you see him wielding one, you will most likely notice it protruding from your chest.

#3
When a terrorist intends to kill you, they will send you a video of themselves. This will mostly involve a lot of screaming, some posturing, and an annoying penchant for making a shrill “LALALALALA” sound right after declaring Jihad on you.

When a ninja is going to kill you, you hear nothing until the deafening silence is broken by the whisper of your last breath leaving your body.

These are a few of the most basic ways to differentiate between the terrorist and the ninja. Feel free to add more in the comments.

Ignorance is no excuse. If you have no idea what sparked this post, start reading here.

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Bill, the Ninja Killer Ben Levy 22, September

To understand the horror of the following story, all you need to know is this: I once pitched an idea involving ninjas.

The overall campaign was green-lighted, but the ninja’s were killed. I recently discovered the method used to murder these silent assassins. And in hope of saving future ninjas, I share it with you.

In the hallways of the client the ninjas waited, silently planning to communicate a simple message to an unsuspecting populace. Then they overheard something like the following conversation:

Suzan: Wow, this ad campaign we got from those guys is great! It’s so funny! Hey Bill, check out this ad campaign!
Bill: Wow that’s awesome! I really like this stuff! But…why are there terrorists in this ad?

And just like that, the ninjas died.