Of ill repute
What happens when the meeting place of Rutland’s wildest gangs becomes a dance club?
Many years back there was a public house of ill repute not far from my offices, sitting resplendent on the wild borderland that marks the co-joining of the county boundaries of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.
Called “The Toppled Bollard” for reasons that will not become clear at this point, it was the scene of many an unsavoury conspiracy as often as not involving retailers of second hand 45rpm records, Ofsted school inspectors, criminal headteachers, and senior officials from the Liberal Party.
But times move, and such wild and jolly days are long behind us. The Bollard is still there, but it now has about it a serenity that belies its explosive past. The machines that made fake ID cards for the more dubious members of Parliament have been demolished, and the floor has been mopped clean.
And now the Toppled Bollard has a new role in life - as a modern jive dance club, where members of the Rutland aristocracy mingle with Corby’s lower orders in nights of jollity and attempts to learn the double arm reverse switchback, a dance move that has reduced many a retired gangster to tears if not downright penury.
My script writer is sacked
The headline in an email is as important as the first line in a conversation
I mentioned earlier this week that the infamous Toppled Bollard public house, seated proudly in the wild border country where Leicester and Northants collide with ancient Rutland, has of late been restored to some of its former glory and reopened as a dance club.
Being something of an aficionado of the Terpsichorean Muse I have, of course, re-acquainted myself with the establishment that is still only spoken of in this region in hushed voices behind closed doors.
And yet that reluctance to re-embrace the old place is a shame, for it makes a perfect place to which one can “boogie on down” as we regulars say, and one that I have been pleased to re-acquaint myself with.
Thus it was that last night I returned to the venue, and indeed forthwith a woman asked me to dance.
The old rule
In direct marketing one should always grab the reader by the throat, and ensure he/she can’t escape.
I recently visited the Toppled Bollard dance club (of which it has been said), and a woman asked me to dance.
She was, to put it mildly, utterly, amazingly, incredibly, amazing.
At the end of the dance I said to her, “That was staggeringly brilliant. I could dance with you forever. When we dance it is as if we are one, we are the same person. You seem to be able to see exactly which move I am about to make before I even raise my hand. That was perfection.”
She asked me to dance
Why, when you are being experimental in your advertising, you should not panic at the first negative response.
Last night at the Toppled Bollard a woman asked me to dance - as was appropriate since the Bollard is now a dance club.
As we started she said, “Go easy with me, I’m a beginner.”
I said, “That’s ok, I’m a beginner too.”
She said, “No you’re not – I’ve watched you dancing, you’re amazing. And my friend told me you taught the Warner Brothers to dance.”
I said, “That was just a joke.”
Why you need to say
If you want to sell something to someone, you need to make them believe that you know.
As I may have mentioned, my hobby is dancing, and with the Toppled Bollard now reopened as a jive club, I am in my element.
And indeed, a woman asked me to dance last night.
As we danced she said, “You told my friend you worked with Fred Astaire.”
I said nothing and waited for her to continue.
At last she said, “I don’t think that’s right.”
I gave her a couple of quick twirls before replying. “You’ve found me out,” I said.
Teachers and Strictly
In what way does Strictly Come Whatnot inform us of how we should write our adverts?
At the Toppled Bollard Dancing Emporium a woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “Were you on Strictly Come Dancing?”
I smiled and shook my head. “No,” I said, “I was in Strictly Ballroom”.
“Was that on ITV?” she asked.
I said “No, it was a film, made in Australia. We had to dance upside down.”
“Oh” she said.
Don't say, do say.
Why one should not always say exactly that which is expected
Yesterday, at the Toppled Bollard night club, situated as it is in the less opulent regions of the Northants, Leicestershire and Rutland borderlands, a woman asked me to dance.
After two rather pleasant dances she said, ‘You never notice me.’
I said, ‘That’s an omission on my part. I will try harder.’
She said ‘That’s not good enough. Tomorrow I’m going to throw myself under your car.”
I said, ‘But I only had it cleaned yesterday.‘
This, I feels, shows that sometimes one needs to say the unexpected in order to gain attention. Advertisements and responses which simply follow the line of thought that the reader expects rarely (in my experience) lead to a sale.
The difficult issue of yachts
How not owning a yacht can be a matter of deliverance, and a guiding light in writing advertisements.
Last night at the Toppled Bollard dance club on the Southern Reach of Rutland, a woman asked me to dance.
After the dance she said, “Wow you are good. Do you own a yacht?”
I confessed I did not, but added that I had lived in Poole for 8 years and had done a lot of boating at that time – as most people living in that area do.
“Such a shame,” she said. “If you owned a yacht I’d have to marry you.”
I must confess to being rather taken aback by this conversation, but it served to remind me that it is always possible to think one is engaged in one activity (in this case dancing) when in fact the other party considers this to be something quite different (such as a proposal of marriage).
Offers of violence
There is only one way to measure the effectiveness of an advert, (unless of course it is an advert like this).
On Saturday night just before midnight, at the Toppled Bollard Dance Club in the rather lawless Rutland / Leicester / Northants border country, a woman asked me to dance.
I naturally agreed, and we had a really good jive together.
At the end she said, “That was lovely. Just like my friend said, you really are good. If you ever need someone’s throat cut, any time, day or night, you can find me on Facebook.”
It made a change from being asked how long I’d been dancing.
And it also makes the point that one can, on occasion, get responses that one doesn’t expect.
The perfume dilemma
Sometimes the way to raise sales to schools is not what you might expect
Last week, at the Toppled Bollard Dance Club on the Rutland / Northants border, a woman asked me to dance. I said, “that’s gorgeous perfume you're wearing.”
She said, “It’s French. My firm flies it into Mexico, it is smuggled over the border into the USA, and then we drive it into Canada and export it to England.”
I said, “What’s the point? The UK and France are in the EU so there is no tax.”
She said, “We’re getting ready for Brexit in two years' time.”
Which just goes to show that people’s responses to plans and ideas are not always what one might expect in advance.
Just because an advert doesn’t bring in the hoped for sales
To be asked to dance
You can’t time all of the pleasure all of the people on a thursday
A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “You’re that weird guy who does those ‘a woman asked me to dance last night’ posts on schools.co.uk aren’t you?.
I said, “yep that’s me.”
She said, “Doesn’t that make a lot of woman just walk away from you in disgust?”
I said, “Yep, sure does.”
She said, “Well why do you keep doing it?”
I said, “It also gets me a lot of dances.”
And my point is, that quirky adverts can annoy some people,