The client, a security firm, had wanted something to generate new business.
At last the problem had been cracked. The answer, a talking metal dog to be sent out to prospective clients.
The dummy version had arrived and the team gathered round to admire their work. There it stood, on all fours, glossy, gleaming in the sunlight. The originality of the concept was breathtaking. Stunning even.
Someone suggested hearing what the dog had to say. A switch was flicked. The little group stood waiting, listening, expectant. A great rumbling noise came from the dog. Everyone gawped. The creature started speaking.
"Caveat emptor, res ipso loquitur, dolce et decorum est.....".
Of course, everyone had forgotten, this was the dummy version.
The client had supplied some possible copy. This was put in to the dog, at last it would start communicating as it was meant to. Again the switch was flicked. The dog's upper lip rolled up revealing its fangs. One eye tooth sparkled and the client's copy began.
"Squeak" said the dog. Eyes met, shoulders shrugged.
"The hypothetical perpetrator trips the bi-polar mercury tilt contact which handshakes with the GH6b module...."
So it went on.
Feet shuffled, heads were bowed, after all the work put in on the visual side the copy was ruining the project. Sure, it looked great, but it was not communicating. The tone of voice was all wrong and the writing turgid.
A long silence followed the performance. "Let's get John Block in on this project" someone suggested. The mood brightened and the copywriter in due course contacted and briefed.
After what seemed a very short time the copy was delivered. Everyone was delighted, somehow the copy meshed with the visuals and concept and everything was improved.
Inevitably the day came to show the client what the team had to show. The chairman saw the metal dog and his face lit up with boyish pleasure. The whole team grinned. Then the chairman wanted to hear the copy.
The dog was made to speak.
The copy came to an end and the team waited for a reaction.
Slowly the chairman shook his head. Faces fell. The chairman looked around at the tense expressions and delivered his verdict.
"Well that certainly barks and bites, I love it!"