When you make copywriting your career, apparently making a pun becomes a cardinal sin. I’ve been advised on more than one occasion that puns are the cheap, clichéd and cheating way out when trying to come up with a creative solution. Try telling that to Morrisons.
Their new campaign to promote home delivery in London, created by DLKW Lowe, is a pun-fest of enviable proportions. West-mince-ster? Check. Fins-berry Park? Check. Piccalilli Circus? Oh, definitely. Tottenham? That one wrote itself. I've also seen Whitech-apple near my house, but that poster had been unfortunately defaced by someone decrying it as racist. Hint to the citizens of justice: there isn't a Blackchapel in London as far as anybody knows. I think you might have slightly the wrong idea about this campaign.
Clearly all of these place names have been chosen for their matches to the names of popular foods, but I'm not sure if these areas will genuinely plump for home deliveries. You’re admittedly unlikely to see a Morrisons van pulling up next to the Eros statue or the Houses of Parliament to drop off some bread and milk, for example, but I suppose Yeast Finchley doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
These short examples of delicious wordplay are made for social media – they're snappy and shareable, a bit like crackers for cheese or a KitKat. Word games like this are always popular on Twitter, as we've seen with hashtags such as #RemoveALetterRuinABand and #FoodSitcoms (which I've finally found a relevant use for).
I was always going to fall completely in love with ads like these, and I’m sure I could come up with so many more. Like these:
King’s Croissant Pancras. (my personal favourite of the bunch)
The fact that I love food probably comes into it somewhere. I don’t think you can tell, though.
Some people criticise puns because they’re so simple, but many other people love them precisely for that reason. The absolute worst reaction you can have to an ad is to look at it and say “I don’t get it.” No brand wants that. So what would otherwise be known as the lowest common denominator of comedy ends up being the most generally amusing. A good – or extremely bad – pun never fails to elicit a groan, and a reaction is exactly what you want from the public. These ads are already generating plenty of publicity for Morrisons, and we might well see one of their vans pulling up at Ripley's Believe It Or Not before too long.
If you think of any more London-based food puns (East Ham and West Ham don’t count), then why not tweet us or leave a comment below?