This week, we laid bait of lofty vision statements and years of intricate tax dodging, to lure one of Britain’s most-awarded copywriters from the shadows. Locked and loaded to lob a few volleys at brand purpose, he’s Nick Asbury.
A brilliant writer and a thoroughly good bloke to boot, Nick crafts witty and charming words for branding and design.
Pile your plate high as Nick talks to us on how a poem about the England football team got him in real trouble, differentiating between writing for design versus writing for ads, Paul Newman’s salad dressing, using wit (properly), a Friends NFT, why the Innocent imitators in packaging copy need to cut it out, and his plans to dismantle brand purpose. You won’t be disappointed.
Check out Nick’s Substack
Especially his blog Start with why, end with wire fraud
Follow him on Twitter
He’s one half of Asbury & Asbury
Alongside, Sue Asbury, whose ace paintings you should check out here
Read The Nations Prayer poem that got him in real trouble
Buy the Perpetual Disappointments Diary
Here’s Realtime Notes
Clive James on Desert Island Discs
And the brilliant Ends Fri Friends ad
(02:05) - Quickfire questions
(05:22) - First-ever job
(13:31) - Writing for design versus writing for advertising
(18:50) - A Smile in the Mind
(22:05) - Use of wit in advertising and design
(27:05) - Brand purpose (🔥)
(54:54) - Listener questions from Paul Bailey and Andrew Spurrier Dawes
(1:02:26) - 4 pertinent posers
Room for more? In this episode, we plugged a choice cut of Call to Action episodes for you to get your chops around.
Andrew Spurrier Dawes
Nick’s book recommendations are:
Nonzero by Robert Wright
A Smile in the Mind by Beryl McAlhone, David Stuart, Greg Quinton & Nick Asbury
In Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman & A.E. Hotchner
The Anatomy of Humbug by Paul Feldwick