Commentary

I'm Not Too 'Busy' To Write About This New Canada Dry Campaign

Canada Dry is out with its new “Busy is a 4 Letter Word” campaign from The Richards Group. Interestingly, Huffington Post had a story last year with the same title (they spelled out Four] that addressed similar themes. But more about the HuffPo piece later.

So this new Canada Dry campaign (why do I always write Canadry when I’m BUSY and in a hurry and then have go back and correct?) is basically a shaming campaign against A-personality types. You know, those super-driven, success-oriented types with whom you’re green with envy.  Yeah, you go Canada Dry, I love it!  (Probably because I’m a B-personality at best).

I mean how do they do it, those A types? Always on. Seems like they function on 4 hours of sleep a night. Go, Go, Go. And always with a smile. Family? What family? Friends? I love my friends. Work of course comes first.

Which is the point of the campaign and has nothing to do with Canada Dry products, which, much like Coca-Cola drinks are Diabetic-ly bad for you and you’d be better off not drinking them. But that’s another story.

But in some respects, it’s a clever campaign that pulls on the heart strings as it juxtaposes A-type outlooks with those most affected by those outlooks. Sons, girlfriends, spouses.  The accompanying weepy guitar music helps set a tear-jerky mood.

Here’s the HuffPo piece. It addresses similar issues. Here’s a point made in the piece that is also addressed in the campaign: “Being busy affects our relationship with those around us. When we say: “I’m busy” the person we are talking with most likely will take this as: “I’m too busy for you. I have no time for you. My thoughts are elsewhere.” With that response, it’s easy to see how anyone would feel that the “to do” list has been given priority over the relationship. Those two words come off as dismissive - and even rude. “Busy” is a 4-letter word in more ways than one.”

Here’s the film that the campaign is based on.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting that anything was inappropriately borrowed here by any parties. It’s a field wide open for exploration and clearly a topic worth visiting, given today’s pressures on companies and its workforces.

And Canada Dry’s effort seems genuine, almost to a fault. It partnered with the linguist and master language creator from Game of Thrones, David Peterson, to research the genesis of the word “busy” and why we should stop using it. He identified different types of busy to better define what it means when you say you’re “busy.”

The brand even came up with a phrase to call BS on people who use busy as an excuse:  “busy-bragging.”

Wait, isn’t that a socially acceptable way of bowing out of events, that, if you went to all of them you wouldn’t have time to do anything else?

Damn right I’m a busy bragger. And will be for the foreseeable future!

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