A case of mistaken identity

Once upon a time, turban legend has it that a junior writer was hired in a case of mistaken identity by an international ad agency. It was actually a tale of two turbans. 

And his first day of work was equally amusing: April 1. 

His ploy was finally “exposed” at an industry creative awards show some months later when his boss who did a double-take as the other turban, also a copywriter from a different agency, walked over to offer his congratulations.  

But it was too late, as the sheepish villain in the case of mistaken identity had already won over 20 awards that night. And his boss was equally puzzled. Plus he was already on his second bottle of Dewar’s (no ice), and simply accepted the fact that no two turbans can be alike. 

Not long after that, the boss of another top agency called this copywriter for an “interview” at the Long Bar of the Royal Selangor Club. There was much drinking and very little interviewing. 

But around 10.30pm this boss, who had a booming and boisterous voice, huddled his buddies into close proximity and told them about this “fancy” new writer sitting with them.

Then came the actual interview. 

He fished out his cigarette lighter from his deep pocket and slapped it down on the bar counter. He then glared at the copywriter and hollered, “I want you to give me a headline for this lighter. It has to say it is the best lighter, that it’s number one and a leader brand.” 

Then came the clincher: 

“I want a ONE-WORD headline!” he thundered. 

Suddenly, all eyes were on the copywriter, by which time this included all the men at the bar. And a few other agency heads.

The copywriter hesitated for about 23 seconds, and then said… 


Everyone sobered instantly, the copywriter left the bar, and the prospective employer raced after him. 

Good shit happens. 

The above is the Editor’s Note from MARKETING Magazine Issue 242