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James Mahoney

Hear hear, Nick. Nicely said, well analyzed.

I saw this video and had a nagging memory that I'd heard the story before. Sure enough, credited to Ogilvy (and I absolutely love your "Redrafting Ogilvy" thought).

Just wrote to the agency, as I hope many others have, too. I don't expect them to revise the credit, but one never knows.

And I'm going to plagiarize your sign--without "improvement"--should I ever fall on hard enough times...

James Mahoney

Nick Asbury

Thanks James. If I ever see that sign on the street, I'll come over and say hello.


If they can't see the simplicity of the original idea and it's effectiveness they shouldn't be in this business. Plagiarism is pitiful. Plagiarism that's less than the original idea is embarrassing.


Great blogpost, Nick, spot on!

James, did you receive an answer to your mail?



Looks like their problem isn't that they 'adapted' the story. Just that they nicked it from the wrong place to begin with.

Exactly the same story (with the same crap line) is on this website, which predates Purplefeather's 'ad' by 2-3 years: http://rehuxley.livejournal.com/179862.html

Just think: if only you'd relayed the Ogilvy version on your blog sooner. Maybe they'd have stolen the idea from here instead.

P.S. For the record, I don't normally frequent Ron Huxley's blog. Just found it whilst Googling this blind-man-sign-thing. Honest, guv.


personally, "it's spring and i'm blind" means nothing special to me. atleast this "bastardized" version is more compelling and i would give money.

besides any day could be beautiful to someone who has never seen it which is the part that strikes human emotion. by your own logic, what happens when it's NOT SPRING?


Because I'm blind..look what I sat in.


Well done, sir. Do you think replacing "blind" with "I can't see it" was an act of political correctness, or do copywriters these days disaapprove of strong language?

Olivia G

Maybe it's because they wanted to show that no matter the weather everyday is beautiful. Just because it's raining doesn't mean it's not beautiful. The sunglasses on the girl was just for the secret identity part of the video which kept it interesting. It shows that anyone can act as kind as her. By not showing her eyes you think she could be anybody. Therefore it makes you think anybody could be like her. That sign will last all throughout the year and it sends a very important message: Everyday is beautiful and cherish what things you have, because you never know how much you need them until they are gone.

Conflict Of Interest

Well done, sir. Do you think replacing "blind" with "I can't see it" was an act of political correctness, or do copywriters these days disaapprove of strong language?


Lots of people in Los Angeles wear sunglasses regardless of how sunny it is, so I'm quite used to this. Make what you will of that. As for whether it's a beautiful day or not, some would argue any day free of pain is beautiful, or any day free of cancer is beautiful, or any day you are alive is beautiful... some wouldn't see a beautiful day if it smacked them in the face. And finally, leaving the call to action "please help" off the sign is either missing the point or leaving the obvious unstated, depending on your point of view. Do you need to have a call to action spelled out to you before you do anything? Or does your heart fill in the blanks automatically?

Nick Asbury

Hi Joe - all fair enough observations. I'd even be prepared to concede all of them, but stand by the central point that the power of the original story was that it was a) concisely adapting the original line, raising it to another level with the simple addition of a few words. Replacing the line is clumsy, rude and has none of the elegance of the original story. And b) the finished line in the original story was poetic in the way it left your imagination to do the rest. This is prosaic in the way it spells it out. If any viewer can't see that, they have no appreciation for either poetry or copywriting.

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