“Were you two trying to kill me?”
This is what Drayton shouts at me across the room.
There I am, loitering at the back of an AWAI copywriting conference in Florida a few years back with my good friend, Mike Ford.
We’re chatting waiting for the first speaker of the day to come on.
But, all of a sudden, looking somewhat green around the gills – and, to be fair, so am I at this point – Drayton is working his way around the back of the room gesturing toward us.
Mike clocks ‘that Bird guy’ and asks me if I think he’s genuinely angry?
I doubt it, I explain. We’re English. Getting drunk is what we do.
You see, the previous night Mike and I were in the hotel bar catching up, when Drayton came over and we got talking.
One thing led to another and hours later we were all a little worse for wear.
These things happen.
Anyhow, it’s a big room to navigate across, and being full of aspiring copywriters, many are trying to get Drayton’s attention….
But he’s heading for us.
He’s almost upon us and we can see he’s smiling now. Thankfully.
Finally reaching us, he declares:
“Seriously, what did we drink… I feel fucking awful!”
For ‘an old boy’, as we say in England, Drayton did bloody well, matching us drink for drink.
I had to admit I felt equally as bad.
Of course, Drayton’s had plenty of practice over the years, knocking back scotch with the likes of David Ogilvy and Eugene Schwartz…
Indeed, alcohol did seem to be somewhat of a theme when I sat down to interview him this week.
Turns out we’ve both written very successful copy under the influence.
But don’t let this boozy-bravado mislead you…
Behind Drayton’s success lies more than just a good drop of splosh…
As I say, he worked as David Ogilvy’s number two man around the world… he rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in marketing history… he’s made millions… he’s lost millions… and as will become clear from our interview… he’s had a bloody good time doing so.
For the latest in my series of interviews with expert copywriters, it’s the turn of the wily old godfather of copy…
Mr Drayton Bird.
I hope you enjoy it.
As always, do please take a moment to share it around if you find it enjoyable or useful in anyway.
I’ll be back next week with a new article on collaborative copywriting… and you’ll be pleased to know I’ve got an absolute corking list of copywriters lined up for new interviews…
So, keep an eye on your inbox for more from me.