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Donkeys aren't very popular and when they are called upon, it's almost always to impersonate stupidity and stubbornness.

Often the message is very direct in telling the reader that he is a stupid fool. You wouldn't accept it from your boss, but the approach is so slap in the face that the brutality is felt as amusing.

first published: ii.2006; updated: vi.2006

What a stupid
ass you are if you do not wish to comply with something mentioned in the advertisement. Our examples on the first row (Nos. 1, 2, 3) all follow this approach in a more or lesser degree. You are a stupid ass (1) strips the donkey without shame. Here comes the text. People with a less than exceptionally good health should skip the next few lines. The original is in Dutch and sounds worse than the translation!
You are a stupid ass if you won't come by during our open house days. And we can't keep stupid asses on stock, unfortunately. That would be difficult, you know, because with the exhaustive choice on offer it is certain that even an ass shall not make the same mistake twice. But our business is more than only stones …
This is priceless. People are actually getting paid for this.

(1) 199? – Stupid ass — tiles
(2) 2004 – He is not interested in discounts — home furniture
(3) 199? – Some people don't like to save on heating

Théofiel is not
interested in discounts (2) is part of a series with a donkey in several situations. The name of the character varies and is choosen to sound a bit old-fashioned. This minimizes the risk of ruffling the good humoured reader. By coincidence hitting the name of the reader wouldn't ease his conversion into buyer.

Some people do not want to know how much they can save on heating (3). Some people, not you, of course. The first paragraph makes sure that you don't feel offended by the opening statement. Intelligent people will follow the suggestions of the advertisement.

(4) 2003 – Working for best results — congress
(5) 2004 – Even the best jockey needs a good horse — asset management

Thank goodness that
not all copywriters have a rude pen. A touch of humour in your announcement is something to strive for. It makes the message easier to swallow. Each of our funny examples takes a different approach and not one of them walks the obvious stupid ass path. Refreshing, that is.

Working for optimal results (4) stresses the importance of being able of making the difference between essentials and lesser things. Our jockey got the attire right, but better had had a closer look to his horse. The donkey isn't the main actor in this play.

A good asset management requires tools which are as good as you are (5) and that is underscored with Rule 7: Even the best jockey needs a good horse. So far so good. But the closing sentence sounds like … a way to stay upright in the saddle and obtain good results. and that is not entirely right. The guy is perfectly safe in his saddle. A horse is unlikely to be an improvement on that.

(6) 198? – Cleopatra was addicted to ass's milk — bodymilk
(7) 1995 – Porters used to be recalcitrant — roof rack

The roof rack advert
(7) is relating towards the behaviour of the species. Take an ass to carry your luggage and you will soon learn the meaning of recalcitrant and unreliable. You had no choice in earlier times, but that is over now. Just consider our userfriendly and safe roof racks.

Donkey's milk was Cleopatra's pick of the bag (6). It was rather awkward though. Today it is much more convenient to rub in some bodymilk (only if you want the best there is).

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