Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Who is Cornelius Trunchpole?

I'll tell you.

I was born in the Herefordshire village of Shaftesbury at some point after the turn of the 20th Century. The precise date of my birth is unknown as the Hospital Administrator in charge of birth certificates happened to be away on holiday that day.

Tragically both my mother and my father died in childbirth, meaning I was brought up at the local orphanage until the age of 6, when my infatuation for one of my teachers led the Governor of the orphanage to take the extreme measure of packing me off to serve in the British Army.

After just 4 weeks of basic training I was sent off to war (I’ve no recollection if this was the First World War or the Second), where due to my small hands I was used to polish the tiny insides of tanks (to this day I’ve no idea why).

Whilst serving in the army I took on the secondary role of writing the jingoistic slogans on the side of mortar shells and bombs. “Enjoy this Adolf!”, “PS your hair is on fire!!” and “I AM A BOMB!” being amongst my most celebrated works.

It was my creativity in this field that led me into advertising.

On leaving the Army I went straight to work at the London ad agency Wilson Bagley, where I quickly rose to the rank of Creative Director, writing copy for such accounts as Coleman’s mustard, Heinz, and Monster Munch crisps.

Following a chance meeting in a London phone box I was then offered a job at the McCann Advertising agency in America, where within weeks of joining I had facilitated the companies merger with the Erickson agency (an achievement I received not even a word of thanks for).

At this point I was still only 14 years old.

I then spent the next two decades moving from agency to agency, sometimes as Creative Director, sometimes as head of copy, sometimes as Chairman (once as receptionist – a mistake quickly rectified).

During this time I also founded The Annual Trunchpole Awards, (or Trunchies as it affectionately came to be known), where I awarded the finest advertising to come out each year. Needless to say I consistently won in almost every category.

After years of working for other people I decided to set up my own shop, Trunchpole & Trunchpole (there was no other Trunchpole, I just liked the sound of the repetition).

For 11 beautiful years Trunchpole & Trunchpole was the toast of the advertising World. We were pioneers, inventing techniques commonplace now, but unheard of at the time: the billboard, the voice over, the packshot and, lest we forget, the comparative taste test.

But it wasn’t to last. Trunchpole & Trunchpole tragically fell victim to the great layout pad shortage of 1956, and the dream turned into a nightmare.

The company folded and I Spent the ensuing ten years floating around adland, a forlorn and broken man.

In 1971 I retired from advertising altogether and swore I’d never write another ad again. I cancelled my subscription to Ad Week, bought a castle in Scotland and happily drifted into obscurity.

Some 40 years later however, I’ve changed my mind. It seems that today’s industry could do with a bit of Trunchpole magic.

So there you have it. Trunchpole revelaed.

What else did you expect?

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