Darren the seahorse

I have been hoping for a SCAB on Carolines classes for a while, I think the way she teaches is fantastic and I know we all appreciate the visual work she shows us. Its very engaging when she breaks down the ads and we talk about what works and what doesn’t. 

This was the first class of three we had on the relationship between headlines and visual. The three main points were: 

  1. Don’t allow your copy to repeat your visual and vice versa 
  2. Balance your elements
  3. Mash up two unrelated things.

I want to focus on the third point which is the mashing up of two unrelated things. Caroline showed us slides with multiple different things on and we had to select a few at random, pair them up and then write a short story about each one. I love stuff like this. It reminded me of when Mark Palmer told us to grab something out of a bag and come up with an idea from it, almost like how they write the Simpsons. My favourite pairing I came up with was a seahorse and a wig. I wrote a story about how a male seahorse got a wig to pretend to be a female seahorse so he didn’t have to get pregnant. I have decided for my end of term scab I will expand on this story. I know this has nothing to do with advertising but it’s the end of the term and my brain is feeling pretty fried so here goes… ( I haven’t had a go at creative writing since I was 16 years old so don’t get your hopes up!)

It was a peaceful day in the lost city of Atlantis and Darren the seahorse was going about his day, picking up kelp from the seamarket and dropping some freshly baked brine shrimp cookies to his brother who had just moved into her new coral house. Darren had a lovely morning but on his way home he noticed that life in the lost city of Atlantic was feeling a bit strange. Darren shrugged it off, “surely nothing”, he thought, swimming back. Darren had just turned 4 months old, he was finally an adult seahorse and he was ready to embrace all the challenges adult life had to give. That is, apart from having kids. Darren knew there was a lot of pressure on him, his brother had birthed over 4,000 baby seahorses. Darren loved those kids, but he couldn’t imagine being a father himself, it didn’t feel right to him. Darren understood that was okay, but worried what society might think. Is he not a good enough man if he doesn’t have kids? What would his purpose be? Darren knew the answer to those questions but didn’t want to have to deal with being judged by others. 

Mating season was getting closer and closer, Darren was stressed out. He noticed other men going round inflating their pouches. “God”, he thought, “how desperate.” Time was not on his side, one day he was coming back from work – he just got promoted to senior seahorse at his agency. It was a good day for Darren but the anxiety of having to be a father was looming. On his drive home he saw something from afar, a bit blond, a bit curly and a bit knotted. “ What could it be?” He thought, “some sort of shark camouflage?” He approached it, slowly, suspiciously and carefully until he got close. “Oh shit, it’s a wig!” “Amazing,” he thought , “ there’s never any pressure on the female seahorses to have kids, in fact they are respected for putting their career first.” Darren took the wig home, cleaned it up and from then on, every day on he wore it, the seahorses stopped putting pressure on him to have children and Darren lived a happy life in the lost city of Atlantis.  

The End.

I feel like this is giving year 10 creative writing and I apologise for this, I think my big takeaway from the whole thing is don’t leave your scabs until the penultimate day of the term. 

The bigger and more important take away though is if you put two unexpected things together, you can often create something fun, interesting and sometimes politically relevant !

Merry Christmas x


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