Speaking of the ones that got away, here’s the never-used fantastic headline I still dream about on parched, moon-lit nights in Marfa or Sedona.
Look at her. Look at that dress.
Can’t you feel — or even see — the humidity, the heat, the torpor?
I did, and I think the art director did, too. This was for a summertime spread, images to be used with email messaging, and in picture after picture the A.D. posed models in front of amusement park rides, circus tents, locales reminiscent of small-town carnivals or county fairs, deep in the dusty tracks and country lanes of Red States USA… somewhere far, far below the Mason-Dixon.
“A Carnival of Sultry Style” seemed like a natural to me for a headline to match the above imagery. I Googled the phrase first. No one had ever used it before. And I thought — an email subject line like that, from a women’s apparel retailer, would surely inspire a runaway carousel’s worth of clicks!
The client, however, didn’t want anything “too sexy.” And so my sinfully good headline found itself on the Island of Lost Copy. We’ll never know what impact it might have had.