Friday, June 15, 2012

A pushover for briefcases.

Dunhill ads really have class. This morning's paper has an ad for their Bourdon document case. It features a  quote from "The Secret Agent", by Joseph Conrad:

            "I'm afraid that if you want to go down in history you'll have to do something for it."

            I want that briefcase. Everyone will know it contains secret documents, and that I'm on a mission for the Queen. I'm cool, confident, and beautifully groomed. We leave tonight at midnight.

            That's saying a lot for a briefcase. A student of mine said his father told him that if he ever wanted to amount to anything, there are two things a man should have: a good white shirt and a good watch. I'd give the shirt off my back for this document case.

            I've seen a lot of ads for briefcases over the years, and they're all pretty much the same. Pretty much the same as this one, in fact. They all seem to have distinguished men in pin-striped suits holding the love object.

           But what makes this ad different is the quote. It puts the Bourdon document case in a class by itself. There's a story there, a romance. It becomes a badge of importance, gravitas, enviable worldliness. You have to admit that's a lot for a few words to add.

          The Dunhill people also assure you that it's chrome tanned leather (whatever that means) with stainless steel hardware. Nice to know, but who cares? This case can take you into history.

           For the price of a briefcase, even a Dunhill briefcase, that's not a bad bargain.

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