Y U No Write Good

Came across some readings during my morning feeds today and Maurilio’s Writing Copy That Sells caught me into thinking. Indeed words are wonderful, or I wouldn’t be spending 60 hours a week writing ad copy in order to pay bills. Just kidding. It’s gonna be 70 hours this week as we are working on yet another biggest account of the year.

But on a serious-er note, this job really is one of the best I’ve ever had. Where else could you find a job that would allow you to eat all day, cracking silly jokes left-right-and-center, while waiting for that killer punchline to hit you hard? And then swiftly you’ll be spending the next 4-5 hours writing that hopefully-award-winning piece.

Know who you’re speaking to. Maurilio made a decent note on the core mechanics to writing good, sell-worthy copy. When I first interned as a junior copywriter, my creative director often shared with me the hilarious brief he received from new clients. One of these that I vividly remember is that an audience must be defined before all advertising messages. They can be high-schoolers, moms, golfers, grandfathers, BigMac lovers, whoever. Never try to reach “everyone” at large. Like Maurilio said, writing to “everyone” guarantees you to reach “no one.”

When your target market doesn’t feel that your message speaks directly at them, they won’t react. There goes your (client’s) millions of dollars spent on that buswrap. Therefore, a well-written copy addresses the intended audience succinctly. Such as this:

Impress vs. Impact. Depending on your motive, people today would rather be impacted by the changes a product could bring than being impressed by how great your product was.  An all-time great example is the 2011 Small Business Saturday campaign by American Express. The work doesn’t show-off the client by any means but benefited the society at large. Good ad campaign like this is lacked among the creative industry.

If you happen to have been imprisoned in the same field (first, I’m sorry for you and I feel your pain), think about how your next campaign could do the public some good – before you decide to print a giant “WE’RE THE BEST, BUY THIS NOW” ad and post it to the billboard. We all can be great influencers in this world, and if we decide to, a good one.

What say you?

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About Jason Tham

Jason Tham is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His research interests are digital pedagogy, connectivism and connected learning, computers and writing, and visual rhetoric.
This entry was posted in Advertising, Branding, copywriting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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