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 Copywriting tips for advertising

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Sangeeta 80

Number of posts : 187
Age : 38
Registration date : 2008-03-28

PostSubject: Copywriting tips for advertising   Fri 4 Apr - 14:39

All copywriters have tips to share that can save you lots of time and aggravation and help jolt your creative thinking when Starbucks or Red Bull fail. Here are 17 top Madison Avenue copy tips that will help make your copy a hit:

1. Go Beyond The Creative Brief It seems creative briefs either have too much information, much of it irrelevant to the copywriter, or too little of the information needed to write a great ad. Don't rely exclusively on information the client provides. Clients often are "too close" to their product and are unable to provide direction or information that helps the creative team think outside the box. Search out other sources to get a fresh perspective. The internet is the best place to start. Use Google for starters. Be sure to check the organic listings as well as the paid sponsorships. Don't overlook competitive and trade industry association sites, and anything your search or your gut tells you is worth exploring.

2. Don't Self-Censor Too many creative people kill their own great ideas through self-censorship. "It was tried before", "The client will never buy it". "Nobody else is doing it" and negative thinking kill too many solid concepts. The fact is that maybe the reason it didn't work, the client didn't buy it or nobody else is doing it is because nobody is going to develop the idea and create an ad as good as you. If someone's going to kill your ideas, let it be the creative director or the client. Think positive. It will always show in your writing.
3. Write Visually- Words are artwork, just like photos or illustrations. Use picturesque words to create mental images that help attract and convince customers. Words with strong visual appeal when combined with the right layout, photos or illustrations assure a powerful and effective ad. One word can be worth a thousand pictures!
4. Write "Across" Not Down. Avoid being condescending and talking down to your audience, unless that's part of the creative strategy. Advertising is a mass media and not everybody reading your copy has your education and command of the English language. Keep vocabulary and sentence structure appropriately simple. Also remember that American is becoming increasingly "global" and for many in the audience, English may be a second or even third language.
5. Write In Rhythm Great copy is like music to the audience's ears. It should flow easily and not be choppy. Try reading the copy aloud. If it sounds choppy or awkward to you, it obviously needs some polishing. Even hard-hitting, short, punchy retail or PSA copy needs rhythm to be effective.
6. Can't Find It Invent It There sometimes doesn't seem to be a word to describe a particular product or product feature. If this is the case, simply invent a pharse to describe it and put it in quotes. For example, in writing a brochure for a resort hotel, a poolside bar or pool would be a bar outside the swimming pool where you go and have a drink. If you were describing a bar where swimmers never had to leave the pool to get the drink you might want to refer to it as a "swim-up-to-bar", or "never-get-dry-bar".
7. Short Copy Sells One of David Ogilvy's many mantras was "Long Copy Sells". That may have been true when he wrote it over 50 years ago in simpler times when there were only 3 TV channels, no Internet and no X Box, but not today. Today people expect fast facts, easy access and a quick solution to their needs. Long copy doesn't sell especially on the Interet.
8. White Space Is Your Friend Ads with a very open layout and a lot of "white space" really make your copy stand out and get read. It's another good reason to write short copy and work closely with your art director to assure a nice "airy" layout that makes it easier for your copy to do its job.
9. Steal From Yourself Very often some of the best advertising ideas and copy ever were those you created and shot down by a client. That doesn't mean they were bad. In fact, it usually means quite the opposite. Keep "shot down" copy on file and look back at it often. You'll find you can very often recycle the idea or the actual copy into a great ad for another client. Over 50% of the ads created at top Madison Avenue agencies were all "recycled".
10. Cross Dress To Overcome Writer's Bloc Copywriters don't have the market cornered on great headlines nor do Art Directors on visual ideas. Very often when writer's bloc strikes, change places and jump into your art director's shoes. And have him or her try on yours. You'll find it really works and it's a lot of fun too. "Creative Cross Dressing" and working as team rather than separately is the key to great advertising.
11. Don't Fall In Love Too Fast Very often, copywriters fall in love with a concept, headline, or phrase that you just can't seem to make work. When this happens, don't labor over it. Leave it and explore other possibilities. Very often by exploring other ideas, you discover what you need to make the one you first loved work.
12. Edit Ruthlessly Top copywriters always edit themselves ruthlessly first, to spare ruthless editing from the creative director or client. Edit for length and content. Weed out excess words and information that isn't really needed.
13. Polish Carefully Once you've edited and tightened up your copy, review it to add a few finishing touches that will really make it shine. Maybe you'll find that by changing a word here and there you will make the copy more emotional, powerful, and convincing. Maybe you'll find one little awkward transition you could smooth a bit. Maybe you'll find it's just right and needs no finishing touches at all. You'll never know unless you do this step routinely.
14. Never Trust Spell Check Spell check is good but it isn't great. It misses a lot that can be grammatically correct but dead wrong. Case in point. A team in my creative group on a tight deadline released an ad that spell check cleared. The ad appeared in the newspaper with "pubic relations" instead of "public relations". Always read your copy and have some other human read it too.
15. Copy Needs To Be Sold Unfortunately creative people have to be sales people too. Creative concepts and copy usually need to be sold. Prepare yourself to do it. Identify who you're selling to the client, your creative director or an over-bearing account exec. If you organize your ideas, rehearse your pitch, and support your claims with facts, it's usually smooth sailing.
16. Grease The Wheels Let Them Think It's "Their Idea"- Everybody thinks they're "creative" and wants to be part of the creative process. Account execs, clients and creative directors, are no exception. In presenting your big idea, it always helps to make them feel they had some part of it right from the start. Try prefacing your copy presentation with " You gave me a great idea last week", "What you said about perceived value' really got me thinking" or some similar phrase. A little grease goes a long way.
17. Have Fun Life's short so enjoy every minute. Have Fun and your copy will show it!
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