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April 6, 2014Sell the product, not the lifestyle.

Writers. We do love our silence.

After all, we’re only one step removed from the library, the garret, the dusty bookshelf.

Of course in reality copywriters never get the peace and quiet we need to scribble or to think.

In offices we’re bothered by loud, boisterous music — or loud, boisterous people. I once had to share a desk with a man whose job it was to read the same sales script over and over, every day.

When we’re lucky enough to be working from home, we may have kids under our feet or noisy neighbours over our heads.

And …

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February 12, 2014Make it memorable

Continuing my recent series of blog posts about stuff I’ve seen on the Tube on the way home, this card caught my eye. Several times:

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It’s great copy — a beautifully poetic way to state the product’s awesome USP. Yes! This is exactly what you’re looking for when booking flights, hotels etc… something that will find you that elusive bargain that makes your journey affordable.

Then I got to thinking… why did this ad catch my eye several times? Because no matter how hard I tried, I could never actually remember the product’s name.

It’s Skyscanner.

Now this is …

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February 4, 2014Millennials: Why they matter

If you’re not reading The Ad Contrarian already, stop what you’re doing and start reading him now. He writes better than I do and his insight about this industry is second to none (except perhaps Sell! Sell! who you also need to be reading).

But when he described millennials as “narcissistic jerk offs”, I felt it was important to disagree. The Ad Contrarian thinks they’re not worth bothering with until they get older. I think it’s important to listen to them now. Here’s why:

1. Millennials are still consumers

It’s true. They don’t have much money. But they …

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January 15, 2014Us vs Them: Why the nuances in your copy matter

One tiny mistake can ruin an entire ad, changing its tone of voice and making it seem cold and distant. When it comes to copy, nuances matter. Here’s why.

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November 18, 2013Christmas is getting earlier. Here’s why.

They say Christmas gets earlier every year. Particularly if you’re a copywriter. Why is it that brands are sending their Christmas messages out so soon?

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September 24, 2013Where do all the old copywriters go?

Advertising, marketing, social, agency life… they’re all young person’s games. But where do all the old copywriters go? Do we stop being relevant at 30 (or 40)? Do we go off in search of different challenges? Or do we keep on writing?

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July 15, 2013The web needs traditional advertising, not “native” advertising.

People want to be entertained and informed. “Native advertising” does neither. It’s time to look to more traditional campaigns for inspiration.

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May 4, 2013How to “Make it go viral”

“Make it go viral.” The brief that sends a chill down every creative’s spine. Next time you’re asked to make something go viral, explain that there’s only so much you can do. Good content goes viral. But if you’re lumbered with bad content, what can you do?

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April 21, 2013Is this the worst ad ever?

An ad doesn’t have to be cringeworthy to be bad, just banal. Ultimately, a good ad should make you desire the product. Here, I take a look at Sony’s latest smartphone campaign — and find it severely lacking.

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February 26, 2013“The experience” is essential when advertising luxury brands

As the creator of Apple’s “Think Different” campaign declares Apple’s new product-led campaigns are inferior to Samsung’s people oriented ones, I ask the question of whether experience should still be the focus of luxury brands.

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