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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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March 3, 2014Why Amazon should have presented their price hike as an apology

Amazon recently raised the price of their Prime membership by 60%. Yet they tried to claim it was a “saving” by bundling it with unwanted streaming video services. Instead of this dishonest trick that’s proven immensely unpopular, here’s what Amazon should have done if they needed to raise prices… apologise.

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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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December 26, 2013The books I’ve read this year

My year in books: what does a copywriter read? As the year draws to a close, I thought I’d take a look at my bookshelf and, for the first time ever, analyse what I’ve been reading and 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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November 5, 2013Price isn’t always important. But value always is.

It’s an old question: do you compete on price or quality? The answer is neither: you compete on value. And a good copywriter can help you. Here’s how.

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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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August 11, 201310 truths a freelance copywriter can tell you

Kissmetrics.com wants you to think that copywriters are deceitful and duplicitous. Yet their post about “lies” freelance copywriters tell you is duplicitous itself. Get the truth about what a copywriter means when he says “every project is unique” or “your email hit my spam folder”.

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