December 16, 2011Why Don Draper will never use Facebook Timeline

friendships are enriched by slowly discovering things about a person — we are partly defined by our past and our present but also by our future — by our hopes and our aspirations. Facebook Timeline may leave us all forever looking back on each other’s pasts.

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November 30, 2011Can you rush creativity?

You can’t hurry love. But as a copywriter, can you rush creativity? Is it possible to have too many ideas? Or is more always more? The answer depends on the client — and on how well you can read them.

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November 18, 2011The best puns in advertising

Sometimes wordplay is subtle. Sometimes it’s not. The pun, that most maligned staple of Englsh language humour, can be both. The trick to a good pun is knowing when, and how, to use it.

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October 22, 2011Stop thinking about straplines. Start thinking about throughlines.

A subtle, persuasive through line will enable your customers to think they’re making choices for themselves, rather than being told what to think. Here’s how to get it right.

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October 20, 2011Feedback? Don’t be polite. Be honest.

Rejecting someone? Often “false pleasantries” can be more offensive than a simple “no”. Here’s a list of weasel words to avoid, and the right way to avoid offending people when you just have to say no.

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October 2, 2011The timelines they are a changin’

Facebook wants me to share my Spotify music choices with you. And it doesn’t want to give me a say in the matter. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea on so many levels.

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September 26, 2011Why are bloggers so badly paid?

It takes a lot longer to build one small building well than it does to put up ten houses sloppily. Copywriting is the same. You get what you pay for. So why don’t we apply this logic to blogging?

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September 21, 2011I’m in London. But does it matter?

The joy of being a freelance copywriter is that you can work, pretty much, from anywhere. From home, from a hotdesk, from a beach in Goa, if you really want. So why the heck am I still living in dirty old London Town?

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September 9, 2011Do you need to be passionate to be able to write?

Most people aren’t passionate about their own jobs — let alone someone else’s. So why do we expect copywriters to be “passionate” about the subjects they’re writing about? Unreasonable expectations, or necessary for the best results?

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August 16, 2011Head or heart? How to become a better copywriter by appealing to both.

Robert Cialdini’s ‘weapons of influence’ show us how we make purchasing decisions based on rational choice, even subconsciously. But I don’t think all decisions are made this way. The truth is very often we’re led not by the head, but by the heart.

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