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Great Copy_Prelims.qxd - tez

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Matheus Puppe

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Maggie Yeung, Account Manager: Richard Photo: Phil Ryan, Art Director: Glenn Gibbins, Creative Jackson, British American Tobacco Hong Kong

Director: Lisa Lewis, Agency: Butter London, Account Mead Johnson: ‘Breastfed’

Director: Rosie Day, Client: British Airways

AD: Mark Wonneberger, CW: Debbi VandeBeek & Mark Bassett, Photo: Photos of Breastfeeding Babies by Tricia Adelman, Gartland & Associated, Mitchell: ‘Coffee’

Illustrations: Donna Slagle, Agency: Campbell Mithun Esty, AH: AD: Joe Alexander, Copy: Jake Rossen, Photo: Paul Guastella, Christine Kromer, Marketing Communications Manager: Type: Bruce Johnson, CD: Joe Alexander, Real Lynne Puckett, Client: Mead Johnson Coffee Company

Clinique: ‘Tearing skin’

AD: Vicki Maguire, Copy: Frank Clark, Photo: Chris Rainbow, Art Director: Jerry Smith, Creative Director: Bill Taaffe, Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Account Director: Jackie Mayo, Client: Clinique Laboratories

British Heart Foundation: ‘Dead Mouse’

AD: Steve Doyle, Copy: Mark Pears, Ill: Leo Pears, Type: Ed Tranter, CD: Neil Godfrey, Creative Director: Ed Williams, Kraft: ‘Mellon’

Agency: AMV Borehamwood, Account Director: Sarah AD: Phil Dusenberry, CW: Robert E. Beauchamp, Photo: Alexander, Client: British Heart Foundation John Small, Type: Steve Biggest, Joe Cardillo, Creative Directors: Wesley A. Raney, Tom Pirko, Agency: DDB Needham, Account Director: Cook’s Cider: ‘Faces’

Jack Rose, Marketing Director: Gene Mahoney, Client: Kraft Foods

Photographer: Rick Guest, Copy: David Carter, Art Focuses: Dr Mark Ellams and Daniel McCallum , Agency: Fallon AD: Damon Collins, Copy: Mary Wear, Illustrator: Damon London Collins, Type: Neil Craddock, Damon Collins, Creative Director: David Abbott, Agency: Abbott Mead KB Gillette: ‘Semi finals’

Vickers, Account Handler: Monica Middleton, Marketing AD: Paul Atkinson, Copy: Chris Jeans, Photo: Robert Harris, Executive: Michelle Jobling, Client: Britvic and Kalvin Type: Ian Partridge, Creative Director: Roger Manley, Place Group Kalvin Klein

Kodak: ‘Wear nose rings’

Vault: ‘Measure a car’

AD: James Roundell, CW: James Roundell, CD: James Roundell, Agency: James Roundell Creative, Client: Kodak UK AD: Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein CW: Bob Kerstetter Photo: Simon Bruty Art Direction: Mark Gardener Creative Director: Jeff Goodby, Rich Silverstein Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco Client: Vault


Italian Holidays

‘Ciao Bella’

AD: Roddy Matthews & Mark Waites CW: Roddy Matthews & Mark Waites Art Director: Warren du Preez Agency: Du Preez one above none South Africa Client: Mercedes Benz South Africa AD: Unknown Copy: Unknown Art: Unknown Agency: Unknown Client: Unknown

Summary: This is a table of contents from the book “How to WRITE GREAT COPY” by Dominic Gettins. It lists various advertisements and credits the creative teams, agencies, and clients involved in each one. Some of the ads referenced include campaigns for Stella Artois, Volkswagen, Volvo, The Economist, Tampax, Clinique, Kodak, Mercedes, and more. The purpose of including these case studies is to illustrate examples of great copywriting and provide insight into how successful advertising campaigns were created.

Here is a summary of the key points from the foreword:

  • The term “copywriter” is outdated, more commonly called “creative” now though the speaker dislikes that term as too broad.

  • The real work is conceptualizing - taking marketing objectives and distilling them down to a simple, communicable idea that can change attitudes and behavior.

  • Brand concepts like Nike’s “irreverence justified” are worth billions in informing all communications and distinguishing the brand.

  • Compression and abstraction are major forces - compressing corporations into short ads, having to be more abstract/novel to stand out as audiences are fragmented.

  • Cliché, parody and celebrity are relied on more with less time/money for character development in TV ads.

  • It’s no longer enough to tout products, brands must develop distinct personalities through longer-term campaigns.

  • With thousands of daily advertising exposures, cutting through the clutter is extremely challenging for word-focused ads.

So in summary, the foreword addresses how the copywriting role has evolved from writing to conceptualizing, and the pressures of compression, abstraction, clutter and fragmented audiences on developing impactful advertising ideas.

  • The passage discusses different types of approaches to creativity and advertising. It criticizes the “inspirational” style taken by some who write about creativity, arguing real work is more pragmatic and problem-solving.

  • It acknowledges some big global chairmen try to inspire with talks about breaking rules and challenging norms, but real work is conducted through straightforward discussions. Even unorthodox ideas result from logical processes.

  • Advertising rules are often unwritten but passed down through experience. Formalizing basic rules can help people at all experience levels.

  • Even experts sometimes overlook basic rules, like mentioning a consumer benefit. This was a flaw in a Conservative Party campaign, whereas their opponent Labour focused on a clear positive message.

  • Not all communication needs to sell benefits strictly, like charity or anti-smoking ads. But benefits are the core material agencies get from clients to work with creatively.

  • In summary, it criticizes overly inspirational perspectives and emphasizes advertising work is practical and problem-solving, guided by basic implicit and explicit rules, even if experts occasionally overlook fundamentals. Real creativity results from logical processes, not reckless rule-breaking.

Here are the key points summarized from the passage:

  • It provides 8 rules for copywriting that are presented as guidelines rather than hard and fast rules. The rules aim to improve the creative process and speed up generating effective ads.

  • Time is an important factor - asking for more time is counterintuitive but important for developing great ideas. Satisfactory ads made quickly are not as valuable as perfect ads made with adequate time.

  • The 8 rules are: 1) Know your target market 2) Do research 3) Answer the brief 4) Be relevant 5) Be objective 6) Keep it simple 7) Know your medium 8) Be ambitious

  • While breaking rules sounds creative, clients often want ads that fit their brief rather than truly rule-breaking ideas. The rules provide structure to help generate ideas the client actually wants.

  • The passage aims to provide copywriters, ad creators and marketers practical guidelines drawn from experience to improve their creative process and ability to produce effective promotional content and ads.

  • Clients want advertising work that is fresh and exciting but not ridiculous. Creative directors must balance fresh ideas with relevance to the client’s goals.

  • If an ad idea can be shown to be relevant, objective and right for the target market, it strengthens the creative team’s case to get the idea approved up the client’s management chain.

  • When people say ads should break rules, what they really want is groundbreaking ideas. Tony Kaye’s Dunlop ad was not truly rule-breaking, just an unexpected execution of the core idea to “expect the unexpected”.

  • It is possible to break rules deliberately for effect, but it works best when the creative has mastered the rules first. Brilliant ideas can break rules.

  • Getting noticed is the most important goal of any ad. Simplicity is usually the best way but new digital channels open up new possibilities too.

  • Buzz marketing or word-of-mouth promotion is not really new, just more intentional. Mediocre work is wasteful when customers have so many distractions. Even big budgets can disappear without notice or results. Clients are pushing agencies to think differently.

  • The most important thing when starting a new copywriting project is to thoroughly understand the target audience/market. General categories like “young people” or “males 18-34” are not very useful - they don’t provide enough specific insight.

  • It is better to visualize a specific target person - get to know details about who they are, what they do, what they wear, etc. This allows you to communicate directly to them in a natural voice.

  • Using generic tactics like distressed font or stock images of young people doing trendy activities won’t differentiate your message from others targeting the same vague groups.

  • Attending focus groups can help give a more detailed understanding of real people in the target market, even if unappealing to directly participate.

  • Really knowing the target audience on a personal level is critically important for crafting effective, relevant communication that will stand out from the crowd. Generalizations are “worse than useless” for copywriting purposes.

  • Early Lynx advertising directly marketed the product’s efficacy and odor-fighting qualities, with clinical-style ads showing encounters facilitated by the man’s scent. This viewed consumers as lab subjects rather than human beings.

  • When the account moved to BBH, they recognized young men’s true motivator was the benefits of deodorization (getting girls’ attention) rather than just odor control.

  • BBH launched the “Lynx Effect” campaign, showing humorous scenarios where a man’s use of Lynx leads to romantic/sexual opportunities. This reflected the target market’s actual priorities and point of view, resonating more effectively.

  • While efficacy research has its place, truly understanding consumers involves seeing the world from their perspective - hanging out over beers rather than just smelling armpits in a lab. The Lynx Effect’s success stems from its more rounded portrayal of young men’s lived experiences and desires.

  • Knowing your target market inside and out is crucial for effective communication. Rather than introduce yourself through half-effective ads, it’s better to pinpoint the target market from the start.

  • Conduct thorough research on the target market by observing what media they consume and immersing yourself in their worldview. Reading publications and watching shows they engage with can provide valuable insights.

  • Background research on evolving media platforms is also important to understand what production techniques are possible. It’s best to avoid ideas that exceed your budget.

  • For the HIV/AIDS campaign, targeting messaging specifically to at-risk youth through an irreverent cartoon approach worked much better than a gravitas-focused message aimed at broader audiences.

  • Ongoing learning about various creative fields like photography, film, music, and production methods can continually inform your work over the long run. Thorough subject matter research ensures you consider options beyond your initial assumptions.

The key to writing effective copy is to answer the brief. Firmly understand the core message or proposition that the client wants to convey. Focus on communicating one main idea, rather than multiple messages, as it is difficult to convey more than one idea effectively.

To properly answer the brief, it is important to dig deeper than just the written brief document. Consider the overall product, company situation, competitive landscape, and any political or financial factors that provide context.

Historically, copywriters were responsible for both the creative execution and strategic thinking about the brand. However, as art directors were paired with copywriters, the strategic role was lost. Planners were then introduced to fill this gap.

Effective strategic thinking involves questioning the context, messaging, and endline. The endline, or main promise of the ad, should be established early on to anchor the creative work. Even if an endline already exists for a brand, it is important to evaluate if it is still the right message. Researching context thoroughly can spark new ideas to most effectively answer the brief. Above all, focus on communicating the core message requested by the client.

  • Having a clear understanding of the client’s situation and context gives an advantage in developing creative work that addresses their needs. Grand strategy may not be part of an agency’s direct job, but taking an objective view allows more informed creative solutions.

  • Successfully crystallizing insights into creative work helps communicate prevailing issues or opportunities right when messaging is needed, like political campaign posters.

  • To develop effective messaging, one needs to take a “weather balloon” perspective - rising above day-to-day pressures to understand broader market forces impacting the client.

  • Volvo is used as an example of how changing market contexts require adapting messaging over time to remain relevant, from solely focusing on safety to making safety also seem fun.

  • Developing the right endline or tagline to succinctly yet distinctively convey the core message is important. Successful examples like “Every Little Helps” for Tesco are analyzed in terms of how they strategically position the brand.

  • An “Endline Café” metaphor is used to discuss different types of lines - from unsuccessful ones getting little attention, to enduring classics that essentially “work for the brand forever.” Qualities like relevance, authenticity and universal truths are posited as factors in great endlines’ longevity.

The passage discusses the importance of tone of voice in developing an effective endline or slogan for a brand. It argues that in addition to conveying a universal truth or authentic message, an endline should capture the unique tone of the brand.

Several examples are provided of brands that have established strong and consistent tones of voice that define their identity, like Volkswagen, Audi, The Economist, and Virgin. Maintaining consistency is important for tone of voice over multiple campaigns and media.

A tone of voice allows a brand to flexibly enter new markets while maintaining a recognizable identity. It is ultimately more powerful than any single endline, as people associate the brand primarily with its tone. Virgin is used as an example - Virgin Cheese could convey its rebellious style through tone of voice alone.

The passage also analyzes how Virgin Mobile ran a campaign with an ephemeral endline, but its tone of voice tied the ads back to the core brand. An effective tone of voice is more important than any individual message, as it speaks to the brand’s target audience in a unique way. Developing the right tone of voice should be a key consideration when crafting brand messaging and endlines.

  • Virgin Mobile was able to successful enter the mobile phone market in the UK with a distinctive, youth-focused “tone of voice” that appealed to customers who felt ignored by the large incumbent carriers.

  • Though Virgin had no existing mobile network, retail shops, or infrastructure, their branding and marketing allowed them to build a large customer base as a “virtual network” by simply buying capacity from other providers.

  • Having a unique, well-liked tone of voice as “the people’s champion” trying to simplify mobile phones gave Virgin a ready-made positioning they could leverage without other assets.

  • Virgin’s first campaign focused on communicating their inherently simple offering of one rate for all calls, which resonated with customers frustrated by thousands of complex tariffs from other companies.

  • Virgin’s success shows that owning a distinctive corporate voice through consistent branding, culture and customer experience can allow a company to start very successfully even with nothing else initially. However, maintaining a tone of voice requires consistency throughout the entire organization.

  • The passage discusses the importance of being objective rather than subjective in advertising. While it may seem intuitive to express opinions about a product’s benefits, this can come across as overly subjective or trying too hard to please the client.

  • Most advertising tries to please clients by taking a subjective stance (e.g. saying a product tastes great), but this is often done to maintain the client relationship rather than for effectiveness. It implies the views cannot be backed up.

  • An objective approach is counterintuitive for creative or marketing professionals but more effective. It involves presenting benefits in a way that offers respectable references or true representations rather than just opinions.

  • Good examples given are an ad showing the actual force involved in an accident rather than an emotive image, and ads simply depicting people using a product rather than subjectively praising it.

  • The overall message is that an objective approach grounded in reality and evidence, not just opinion, builds more trust and effectiveness even if it seems less intuitive for those trying to please clients. Subjectivity can imply claims can’t be backed up.

The passage discusses the importance of keeping advertising copy simple. It argues that simplicity is easier said than done, as people make excuses for complicated work by claiming it caters to intelligence or fulfills a client’s demands.

True simplicity means distilling the message down to its essence in a completely new and attention-grabbing way. Details are only effective when people are truly interested in the product or service. Simplicity is about communicating a single concept, not targeting intelligence.

Examples of effective simplicity include retailers simply listing prices, as customers need details to make informed value decisions. Television shopping channels also mix detailed product demonstrations with low prices, attracting audiences through simplicity mixed with charm. True branding requires the simplest articulation, not layers of information.

The key is looking critically at one’s own work to determine if it can be simplified further. Everyone involved in the creative process, not just the writer, should understand and apply the principle of simplicity.

The passage discusses the difference between keeping things simple versus being simplistic in writing. Simply producing something doesn’t make it good - it could be simple but also unoriginal, irrelevant or boring.

True simplicity requires good judgment to determine when work isn’t good enough yet. The author advocates being hypercritical of one’s own work.

The quote from Mark Twain encapsulates copywriting in the fewest possible words by advocating removing unnecessary words (“eschew surplusage”).

The passage then lists rules for keeping things simple, such as knowing your target audience, being relevant, objective and avoiding complication. It’s important to consider the intended medium.

The author provides 20 things to avoid when writing simply, such as complicated structures, stresses, cliches, long/fancy words, dull words, showing off one’s talents/knowledge, personal habits or styles, and bad dialogue. Simplicity in writing takes critical thinking and judgment.

  • Rule 7 is about understanding different advertising mediums and knowing their technical aspects and limitations. This helps writers better craft ads for each medium.

  • Experienced creative professionals are able to subtly manipulate ads to make them more impactful through small changes. But this comes from experience working with different mediums over time.

  • For copywriters starting out, following guidelines on each medium can help substitute for experience. The chapter provides some initial rules for writing for different mediums.

  • While simplicity is important, writers should not abandon nuanced craft. All communication needs a balance - a strong overall message plus subtle variations to convey details. Understanding each medium helps strike this balance.

  • In summary, to be effective copywriters need experience directly working with different advertising mediums. But following guidelines on each medium’s technical qualities can help early on as experience is gained. The goal is understanding how to best communicate through each specific channel.

  • Radio advertising requires understanding the medium’s subtleties. It’s intimate but there is sameness across stations. Create short, simple ads with unexpected sounds/textures rather than long wordy ones.

  • Posters allow for brief messages and original execution like interactive elements. Their public placement means spreading awareness beyond just targets.

  • Press ads offer opportunities for long copy but readers have little attention, so writing must entice them instantly and reward throughout. Flow between ideas is crucial to avoid losing readers.

  • For any medium, thorough research, understanding the format’s qualities and limitations, and crafting messages that utilize the medium well are important for effective advertising. Tailor the message and execution to the specific communication channel.

  • The passage emphasizes the importance of knowing your medium and tailoring your writing style accordingly. For example, don’t write too formally if your client has a more casual voice.

  • Humor can be effective if used appropriately, but be careful not to overdo it or try humor when it’s not suited to the client or message. Test jokes on others.

  • Puns generally shouldn’t be overused, but well-executed puns can effectively convey ideas in memorable ways like the famous “Labour isn’t working” campaign.

  • The flow of information should feel natural, not forced through excessive linking words. Consider rearranging points to achieve the best flow.

  • Press ads need strong dominant layouts to grab attention amidst other ads on pages.

  • New media brings opportunities to creatively develop campaigns through iterative testing and viral sharing, but must be carefully handled to avoid offensiveness or misrepresentation.

The key emphasis is on understanding the constraints and affordances of different channels and tailoring the writing style accordingly, with humor, natural flow of ideas, dominant layouts and judicious use of wordplay as good principles when suited to the context.

  • The passage discusses the potential issues with highlighting a party leader’s Jewish heritage, arguing it cannot be accidental and raises increasing concerns the more one thinks about it.

  • It suggests bringing attention to a political leader’s religion in an effort to court votes is problematic and implies religious/ethnic backgrounds should not be a factor in electoral politics.

  • Overall the passage criticizes using or drawing attention to a party leader’s Jewish identity as a means to attract voters, asserting it gets increasingly worse the more one considers the implications.

  • Lyndon Johnson heard complaints that his presidential campaign advertisements were unfair. He asked to book more airtime to respond.

  • His campaign aired an advertisement called “Daisy” that was a departure from typical political ads of the time. It focused sharply on a single issue - nuclear weapons and the arms race - rather than trying to cover too broad a range of policies.

  • “Daisy” directly linked controlling nuclear weapons to the outcome of the election and portrayed the opponent’s policies as leading to catastrophe. This involved the viewer more than a typical policy-focused ad.

  • In contrast, a later Labour Party ad in the UK featured the party leader walking along a cliff but contained no clear message or memorable ideas. It was reasonably popular at the time but is now impossible to recall.

  • “Daisy” was effective because its logic and dramatization of that logic starkly framed the choice between candidates as one of historical importance. It employed advertising techniques to make an argument, unlike the Labour ad which mostly focused on appearances.

So in summary, “Daisy” was an innovative political ad that directly argued its point through emotionally charged imagery, rather than just listing policies like most ads at the time. This made it a more memorable and impactful use of the advertising medium.

  • The author ultimately prefers originality in advertising over simply appropriating existing ideas, despite acknowledging that appropriation is not inherently wrong.

  • The reason cited is longevity - works that create something so strange that audiences both cannot assimilate it fully but also cannot imagine life without it tend to achieve canonical status.

  • Great literature exhibits this quality of being both strange yet familiar. Successful ads also stick in the memory due to their sheer oddness or inscrutability.

  • Originality is one of the most identifiable characteristics of memorable ads. However, the concept of a campaign relies on maintaining consistent tones and messages across iterations.

  • The author provides examples of unoriginal ad executions that should be avoided, such as those set in lifts, featuring cuckoo clocks, stereotypical characters, etc. As well as overused headlines and structures.

  • Producing truly original and effective advertising requires significantly more effort and iteration than may be apparent, through extensive research, rewriting and refinement. This level of effort is necessary to achieve the full potential of representing a brand through advertising.

This passage discusses the importance of collaboration in producing creative work, using the example of copywriting and advertising. It makes the point that even genius freelance writers benefit from feedback and input from others as their work develops. Ideas often emerge from informal discussions and casual interactions between many people, not in isolation. Collaborative environments like ad agencies allow work to be constantly polished and improved as it receives attention and criticism from colleagues. While individual talent is important, some of the best work emerges from situations where writers have to compromise or cannot fully control the process. Involving freelancers more fully in account work, rather than just commissioning initial ideas, allows agencies to better tap into their talents. The power of words is maximized through collaborative refinement rather than solo exertion.

The passage discusses the BBC’s realization that its “tone of voice” as represented by things like continuity announcers and program promotions mattered greatly to how the public perceived the organization. Initially, the BBC’s tone came across as lofty, presumptuous, and lacking entertainment value. By working with advertising agencies and researchers, the BBC recognized how others heard its corporate voice and didn’t like it.

The key was for program promotions to prove the case for watching the BBC over other channels and supporting the television license fee. Promotions needed to be as entertaining as possible given they had Primetime slots for free on the BBC’s own channels. A successful example changed the lyrics of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” between different BBC radio stations to convey variety.

More broadly, the passage argues that communication is powerful when it comes from an appropriate context. An event’s impact coincides with writing style, as journalists cover major stories with powerful language. Advertising similarly works best when it frames a product or service as important by imagining the right context. A simple message can be empowered through the competitive framing around it. Some great brands are built from single, memorable advertisements that persist in the public memory over time.

  • The passage discusses how a single memorable line or aspect from an old commercial can define a brand for decades after, regardless of changes the company may have undergone.

  • It provides some examples of iconic ads like Volkswagen and gives definitions of “good” advertising. Good advertising goes beyond just communicating a unique selling point - it should linger in people’s minds after viewing and combine good creative ideas with strong execution.

  • The passage analyzes specific ad examples and discusses how some ads sell an emotion or experience rather than explicitly selling the product. It also notes the limitations of regular product advertising.

  • In conclusion, the key aspects of good advertising are a memorable idea, strong creative realization, and going beyond just meeting the brief. The best copywriters have high standards.

  • Some recommended books on advertising and copywriting are also summarized, including works by Alister Compton, David Ogilvy, and James Essinger.

Here is a summary of the key points from Vietnam: A Television History produced for public television by WGBH Boston in cooperation with Central Independent Television/United Kingdom and Antenne-2/France and in association with LRE Productions:

  • It was a landmark television documentary series about the Vietnam War produced in the late 1980s.

  • It provided an in-depth examination of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War through the use of archival footage, interviews, and historical analysis.

  • The series looked at the war from several perspectives including that of the American and Vietnamese civilian and military participants as well as international observers.

  • It traced the roots of the war in post-World War II conflicts in Vietnam and America’s escalating role in the war during the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

  • The documentary presented an unbiased and comprehensive overview of the political and military strategies, key events, and impact of the war.

  • It received wide critical acclaim for its thorough examination of this controversial period in American history through the lens of television as both a critical information source and propaganda tool during the war.

  • The series helped provide context and understanding of how and why the U.S. got involved in the long and costly Vietnam War.

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