Happy Pancake Day! I did some interesting research on the origins of this day, also called Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday. It is typically celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, to indulge in what you would plan to sacrifice during Lent. But it originally was a pagan holiday. Before Christianity was a thing, the Slavs believed that the change of seasons was a struggle between Jarilo, the god of vegetation, fertility and springtime, and the evil spirits of cold and darkness. People believed that they had to help Jarilo fight against winter and bring in the spring. The hot, round pancakes symbolized the sun. It was believed that by eating pancakes, they got the power, light and warmth of the sun. What do you think the syrup represents then? Think about that next time you carve into a stack of flapjacks.
So in honor of Pancake Day, and all things hot, round, and powerful like the sun, let’s shop this Wonderbra ad.
Good morning and welcome to Copy Shop Tuesdays! Every week we will look at an existing print ad, critique it, and ultimately take a few passes at new copy.
This week I picked a Brown Cow yogurt ad from 2006. It’s too long. Anyone can write long content, but a good copywriter can cut to the chase and present engaging copy that captures the essence of the brief, and essentially, the attention of its audience.
A tried but true writing exercise is to take an existing ad and, going backwards, try to piece together the brief. For the sake of continuity, let’s use this five-step template:
And here she is:
TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, USA, New York
For our second iteration of Headlines 101, we chose a German ad for the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet Karmann. This was actually used as a copy test for our incoming junior writers, so I thought I’d give it a shot myself. Check out the original ad here. You can see my attempts at different headlines below the fold.
In between briefs, brainstorming, and development, it helps to keep your wits sharpened for whenever you have to crank out the lines. That’s why we’ve decided to start Headlines 101, a regular exercise where we take ads from out in the wild and switch up the copy. Whether the result is better or worse, we hope that something fun comes out of the experiment!
This week, we’ve taken this recruitment ad for Emirates from marketing agency DV8 and had a go at some alternate lines. The results are below, and you click on any of them for a larger version.
Longhand is an advertising awards show based in India that firmly stands against the belief that “long copy is dead.” In its 3rd year, the contest features several briefs and judges from both the UK and India. As you might guess, the judging of the contest is based on the craft of the written word rather than stunning visuals.
This year’s clients are National Geographic, Concern India, and Zee Media Corporation Limited. Winning work gets paid and has the chance to run in the client’s campaign. At the very least, submitting is a chance to use an oft forgotten but incredibly important tool in the writer’s arsenal.
If you need inspiration, here’s what made the cut in 2013.
Submissions are due May 31st.
Check out their promotional posters below. You can click each image for a larger version.
A while back, we mentioned the One Show Young Ones student award show as a good way to exercise your advertising brain. If you’re looking to get into the creative game, the D&AD New Blood awards are also a great chance to show off your work. Although submissions opened in February, you can submit up until March 19th – just be wary of the different time zone. Check out the briefs here, and good luck to everyone chasing a Pencil!
Oh, and here’s their way of explaining why you should enter.
Need some last minute inspiration for awards season? Look no further.
Refresh for best results.
The One Show professional deadline is coming up on January 31st, but for all the young copywriters and art directors out there, the One Show Young Ones Competition is accepting entries until March 7th.
There are two briefs this year. The first is for Organic, a fashion brand by John Patrick. The second is an open call for saving the arts. The brief says you can choose (or create) any brand or cause that fits the bill. You can download both creative briefs here.
Best of luck to all participants!
Writing copy that intrigues your reader and ultimately drives them to action is difficult. When you’re pushing for a sell using your words as a weapon, it’s tough to get people to soldier through paragraph after paragraph. The trick is to get your viewers to start reading at all, and that’s why it’s important to make sure that your long copy is interesting and arresting from the get-go. When you sit down to write, you want to immediately intrigue, probe or surprise. Hopefully your headline has taken care of that part. After that point, it’s time to break out the big guns in the smaller font.
I live in Los Angeles. For better or for worse, I spend a large portion of my time in my car. When you drive a lot, you see a lot of billboards. When you see a lot of billboards, you forget most of them. What is the last billboard you can remember seeing? Do you remember the product? Do you remember what the product does? Every day when I drive I take note of the billboards on my route (safely, of course) and think about what’s working for them and what isn’t. I’ve collected my thoughts and some advice I’ve been given on the art of writing them in this post, which I hope you find helpful.
Here are some resources we’ve compiled for copywriters. These are helpful for both experienced copywriters or those looking to get familiar with advertising writing. We hope you find these as helpful as we do.