Should copy length be based on what you’re selling?

Some copywriters think that if you’re advertising a low-value item, like a chocolate bar, you should use short copy. Then for a big-ticket item, say a luxury car, you need long copy. I think this makes sense as a general rule. But sometimes it pays to break it. In the UK, Cadbury’s captivated newspaper readers […]

How to turn up the creativity

I thought it was a crazy question another copywriter asked me: “What music do you listen to when writing copy?” My answer was “None”. I don’t listen to any music when I’m writing copy or thinking up campaign ideas. And I don’t understand how anyone can. To write my best copy, I need to be […]

Which is better, long or short copy?

There’s a never-ending debate amongst copywriters about short versus long copy. Some of the things I’ve read have prompted me to jump in and add my bit. So how much copy will make your communication effective? I think that depends. The important thing is to engage your readers. Then keep them interested until they want […]

Time to rename the ad business?

Does the word advertising sound old fashioned to you? Sometimes it does to me. And I know other people in the so-called “advertising industry” who are uncomfortable about using the word to describe what they do. In these days of integration, we’re all doing a bit of advertising, some DM and an increasing amount of […]

A good model for copywriters

I’m keen to get up to Trafalgar Square to see Yinka Shonibare’s  wonderful new sculpture Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle. When I was a kid, my grand-dad gave me a ship in a bottle, and ever since then  I’ve been fascinated with the things. To my mind, Shonibare’s sculpture is like a good piece of […]

Why let a bunch of can’ts spoil your fun?

There are a lot of things you’re not allowed to do in advertising and marketing. “You can’t say that – the Advertising Standards Authority won’t allow us.” “Can’t show the product, the government forbids it.” “Stick to standard banners, the client can’t afford rich media.” Or “You can’t shoot the ad, we don’t have the […]

New work for Porsche

I often freelance in part of the M&C Saatchi group called LIDA, where I’ve been privileged to write copy for their Porsche client. Each time, I learn fascinating stories and facts about Porsche cars. The ad below, which is currently running in many UK newspapers and magazines, is based on one of those facts. Click […]

Great billboard or traffic hazard?

Below is a news item about a very powerful piece of outdoor advertising for road safety, by Colenso BBDO, New Zealand.  I wish I’d created the billboard, but I also wonder:  is it so strong that it’s likely to cause a road accident?