Could a copywriter have saved HMV, Blockbuster and other high street chains from bankruptcy?

Creatives don’t think like chartered accountants. Most of us don’t know how to run a big organisation. We don’t know what management consultants know. Even so, we can and do see things that so-called business experts don’t. Coming from outside a client’s business, we have a fresh perspective. We get to know their business and […]

Marketer, here’s what to tell your copywriter

If you haven’t worked directly with a copywriter before, or would like a better experience the next time you do, you should find the following advice helpful. I just turned down a job. I hated having to do it. My prospective client, an entrepreneur launching a start-up, was a nice enough chap. But his business […]

Great script? Or OK script brilliantly produced?

What I learned judging copy at D&AD 2012 – plus some tips if you’re entering next year. If you’re a copywriter, art director or designer, you know that it’s easier to criticise than it is to create. I was reminded of that back in April when, instead of creating, I spent a day in the […]

Is Groupon’s copy driving its multi-billion dollar success?

According to Mashable, Groupon are preparing for an initial public offering that would value the deal-of-the-day website at $15–$20 billion. It was only last December when Google tried to buy Groupon for $6 billion. So how did this company, just over two years old, become so successful so fast? Well I don’t know. If I […]

When copywriters are “too clever”

Have you ever experienced this: The other day I saw a very funny commercial.                                                                 It was well shot. The casting was excellent.                                                                  And the dialogue between the two, very antagonistic                                                    characters was worthy of Raymond Chandler. It had a simple, clever idea – usually the basis for an award-winning ad. The trouble […]

How to write a mission statement and brand values

Did you know that copywriters are also translators? We often have to turn gobbledygook into English. Last week, for example, I helped a multinational firm rewrite its mission, vision and brand values. Having worked in these areas a few times now, I’ve noticed common mistakes: lots of long paragraphs full of long words, clichés and […]

How to succeed without a planner

A good planner, as I mentioned in my previous post, can be a real asset. Sometimes though, marketers can’t afford one. What do you do when that happens? You have to do some strategic thinking yourself. Yes, copywriters and art directors can think strategically like planners, too. My art director Jeff and I often have […]

Invisible copy, Mexican style

This Hot Wheels poster, by Ogilvy Mexico, won a Silver Lion at the 2010 Cannes Advertising Festival. Isn’t it terrible? I mean, where’s the headline? And just look at all that printed space without any copy whatsoever. What was the copywriter doing? I’m kidding – I think this poster’s great. But I can recall a […]