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It May Well be Copy, But is it Writing?

August 25th, 2014

heinzbeanzmeanz_60s1OK, confession time.  I cannot tell a lie. I used to be very sniffy about copywriting. ‘Those who can, do,’ I thought, ‘Those who can’t, write copy.’

How wrong can you be?

Granted, when you’re working for an advertiser you’re not pursuing literary truth. Your main objective is to evoke an emotional response persuading someone to buy. But just like any poem or story, a decent piece of copywriting has to be crafted within an inch of it’s life. Want to know how to tell a story in 25 seconds? Watch a TV advert. Want some words that stick in the mind so well they become part of everyday speech? Try ‘Just Do It’, or ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz.’ And if you do find yourself entering the shady world of marketing, don’t get hung up about it. You’re not the first. Terry Gilliam, Fay Weldon and William S. Burroughs are just three copywriters who went on to other things. And who was it came up with ‘That’ll Do Nicely’ for American Express? None other than Salman Rushdie (he of Man Booker fame).

So, if you’re offered some copywriting work, my advice would be – grab it. You’ll probably learn something and (refreshingly for most of us) you’ll almost certainly get paid.

Keep on writing!

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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