Marketing copywriting

There’s a general consensus, it seems, that the standard of copywriting in the UK is not as high as it used to be.

As a marketeer, it’s only natural to wonder what the problem is.

But as a copywriter, it’s real cause for concern.

Has the profession changed? What about the marketing industry?

Are copywriters not as well trained? Or are we just not as talented? If not, why not?

No one seems to have found the answer yet – and maybe there isn’t only one.

But while exploring the DMA’s campaign for great British copywriting, I happened upon an interview with Chris Arnold, Creative Director at Creative Orchestra.

It was interesting, but one statement in particular stood out to me like a sore thumb:

“... we are not doing a very good job, as marketeers, of actually marketing our industry to the young talent we want to attract into it.”

True enough.

Some would say that our work speaks for itself. Any good ad, no matter who or what it’s advertising, is also an ad for the marketing industry.

And it is.

But you wouldn’t necessarily realise that until you already had an interest in marketing – which students and young people entering the job market may not. And surely that’s who we need to target if we’re going to build another generation of great British copywriters.

So I suppose it’s down to us.

Young people are the target market, the entire marketing industry is the client and the brief is to advertise copywriting.

How would you do it?


This post was originally published on the BURN blog.

Middle-lane marketing

The recent bad weather seems to have brought out more and more middle lane drivers. People who just don’t acknowledge the existence of the left hand lane under any circumstances.

I get it – kind of. When it’s pouring down with rain and you can’t see as well, you want to change lanes as little as possible. But driving in the middle lane is only a solution for the person doing it, not anyone else on the road.

Bad weather appears to encourage cautious, slower driving, but it actually produces selfish driving.

Is this what’s happening in the ad world?

One thing Dave Trott mentions in his seminars is that 89% of advertising isn’t noticed or remembered. Only 4% is remembered positively and 7% is remembered negatively.*

But why is that figure of 89% so high? In 2012 £18.3 billion* was spent on advertising, so that’s over £16 billion spent on ineffective ads.

Why would so much be spent on the wrong kind of work? Are all the people who spend their money on forgettable ads just playing it safe and sitting in the middle lane, rationalizing their actions with airs of precaution and the hope of weathering the economic storm?

Sure it might appear safer to not try anything risqué, but if it doesn’t have the desired effect on the audience then you’re not actually playing it safe at all. And if consumers’ brains block them out as uninteresting periphery, then there isn’t really any point.

You might as well be bold, move into the right hand lane and overtake the middle lane marketers that are going nowhere fast – or don’t spend your money at all.


*Source: Dave Trott, APG Training Lecture

This post was originally published on the BURN blog.