The life of a creative copywriter
My bum is in the wind, feeling a bit of an early chill as it wisps past. The butterflies in my stomach are playing shuttlecock with my breakfast Berocca and I can’t quite decide if it’s Jimi Hendrix or the Gossip who will get me through the day.
Yes folks, I am a modern day adventurer. I’m jacked into the internet tighter than a ‘Snog, Marry, Avoid’ casualty is into her spandex. I wear to great clumping robot arms on each wrist to stop my hands from burning with fire.
I am a creative copywriter
So what is a creative copywriter? Are they the people who get all arty and shit and do it Pro-Hart style in spaghetti and sponge cake only on paper? Are they only writing copy for creative projects and thumbing their nose at the advertising world like a rambunctious toddler? Or are they a mythical creature I’ve made up to live up to some grandiose vision?
Well, hell… why can’t they be all three or none of these?
The reality is you’re a creative copywriter if you give yourself permission to fail. If you are determined to hunt down the water tight quip and yet accept it will always elude you because the goal posts are continuously changing.
You are a creative copywriter if you’re willing to put your bum in the wind and break rules (you had to read that twice, didn’t you?).
The vague premise behind creative copywriting is that you understand that once everyone studies the rules and behaves the way the rules expect, you no longer have any clear advantage. And trying to be ahead of that is the aim of the game.
Case in Point: Technology
Every time a new technology or format happens, it breaks a rule. And because we don’t know where it’s coming from and how it was created it fascinates us. Apple is great at this, and Apple has had some big failures in amongst their successes. Other companies try to copy that success, but as soon as it becomes something others copy, it loses its edge.
Case in Point: Television
They said television would kill radio and film. People were glued to it every night watching whatever was on. But it stopped having the same effect. Over time some writers somewhere decided to break rules and bring us police dramas, double story lined scripts and prime time animation. They challenged the role of women of being the perfect mum to bring us Mary Tyler Moore, Roseanne and beyond. HBO as a channel broke the rules and treated TV seriously as an art form. Where would we be if everyone kept paddling in the shallows?
Case in point: Marketing
There are over 300 ways to market a product, if not more and each time a new innovation happens, people will respond to it. Why? It breaks the rules and is new. Riding around on the coattails of new distribution methods though is a mug’s game. I mean flash mobs and charity tee shirt warriors were great when they first got started but now- talk about annoying! Marketing has to remain creative and fresh for it to be effective.
Case in point: Changing Processes
Watch the delightful documentary, ‘Art & Copy’, and you’ll soon see the simplest changes make a huge difference. A tiny change to the advertising industry that had a massive impact was sitting the graphic artist next to the copywriter, and asking them to work together as opposed to the copy guy getting the lead and the art guy drawing to their idea. What a simple yet useful innovation- equal billing and using complimentary skills to the clients benefit.
No more playing it safe
It isn’t enough to know some SEO keywords or put out a postcard. You need to stand out for the right reasons. Every one of us has to be a little creative and hack at the rules to cut through the noise. Exposure, repetition and big budgets do not a great campaign make. But creativity does. And I’m not talking about the kind of creativity that big budget companies win awards for, either. Creativity in marketing is about being brave enough to have an honest conversation with your customers whilst also giving them a story that is memorable.
So what do you want? A campaign that is low risk with low return? Or something that is high risk and that, even if you fail, makes for something that is both useful in terms of marketing and learning for future?
If you’re into the latter, drop me a line. We’ve got some plans to make!
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