Creative marketing content is all about play with language to entertain and generate pleasure. This is not achieved by expository writing with some superlatives thrown in, and think about it, words such as ‘lovely’, ‘delicious’, ‘amazing’, etc., are actually quite meaningless, aren’t they? They are certainly not persuasive – and yet we see plenty of this where professional copywriters are not involved. So what makes good copy?
David Ogilvy, a masterfully persuasive copywriter who co-founded one of the world’s most successful ad agencies said: ‘Most good copywriters …. fall into two categories. Poets. And Killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers as a means to an end. If you are both killer and poet, you get rich’.
Ogilvy was delightfully witty, but he never let a creative turn of phrase get in the way of persuading the customer. He understood that creativity alone is not enough, and that facts and formulae will only get you so far.
Good copywriters don’t necessarily need to be good writers, either. ‘What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it … I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language’, David Ogilvy. And just share in their sense of fun, is what I’d add to that.
Good copywriters understand that to get results and to hold a brand high requires marrying novelty of words with a clearly defined business marketing strategy. Get in touch for an informal chat on how we can support you with your business promotional communications.
Amanda Riley Pickthall, Founder of Boardroom Enterprises