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What is copywriting?

Copywriting is a creative discipline where a copywriter produces ideas and words for the purpose of advertising a product or service, usually in partnership with a graphic designer or art director.  

The advertising must address the marketing objectives of the product or service and must answer the demands of the creative brief. The simpler and tighter the brief the better the advertising.

For example, the marketing objective of a product or service might be to increase brand awareness in female consumers, or to increase sales to men over 50. The creative brief will also identify the target consumer, the media to be used, the budget available and other variables.

The copywriter’s job is to immerse himself in the client’s product or service, the specified target market and their habits, and the market category for the specific product or service including the competition.

The copywriter’s first and most important job is to focus on the substance of what he wants to say. Only then should he worry about how to say it. 

The purpose of copywriting is to connect with the reader in such a manner that it modifies his opinion or behaviour by encouraging him to think or act in a certain way. 

To achieve this result, any and every advertisement must:

  • Be noticed
  • Be read
  • Be relevant
  • Be memorable
  • Be honest

“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”

Bill Bernbach of New York agency Doyle, Dane, Bernbach.

Simple advertising is always better advertising. In many cases, solving the advertising problem visually works better and faster than words alone.

*The marketing objective of the Egg Marketing Board was to increase the consumption of eggs at breakfast.

This piece was written by PIC TREE in Greenwich, London.

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