The job of a copywriter in theory is quite simple. Scribble a few lines, make the product or service look alluring, increase its saleability. Et voilà! It’s done!
However, in practice, it’s a tad (note the sarcasm) bit different.
The process of writing a copy begins not with the words, but the thought. And as a copywriter, the task at hand for you is to think not with one, but three minds.
The first mind is that of the client or the brand. You need to understand what the brand stands for, and why it is positioned so. Your writing builds the foundation for the clients’ brand image. Keeping this in mind helps bring out the right message.
The second is the mind of the intended consumer or target group. To be able to understand how they see and/or read the ads is what helps you select the right words for your message. This is the art of conversational copywriting. Your message needs to be relatable. Simple and to-the-point words do the trick.
The third mind (and this is key) is that of a visualizer. You need to be able to conjure the right visuals to complement your words. An imaginative mind is what differentiates a good copy from one that sticks.
An example of excellent copywriting at its peak is the Volkswagen printed ads that dominated the latter half of the 1900s. A colloquial lingo, impressive yet simple visual, highlighting not just the features of the product, but building a brand image – this is exactly what happens when the three minds of the copywriter function together. No wonder, Volkswagen struck a chord with the audience.
Here’s another example of how a good copy can leave an impression. In 2018, KFC ran a campaign to apologize for the period of chicken shortage it was going through back then. They had been compelled to shut down operations in some of their restaurants due to this particular problem. The brand chose to address the issue with a simple yet powerful choice of words.
Communicating social issues is a tricky business. It needs to be done efficiently and in a manner so that it hits as many people as possible. So, when it came to L’Oreal addressing the issue of fewer women in corporate leadership roles, they ran a strongly worded campaign in 2016.
The words and visuals, they stick with you, right?
Advertising is a field where actions speak louder BECAUSE of the words. A copywriter (like Spiderman) has great powers that come with great responsibilities, because it is your words that have the power to build an image for the brand. An image that may stick with the audience for years to come.
So, write responsibly and write to express.
Because your expression can build a lasting impression. Cheers!