The importance of good copywriting: A love letter to creative copy

by Laura Copley
Insight
  • Writers are ideas people – copywriting is just as much creative as concepting is
  • If you can’t tell a story, how can you sell your idea
  • Copywriters are crucial to brand identity

The Don Draper Effect

When I first think of copywriting, the vision that comes to mind is of Don Draper. There he sits, in a smoke-filled (entirely brown) boardroom, surrounded by adoring men in suits. His brow furrows in thought, before his lips part and release a perfect one-liner, which sends everyone into a slow clap-style round of applause. 

…Although a slow clap might be nice every once in a while, this is not how copywriting of the modern day works (for one, 21st century copywriters don’t have the luxury of calling it a day after nailing a single caption). But, the show Mad Men did shed some light on the importance of copy and how it can make or break a concept – and why these writers do in fact, deserve a seat at the same table as the designers and creative team.

Copy IS creative

Although shows like Mad Men put some respect on a copywriter’s name, there are still many agencies today that don’t feel the need to have one or more person in their team with this specific title. I may be biased (I’m a copywriter, I am most definitely biased), but the idea that copy should be shouldered in under another title, ain’t it. 

A Passion 4 TOV

See Tone of Voice, for example. Every brand has one (or, should have one). They help to define the essence of your company, as well as grab the attention of your desired audience. Essentially, your TOV can make or break you. 

Take a look at Bratz’s recent transformation – once, they were just Y2K dolls with massive heads and a passion 4 fashion. Now, the brand has charmed social with an extension of their original sass and bad-ass-ery, and has won over those kids-turned-adults who were their original demographic. They’ve done this by keeping up with trends, yes – but mainly because their TOV is consistently smart. Instead of rebranding with the times, they kept that noughties sass because they were good at it, and amplified it to their grown audience. Is it a bit corny? Absolutely, but that same attitude and ethos of the original dolls now goes into every creative concept, script, caption copy and comment reply. That my friends, is one hell of a TOV.

It is quite literally a skill

Whether you arrived at copywriting through journalism, English literature or simply just a love of words, having a knack for stringing sentences together isn’t as simple as it sounds. Dropping in and out of multiple different brands per day and fixing yourself into their various mindsets to tell ‘n sell stories is taxing, and it absolutely requires a high level of attention, time and headspace. It’s a copywriter’s job to make sure the scripts fit the brief and the asset copy nails the theme. Any mistakes or weirdly worded sentences are the responsibility of the writer, and they need to be actioned real quick before heading out into the big bad world. To lump this whole other job onto the shoulders of, say, a content creator, will only disservice your staff, your brand, and your clients. Facts!

Why should you care?

If you only started reading because you saw Don Draper’s face then I salute you, and also thank you for reaching this far. You may as well see it through now.

Aside from this piece just being a humble copywriter saluting her comrades, picking apart specific job roles is a useful exercise. It reminds you how important each and every skill, viewpoint, and position within your company really is, and gives you an opportunity to appreciate the people around you – your team.

Takeaway exercise: Consider a position at your workplace that you know little about. Chat with that person about the best ‘n worst parts of their job. Compare and contrast your skills. 

Oh, and hug your local copywriter.

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