Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Brilliant Copywriting

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Level 3 Creative Advertising student, Alice Keegan writes:
After the art directors had a brilliant workshop from Alex Taylor, it was time for the copywriters from each team to learn some more tricks of the trade. Freelance copywriter Roger Horberry (author of the book Brilliant Copywriting) visited the third years for the first time, to run two one-day workshops that focused on the important area of 'tone of voice'.

Roger used different exercises to help us all understand how to keep the audience interested in our written communications. He started by defining 'tone of voice' as content + expression + audience, saying we should always keep this in mind when writing.

The innovative and fun exercises that Roger used in the workshop included writing about brands in the 'voices' of randomly selected famous personalities, for example, writing about a famous brand of wine as if Peaches Geldof was talking about it; and six word stories, for example Ernest Hemingway's “For sale. Baby’s shoes. Never worn.”

A great tip Roger gave us was that even though we are continually being told to simplify and cut down copy to get more to the point, we should be careful that we don’t cut out the little words that give copy its tone of voice. He describes it as “everything you don’t have to say (but probably should)”. To emphasise this point we cut down famous speeches such as Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ to a few bullet points, making the speech a lot more to the point, but creating a lot less impact!

The last thought Roger left us with was “don’t be boring!” After all, if the writing doesn’t keep the reader interested, then there’s no point in it being there.

A great workshop for the level three copywriters that will certainly improve our ads.

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