Quick Copywriting

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Advice and help for would be copywriters

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Each Contains A Pithy Headline...

Each contains a pithy headline; and each accommodates a tasteful cartoon illustration that directly contradicts the headline. The message I'm striving to project in these is: Tar be it from us to say we told you so, but we told you so'. Ad number one, then, consists of an illustration of a frustrated-looking chap who is pictured up to his eyebrows in law tomes. We can distinguish the titles: Law Made Easy, Simple Conveyancing, Sale of Goods Act, Criminal Injuries for Beginners; Partnership Law - and so on.

The headline reads: WHAT CAN WE TELL YOU THAT YOUR COMMON SENSE CAN'T? Number two shows a dispirited convict in a prison cell, complete with an arrowed-suit and ball-and-chain. IT'S A WATERTIGHT CASE, I SHALL DEFEND MYSELF Number three is a cameo of a major road-works, or multistorey car park, being driven through, or erected in, the perplexed subject's front garden.

Said subject is arguing fiercely with the foreman of the construction squad. ANY FOOL CAN HANDLE HIS OWN CONVEYANCING . . . AND QUITE A FEW DO In all of these, I see only three or four lines of copy; and maybe the same copy for each: Don't go it alone, you'll almost certainly lose. Have a word with a solicitor. Have a word with your learned friends.

Plus, of course, the logo and the address, phone and tag lines. If we can get away with it, which is most unlikely, I should also put up a special, one-offChristmas ad. It features Santa Claus and his reindeer-drawn sleigh in collision with a car. The motorist is unperturbed and smiling. I NEED A LAWYER LIKE A MOOSE NEEDS A HATRACK Plus a soupcon of copy: Nobody will believe him when he makes his insurance claim.

Santa driving with undue care and attention? Never! Witnesses? What witnesses? Don't go it alone. You'll almost certainly lose. And so forth. Just to make sure the foregoing has sunk in, let's do a few final headline/copy concept exercises.

But this time you'r on your own - you get the brief only. I am asking you to pen your ideas based on that brief, along with several lines of introduction copy (we've got to know how you'll develop the headlines, haven't we?) My solutions to the problems are found in 2. I urge you not to look at them until you are happy with your own efforts. Fat chance of that, eh? With any luck, and if I've done my job properly, we should be pretty much in agreement on the tack to take. Are you ready? Exercise 1 This time the brief is from an electronics company that makes portable PCs, mini-photocopying machines, and small computers.

Each of these products is produced specifically for the home-user, or the small businessman. I'll take the PC first. This model - the Z60 - is the first cordless portable on the market. It has a choice of typestyles, a fifteen-character visual display and one-line memory feature (so you can see what you have printed long before it goes on the paper). Finally, it costs £190. With this product, we're aiming at people who (a) work from home and, (b) travel around and need a go-anywhere PC.

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