As you may know, I do a lot of writing, only some of which is copywriting. However, I find that insights I’ve developed from copywriting inform all my other writing. On the whiteboard next to my desk, I’ve always got some copywriting tips. Usually they’re quotes from David Ogilvy.
His quotes always inspire me. Let’s have a look at five gems.
“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”
You can’t be creative if you’re not having fun:
“Creative people have apparently mastered the art of turning off this part of their brains to let their ideas flow more smoothly, unleashing their imagination,” she writes.
You know what makes you laugh, so do it, read it, or watch it, before you settle down to write advertising copy.
“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”
Know what you want your advertising to do; the form doesn’t matter.
Although I love words, sometimes an image needs to take the stage. Look at Apple’s advertisement for the iMac. Click on the first image, and scroll. Amazing, right?
Click off the primary image, and scroll down the page. See how how the images of iMacs frame the words? Apple knows its market: Mac users. They look at the iMac on the screen, then the Mac on their desk, and consider upgrading.
“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.”
Content again. Know your audience, what you want your audience to do, and decide what you want to say. Then find the most effective way of saying it. Getting back to Apple’s iMac ad, the ad’s brilliant, because you don’t need to do more than glance at the words.
The words aren’t a sales pitch; that isn’t needed. Good copywriting is good writing: have something to say, and say it.
“Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”
Emotion comes through in your words. Your audience senses how you feel, and if you don’t value the product, and don’t believe what you’re saying, that comes across.
“There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.”
Content marketing’s hot because we’re exposed to so much advertising all day, every day, that we just tune it out. Our challenge is to write editorial content which sells. Is it easy? No. Is it effective? Yes, if it’s done well.
Here’s what I love about quotes from David Ogilvy: no matter how many times you read the quotes, and even if you know them by heart, they get you thinking. And writing better copy.
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