πŸ’Ž Five things that are more or less true about copywriting (not rules or laws!)

I’ve never been much of a theoriser about copywriting but here are five things that I think are more or less true:

1. Put yourself into your work. Use your life to animate your copy. If something moves you, chances are, it will touch someone else, too.
2. Think visually. Ask someone to describe a spiral staircase and they’ll use their hands as well as words. Sometimes the best copy is no copy.
3. If you believe that facts persuade (as I do), you’d better learn how to write a list so that it doesn’t read like a list.
4. Confession is good for the soul and for copy, too. Bill Bernbach used to say β€œa small admission gains a large acceptance”. I still think he was right.
5. Don’t be boring.

Excerpt from: D&Ad Copy Book by D&AD

πŸ’Ž On the best copy (and revolutions)

It’s good discipline for a writer to work at a place that doesn’t believe in writing. I spent three years at BBH, where less was most definitely more. “The best copy” John Hegarty would say, “is no copy.” And: “If the French could inspire a revolution with just three words: “Liberte, Egalite, Fratenite”, why should you need any more than that to sell soap powder?”

Excerpt from: D&Ad Copy Book by D&AD

πŸ’Ž On writing copy for a specific person not a demographic (it should be a conversation between two human beings)

All the while I have fixed in my mind a mental picture of who will read what I’m writing.

I don’t mean β€œAB males aged 35-44 with a promiscuous attitude to white spirits.” I mean I think of an actual person, be it a friend, neighbour or relation, who is in the target audience.

When I see that person in my mind, I know what will appeal to them.

That way I can write copy the way I believe all copy should be written: as a conversation between two human beings rather than an announcement from manufacturer to consumer.

Excerpt from: D&Ad Copy Book by D&AD