This is a clever commercial by spread and cheese manufacturer Kerry Low Low which uses the stereotypes of women in food commercials to sell its own product. But will it mean these stereotypes will never be used again? Fat chance.
With all the recent stuff about the Leveson enquiry and press regulation, it makes me glad that the advertising industry in this country is so effectively regulated. And believe me, it is.
When I joined my first ad agency as a trainee copywriter, it was impressed on me from day one that everything I wrote had to be Legal, decent, honest and truthful. This was the essence of how your work would be evaluated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the event of any complaint by the public.
Can you imagine a trainee journalist on a tabloid being schooled in these four principles?
Freedom of the press is essential for a civilised society but so is the right of the individual to privacy, even if they have been so rash as to appear on X-Factor or Big Brother.
On the Plain English Campaign website there is an interesting tool that helps you check the clarity and simplicity of written material. It’s called Drivel Defence (though I think Bullshit Detector might be a more appropriately Plain English type of name)
Anyway full marks to Plain English Campaign for trying to stem the tide of jargon and management-speak, especially that found on company websites. You can find out more about Drivel Defence here.
One Friday, Creative Review called me with an offer I couldn’t refuse – £900 worth of ad space for just £125, as long as I could get the artwork to them on Monday.
This is the ad, which actually stands out reasonably well among the other classifieds. However, as I expected there has been scarcely any response to it. No phone calls from eager clients, no significant increase in website traffic.
My feeling is that the only way to use this kind of trade press advertising effectively is to be a constant presence, month after month, year after year.
Eventually you’ll get remembered and recognised, but of course in the process it’s going to cost thousands of pounds at normal insertion rates, and unfortunately that just isn’t something I can afford.
Well worth a watch, this is a very nicely presented speculation on the creative process.
As a freelance copywriter, it’s sometimes necessary to make sure the radio station you’re listening to is a commercial one just to keep up with things. (I favour BRMB, a Birmingham station, that has a good variety of local and national commercials).
But the truth is my favourite radio stations are mostly commercial-free and web based. Just recently I came across a terrific source of virtually non-stop music that has become a permanent resident on the Squeezebox in our kitchen.
It’s called Radio Paradise and, to quote, “is a blend of many styles and genres of music, carefully selected and mixed by two real human beings.” What’s amazing is that such an eclectic mix, with so many not-so-famous artists, can hit the sweet spot of the inner ear with just about every track.
If you want to give it a try, you’ll find Radio Paradise right here. Happy listening!
Every so often I naturally go and take a sneak peak at what the competition is doing, which basically involves typing ‘freelance copywriter’ into my search engine of choice and seeing what rears its head, ugly or otherwise.
Of course, copywriters are desperate to prove their Search Engine Optimisation credentials through the use of keywords, but will generally keep on the right side of readability. However I couldn’t help but notice this particular passage on one of the sites that came up in my search:
A freelance copywriter is a copywriter who supplies the services of a copywriter direct to clients. The freelance copywriter is self-employed, in contrast with a copywriter in the employ of an advertising or marketing company. A freelance copywriter must combine the skills of a conventional copywriter with a sound commercial understanding. Over time, a freelance copywriter may be called on to serve as a web copywriter, dm copywriter, print copywriter and broadcast media copywriter.
Now that’s what I call SEO!
Not so long ago a letter from Google AdWords came thudding onto my doormat. Even though Google epitomise cutting-edge online marketing, they had decided to use an old fashioned mailshot to recover lapsed customers like me.
They also sent an email with the same message, but the mailshot with it’s detachable credit-card size voucher for £100 free advertising was much more impactful.
Marketing emails are of course extremely cheap, whereas printing and posting a traditional mass marketing mailshot is massively more expensive.
But it you want to know which is more effective – email or snail-mail – maybe it’s worth asking an unlikely source: Google.
Well I’ve finally managed to get the new version of WordStorm, my main freelance copywriting website up and running. Not without problems though – and this is really just a technical note in case somebody is suffering the same problems as I had, specifically where UTF-8 character coding doesn’t work in Firefox or Opera.
My experience was that the website worked fine across all browsers on my computer, but when uploaded to the server it served up gobbledegook for certain characters such apostrophes, long dashes and copyright symbols in the two above mentioned browsers. (Everything was fine in Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari).
When I searched for solutions it was clear that there were a lot similar sufferers, but very little helpful advice. However, when I checked out my server’s forums it appeared the problem lay with the server not dishing out UTF-8 character sets unless prompted to do so.
The solution, in my particular case, was to create an .htaccess file directing my Linux server to add UTF-8 as the default character set.
So if you’re finding your web content doesn’t render correctly in Firefox, I’d suggest contacting your webspace provider first with the problem. It might save you hours of fruitless searching or re-coding.
Technology can have a tendency to make people redundant, but as a creative copywriter you feel pretty damn confident there will never be a machine that can do your job properly. Well, I’ve been doing a lot brand naming recently, so was a bit shocked when I stumbled across a whole host of brand name generators on t’internet
Mind you, judging by the results you’d probably be better off buying a typewriter and hiring a proverbial monkey. Here’s a small selection of snappy, memorable brand names from quick-name-generator.com