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Posts Tagged ‘bilious pills

Copywriting Tip #1: Love the Study

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In Freelance Copywriting (Eng3316) we’ve started producing work in earnest and every week (including tomorrow) another student piece moves into their portfolio. All the students have signed up for work they’ve never tried before—ad concepts, radio scripts instructional booklets, and many other forms. All according to where their writing passions are leading them.

One thing I love about copywriting is learning new stuff. Whether it’s asking a doctor questions during brain surgery or watching a silicon wafer get doped and fired or learning about the medicines Lewis and Clark used (forced marches and blood-letting seemed to resolve a lot of their ailments). There is no end to fascination with how the world works. Putting what I learned into words (and images) electrifies the whole task: spooling out my argument and helping show why anyone would care what the patient said while the doctor probed his frontal lobe, or why ramping quickly to 900 degrees centigrade matters when firing a wafer or why Dr. Rush’s bilious pills had such a strong…(ahem) purging effect—it’s a puzzle that rewards more as I attend to it. Words and ideas are the puzzle pieces. The goal is to engage very particular audiences (with much shorter sentences than I’ve used here). James W. Young would call this the gather and masticating stages of the process. How could you not love this work?

Part of the research is figuring out what makes a good print ad. Or what makes a radio spot compelling. In other words, what forms have people used to tell these stories in the past and how do we use these forms today? Or do we pick a new form (which typically means recycling another older form)? These are questions we answer again and again as we look at what’s being done today and revisit the best of the best.

But love of learning is the engine. And putting things into words is the transmission. These are the bare bones vehicle of a copywriter.


Image via Copyranter


Written by kirkistan

March 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

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