Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.

5/19/2008

WORK SHIRK

When I eventually go into Lily or Macey's classroom for Career Day and some snotty-nosed kid asks me what it takes to be a good copywriter; I'm going to tell him this:
"Think of something you don't care about. I mean really, really don't care about. Something that never even entered into your consciousness before. Maybe it's the Snail Darter controversy; maybe it's hair replacement surgery. After you've got it, sit down and write a 16-page brochure about how amazingly awesome that thing is. If you can do that--you have the chops to be a legendary copywriter."

I, myself, will probably never be a legendary copywriter.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous janice said...

Are there any legendary copywriters?

9:52 PM

 
Blogger craig said...

Oh yeah. I mean, if you're in the industry, you know the legends. Outside of the advertising world? Maybe not.

David Ogilvy ("At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock"), and Bill Bernbach ("Think Small," "We Try Harder") are the first two to come to mind. Other than myself, of course.

5:02 PM

 
Anonymous janice said...

Do they get by lines or are they only known by industry insiders? I guess the question was kind of stupid, I'm sure that there are legendary copywriters, I've read some legendary advertising copy (or heard it) but unfortunately I think it all too often gets put out and nobody knows who came up with it, which I think is unfortunate, since sometimes a pithy sentence that offers a perfect description, or thought provoking sentiment is much more difficult than a "War and Peace" sized novel. You have no easy job, my friend.

10:58 PM

 
Blogger craig said...

Alas, the lament of the copywriter! Working alone in a dark cube, with no fame or recognition!

But yeah, you never know who wrote/designed what in advertising for the most part. Which is usually good, since so much advertising is so bad. And technically, everything I write is owned by the client, not me, so I have no claim to fame. Or infamy, I guess.

But don't feel too bad... the advertising industry has more self-recognizing awards than nearly any other. Clios, Addys, One Show Pencils, etc., etc. Not to mention all the smaller regional shows. I've won in some of the smallest categories, but never anything big. I certainly wouldn't mind having a Clio or a Lion. But that's not likely to happen anytime soon, especially considering that the president of my agency doesn't "believe" in entering award shows.

Again, alas.

9:02 AM

 
Anonymous janice said...

You could probably convince the scientist to create "The Kaswyn" I'm sure you could win that award! :)

9:21 AM

 
Blogger Hieronymus said...

Herschell Gordon Lewis! You know him for his copy; I love him for "Blood Feast"!

12:43 PM

 

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