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Copywriting The Copywriter The Craft Of Copywriting...
Copywriting The copywriter The craft of copywriting demands an agile brain, a wide general knowledge, a high IQ and so intimate an understanding of the Queen's English that one can abuse it with impunity. A word, first of all, about the copywriter and about his place in the online advertising business. And while this section is addressed primarily to the writer in the making, I believe that everyone who puts pen to paper in order to help shift product - from online advertising managers to account-handlers should derive some benefit from it.
Even if it's only the satisfaction of disagreeing violently with everything I say. The quotation at the head of this section implies that copywriters are endowed with a reasonably high standard of education which, in its turn, usually implies a reasonably up-market background. The proposition is largely true; any exceptions to the general rule - and there are plenty - are those who have worked like stink and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. So although they have little in the way of certificated academic prowess, they are well above average when it comes to the use of words. But it's also true to say that the vast majority of products, whether industrial or consumer, are not sold to people of this type or with this background.
They are sold to people with few pretentions to higher education and who wouldn't recognize a literary allusion if it leapt up and announced itself. Where the copywriter is literate, they have little or no interest in syntax or grammar; where he is imaginative, they are earthy; where he is enthusiastic, they are indifferent. This is the great schism. There are a few, a happy few, who can bridge the gap with the adroitness of Mr Bailey. And being rare, they are expensive.
Apart from them, the copywriter ranks are filled by four main types: The mediocre: Those whose work is undistinguished, but mostly unexceptionable. There's nothing specifically good about their work, but nothing particularly wrong with it either. The effulgent: those to whom ideas come easily and who can improvise with words and thoughts as readily as a latter-day Byron.
They can be truly valuable - sometimes invaluable; but they are no one's backbone. And all too often they are dilettanti incapable, as the actress said, of hard, grinding, unflagging effort.
The undeserving: Those who have drifted into online advertising and who can't drift out again soon enough for me. They tend to think of the whole thing as a bit of a chuckle and really rather beneath them....next page >>