This post may be, ironically, short considering the topic. You see nowadays copywriters need to be short and concise, writing their advertising copy based on a particular limit of characters. With advertising shifting mediums to mainly social media, the chance to really tell a story is limited. It forces copywriters to truly think outside the box. Flipping through The Copy Book, makes one wonder if this is always a good thing.
Gathering the book for a potential Brandcenter student, Cabell showed us some of his favorite ads, some by writers he’s actually had the great privilege to partner with like Luke Sullivan, and Mike Lescarbeau. The brilliance of these ads isn’t just the concept or the striking imagery behind it but the copy. And for a large majority of these that copy is far more than just one-liners. In fact most of these ads consist of PARAGRAPHS of copy. Can you imagine that in our digital age?! PARAGRAPHS!
Ads for companies like Hertz that spend a full 2 pages explaining how, while it may be true that “No.2” does try harder, they certainly do not try harder than Hertz. Or Sainsbury’s supermarket who, despite the tagline, “Sainsbury’s, Where good food costs less.”, leaves a quarter of the page for a commentary on the different varieties of olives and the wide range that apparently only Sainsbury offers.
Can you imagine going beyond posting a simple tagline for an ad and instead creating a full write-up on why your audience should follow this particular brand…on Facebook? Or Twitter? Did copywriters and creatives lose something when every ad basically traded all of that potential real estate to the space of a billboard?
Some say our attention span is getting shorter, others point out it is not our attention span that has changed but our expectations with user experience. I can find answers to questions almost instantly. Articles now proclaim how long a read it will be. I admittedly fall for this all the time. Eight minute read? NOPE. Two minute read? Sure, I got time for that. But at the end of the day, I kind of hope, like vinyl and old record players, abounding copy returns in print advertising. Small tales spun from a copywriter’s mind as they reason with us on why their product is worth trying. A little extra time and effort is always appreciated, if we allow for it.