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The Breaking Point poster – a failed tribute

Nigel Farage’s latest UKIP ad has drawn huge amounts of criticism, considered to be so tasteless that it could contend for a Chip Shop Award. Regardless of its message, the Breaking Point poster proves that great advertising is timeless.

Nigel Farage's Breaking Point poster proves great copywriting and advertising is worth stealing

Nigel Farage’s Breaking Point poster proves great copywriting and advertising is worth stealing

Does it look familiar? It should do:

Picture of the infamous "Labour isn't working" 1979 Conservative election campaign poster

The inspiration for many a political poster

I’ve written about Andrew Rutherford’s poster before because it embodies what the perfect ad needs; a great slogan, a powerful image, and a bit of cheek to make you think. Unfortunately Farage’s effort doesn’t quite match up.

In fact, once you get past the strikingly similar imagery, the Breaking Point poster is a pretty poor effort...

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Who needs copywriting?

As a professional technical copywriter who spends all day dipping into Twitter conversations with other copywriters, it’s easy to forget some of the basics of our art. When I discovered that lots of people ask Google who needs copywriting? I was astonished.

At first I thought maybe this was yet another example of the copyright vs copywriter confusion. But after a while it dawned on me – if people don’t know what a copywriter does, why would they know if they need one?

Words are magic. And very hard work

Everywhere you see a piece of marketing text, a copywriter has should have been involved. If you need a three word tagline, or a 5000 word ebook, you also need a copywriter.

Who needs copywriting? Great text is not magic as this picture shows, it is the result of hard work

Magic copy is a lot of hard work

You are always surrounded by examples of copywriting, each of varying lev...

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Everything you know about Apple ad blockers is wrong

The announcement of support for ad blockers in iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, sent the marketing industry into melt down. If iPhone and iPad users block ads when surfing the web, thousands of campaigns go up in smoke.

This despite the fact that ad blockers have existed on all other platforms for some time now.

Apple claim the move is to speed up mobile web browsing for its users, and to reduce the heavy toll that rich media ads exert on mobile data allowances. The chance to hurt Google’s core business model is just an added bonus.

Marketers love Apple – for good reason

It’s no secret that iOS users spend much, much more than Android owners, even though there are less of them. Look at these figures for Black Friday 2015 (click for larger versions):

Black Friday 2015 mobile average spend

Black Friday 2015 mobil...

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2016 predictions – bad marketers will make your eyes bleed

The end of December is traditionally the time for an endless gush of 2016 predictions from “experts” across the web. I’m going to buck that trend however, by making a plea to copywriters, marketers and clients that they stop using the following phrases. Forever.

Because if you can cut these junk statements from your work, the world will be a much happier, healthier place.

Social media guru/rock star/ninja

Nothing screams “needy” as loudly as this combination of meaningless words in a social media profile. These terms are merely a warning to everyone that you send a lot of tweets and constantly instagram your amazingly social social life.

We also know that your favourite topic is yourself. Which isn’t all that social really. In fact, it’s the polar opposite.

But of the three, ‘nin...

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2015 – What did we learn about copywriting from Tech Write?

What did visitors learn about copywriting from Tech Write during 2015? In a year where only 12 posts were published on the blog, it isn’t hard to calculate exactly what was tickling people’s interest.

Picture of a man keen to learn about copywriting by pointing at a graph

This is exactly what I look like when checking my Google Analytics stats

Somewhat problematically though, two of the most popular articles weren’t even written this year. In fact one dates from 2013.

Anyway, this is what got people going this year.

1. How not to write good copy – lessons from the Kaiser Chiefs

A runaway success thanks to a careless tweet by Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson which saw this article linked to from his band’s homepage. A slew of traffic ensued, very little of which was from people wanting to learn about copywriting.

That said, I’m still proud of this an...

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