Copywriting tagged posts

Was “Broadchurch” scripted by a copywriter?

Now into its second season, British crime drama fans are still debating the relative merits of ITV’s flagship program “Broadchurch”. The series deals with the murder of a young boy in a small seaside town, the reactions of family and friends, and the police investigation that follows.

A picture of the cast of Broadchurch

Copywriters could learn a lot from the story of these fictional characters.

Image © ITV 2013


The success of the series, which generated massive viewing figures, is undeniable. But the script also contains a number of useful nuggets for copywriters to use in their own projects too.

Why? Because Broadchurch delivered exactly what it promised. As should your copy.

Know your audience

The reason Broadchurch proved so popular was that the writers clearly knew and understood their audience...

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Copywriting tips – Personalisation vs Over-Familiarity

Journalist Colm O’Regan wrote a rant for the BBC online magazine  raising the issue of what he sees as overly familiar email and website text. In the article he raises umbrage with the overuse of his first name and copy which adopts an overly familiar tone.

For some time now online marketers have been stressing the importance of ‘personalisation’ when communicating with customers because people tend to respond better to messages directed specifically at them. However based on O’Regan’s experiences, it would appear some copywriters have taken the concept too far.

Picture of a man receiving a free hug - example of over familiar copywriting

It may seem warm and cuddly from your side but overly familiar copywriting may not be as well received as you hope.

Over familiarity can be threatening

We all know that our every online move is tracked by various advertisers with ...

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Fifty Shades of Grey – I Wish I Wrote That #2

Valentine’s Day is upon us, this year bringing with it the highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Like you couldn’t have guessed from the explosion in S&M sex-related advertising that has suddenly appeared, fuelled by lazy marketers and their “me too” approach.

Ad for Duck Tape - 1 Shade of Grey, not 50 Shades of Grey

A clever rebuttal of the 50 Shades of Grey hysteria from Duck Tape

Kind of like a porny attempt at newsjacking.

So in the midst of all the cable-tie and rope related nonsense, this ad for Duck Tape stands out.

For those unimpressed by the Fifty Shades of Grey hysteria, the underlying sarcasm of this ad is a welcome relief. It also proves that a well-executed play on words can work wonderfully.

The ambiguity of the ad (what are the other 49 uses for Duck Tape?) is another stroke of genius...

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The day I insulted a pop star and irked some copywriters

The fists of some angry copywriters

Last week I wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece about Kaiser Chief lyrics and copywriting. Or more specifically, why Kaiser Chief lyrics are a terrible example for copywriters.

Much to my surprise, the article gained a lot of traction – particularly after someone grassed me up to lead singer Ricky Wilson:
Ricky Wilson shows his displeasure

I did however learn three lessons from the “success” of the post.

1. Some copywriters are very limited in their sources of inspiration

A number of fellow professionals were quick to point out that comparing song lyrics to copy is like juxtaposing potatoes and peas. Fair enough.

But it also became apparent that many of these people do not seek to improve their own skills by observing “good” and “bad” wherever it may be found...

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

© Drew de F Fawkes

Incredibly (inexplicably?) popular, the Kaiser Chiefs have been churning out “indie rock” for the past 15 years. Although their records are undeniable best-sellers (1.1 million singles and counting), they are also notable for having some of the dodgiest lyrics imaginable.

But this is not necessarily a bad thing – particularly for the copywriter determined to improve their own skills.

So without further ado, here are three things the Kaiser Chiefs can teach you about bad copywriting.

1. A bad rhyme is a crime

Everyday I love you less and less
I can’t believe once you and me did sex
It makes me sick to think of you undressed
Since everyday I love you less and less

Everyday I love you less and less – Employment – 2004

Kaiser Chief songs are notable for their over-reliance on rhyme, leading to...

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