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Tag Archives: Words matter

Are copywriters the last storytellers?

Every copywriter should read Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey and following that, Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey. The first describes the classic myth structure which has existed across many civilizations and millennia: the hero emerges from humble beginnings, deals with adversity and learns from it, battles for cause and identity, suffers a major setback and enters […]

Does ScoreIt teach you to write like Stephen King?

Food for thought: I recently received an email from Bowker, a service that provides ISBN numbers to self-published authors. They have a new product that allows you to compare your prose to that of successful published writers and find out who has a style and genre close to yours. The software is ScoreIt, and it […]

What the pool guy can teach us about selling freelance creative

I’ve recently moved into a house which, two owners ago, was tricked out with all the bells and whistles available in the early 1990s. Most of these tchotchkes have fallen into disrepair and must either be abandoned (like the in-wall coax cabling throughout the house) or gussied up. This has caused visits by a stream […]

Why Cadillac “Dare Greatly” campaign doesn’t

While many brands made a political statement with ads on the 2017 Super Bowl, Cadillac saved theirs for the (surprisingly non-political) Academy Awards telecast. “We are a nation divided. That’s what they tell us, right?” the ad begins. “But what they don’t tell you, what doesn’t make the news, is this: We carry each other forward.” […]

Copywriters, the end is near

I was paying my quarterly visit to a client when the online marketing manager mentioned he needed quite a few SEO articles written. I asked if I could help. No need, he said, I’ll just order them on TextBroker for ten cents a word and run them through copycheck to be sure they weren’t plagiarized. […]

Why copywriting is like fixing a hole in the wall

I live in a 135-year-old house with lath and plaster walls. I have two teenage boys. Thus, I have a lot of opportunity to patch holes in those walls. Recently I’ve gotten a lot better than this, and it occurred to me there are lessons that apply to copywriting or any repetitive artisanal task. Originally […]

Salvation Army shows the perils of localized donor mail

I gave a fair-sized gift to my local Salvation Army this past holiday season, and was happy to do so. (I wanted a particularly enthusiastic bell ringer to get credit, so I found out his name, wrote it on the check, and dropped it off at the local center.) Inevitably, this has spawned a series […]

Cadillac “Dare Greatly” ad campaign has an elephant in the back seat

During 2015 March Madness I’ve seen the Jason Wu Cadillac ad numerous times. Certainly it’s daring greatly to heavy up on a story about a guy whose mom gave him a sewing machine during the uber-macho celebration of NCAA basketball, and the ad is a great story. But what’s that vehicle rolling into frame at […]

The creative parable of the 100 light bulbs

A creative director recently shared with me the parable of the 100th light bulb. It goes like this: When you turn on the first light bulb in a dark room, the effect is transformative. Where before there was only darkness, now there is light. But by the time you switch on the 100th light bulb, […]

Boredom banished at DMA 2014

The Direct Marketing Association’s annual conference is happening this week in San Diego, and I’ll shortly get on a plane to join my colleagues. I will be on a panel Tuesday morning October 28, called “Creative Slamdown: How world-class creatives successfully sell strange, obscure, boring or even the most mundane products” put together by estimable […]

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