"...And Make It Real Creative!" - February 2010

and-make-it-real-creative-logo-3By Trent Rentsch

I often wonder what life is like in some copywriter’s homes…

(sfx: door opens)

Copywriter: Well, hello, Honey, Martha, my beautiful, but somewhat uninformed-because-she-spends-the-day-watching-Food TV-wife!

Martha: Oh, hello, Dear Martin, my handsome, highly-paid-because-people-are-certain-that-those-in-advertising-makes-tons-of-money-yet-we’re-on-our-third-mortgage-husband! How was your day in the big world of Advertising at ABC Agency… call 1-800-555-12-34? That’s 1-800-555-12-34?

Copywriter: Well, Martha, my darling wife, it was a productive day in our full-service agency!! So many people were logging onto the internet to refer to our website at WWW.ABCAGENCYFORALLYOURADVERTISINGNEEDZ.COM, that’s WWW.ABCAGENCYFORALLYOURADVERTISINGNEEDZ.COM, expecting excellent advice for all of their advertising needs! I did, however, enjoy communicating with you, via phone, when you called me directly at the agency… what was that number again?

Martha: Why, Martin, let me repeat that number for you! It’s 1-800-555-12-34! That’s 1-800-555-12-34! But, gee, Martin, are you saying I could have also gotten in touch with you or any of your friendly, helpful, creative co-workers at WWW.ABCAGENCYFORALLYOURADVERTISINGNEEDSZ.COM? That’s WWW.ABCAGENCYFORALLYOURADVERTISINGNEEDSZ.COM?

Copywriter: Of course you can reach me or any of our friendly, helpful, creative employees, Martha, at WWW.ABCAGENCYFORALLYOURADVERTISINGNEEDSZ.COM! That’s WWW.ABCAGENCYFORALLYOURADVERTISINGNEEDSZ.COM! But remember, that’s WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S-Z.COM! That’s WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S-Z.COM!

Martha: Wow, Martin! You are saying that, in order to contact you, or any of your friendly, helpful, creative co-workers, for all of my advertising needs via my computer on the internet, I need to type the following address on my keyboard? WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S-Z.COM! That’s WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S-Z.COM! And NOT WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S.COM? That’s NOT WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S.COM?

Copywriter: That is correct, Martha, my wife-who-obviously-knows-nothing-about-advertising! Or, you can pick up your phone and simply call 1-800-555-12-34! That’s 1-800-555-12-34!

Martha: So, if someone needed all their advertising needs met, such as logo design, 2-color or 4-color off-set printing, video production with green screen and CGI effects available, audio in Dolby surround-sound and more, they need only get in touch TODAY with you or one of your friendly, helpful, creative co-workers on the telephone at 1-800-555-12-34! That’s 1-800-555-12-34… or by rushing to their computer and typing in the following address: WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S-Z.COM! That’s WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S-Z.COM! And NOT WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S.COM? That’s NOT WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S.COM?

Copywriter: Why yes, Martha! In fact, for any of their advertising needs, they really need to call this number right now: 1-800-555-12-34! That’s 1-800-555-12-34… or hurry to their computer and click out in the following address: WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S-Z.COM! That’s WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S-Z.COM! And NOT WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S.COM? That’s NOT WWW.A-B-C-A-G-E-N-C-Y-F-O-R-A-L-L-Y-O-U-R-A-D-V-E-R-T-I-S-I-N-G-N-E-E-D-S.COM. And don’t forget to ask about our Tuesday special and two-for-one keychains! Now, Martha, how about heading to our luxurious bedroom for all of my sexual needs?

Martha: Oh, I am so sorry, Martin! Certain restrictions apply. But for a full explanation of how this evening will evolve, please check out WWW.IHAVEAHEADACHE.COM, THAT’S WWW.IHAVEAHEADACHE.COM...

It seems to me that these people need to get out more.

People, people, people! We’re a decade into new millennium!! Conversations didn’t flow like that in the old millennium, for crying out loud! What on earth makes copywriters continue to create stilted, stupid “conversational” copy in this brave, new century??

When writing copy in :30 to :60 second spurts, there’s precious little real estate, without such senseless additions like naming the characters, adding the “W’s” to the web address, or using such meaningless statements as, “For all your (insert product and/or service) needs.”

Oh, and phone numbers! Don’t get me started… okay, since we’re there… if you’re concerned that people won’t get that phone number by mentioning it once, by all means repeat it 3 or 4 times, so the spot has to be read at break neck pace, and the listener misses the ENTIRE message of the commercial! And your web address? If it has to be spelled out, it’s too complicated for people to retain… CHANGE IT, rather than muddy your advertising waters!!!

I know, I’m not usually this fired up in this column. I really do try to support all Creatives and understand why they do things the way they do them. But sometimes, even for me, enough is enough.

Good advertising always, ALWAYS, starts with good, solid, copywriting. When the words aren’t right, I can only imagine that someone doesn’t care to get it right. Yes, it’s also an indication of larger problems that the copywriter may have been forced to “put a band-aid” on by the advertiser… but that still doesn’t make it right.

As radio Creatives, we are the advocates of the final product. To not at least point out weaknesses in a piece of copy, and diplomatically suggest solutions means that we really aren’t doing the job. Of course it’s an uphill climb; of course you may walk away with a bloodied nose. But to truly be a Creative who is worthy of coming to for “all their advertising needs,” it’s a day at the office.

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