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February 26, 2013“The experience” is essential when advertising luxury brands

As the creator of Apple's "Think Different" campaign declares Apple's new product-led campaigns are inferior to Samsung's people oriented ones, I ask the question of whether experience should still be the focus of luxury brands.

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July 10, 2012Brand evangelism is dead

Rookie copywriters often make the mistake of praising the brand, when really it's the customer who's the star. Creating an effective tone of voice for a brand isn't about emphasising the brand's values, it's about portraying them in ways people empathise with.

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June 7, 2012“Why the big face?” On choosing homepage images that resonate with your target market.

This isn't a post about copywriting. It's a post about seeing the big picture -- the big picture on your homepage, to be precise. Sites that use portrait photography are increasingly important. But to get it right, choose an image that resonates with your audience.

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April 27, 2012Are ad men as bad as the Nazis?

Many people see advertising as a bad thing -- as nothing more than propaganda written on behalf of evil corporations. But let's look at that accusation objectively. Do ad men use the same techniques as totalitarian societies? And if so, are the effects the same?

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April 15, 2012How to make your customers an offer they can’t refuse

If your conversion rate is 2% but an alternate call to action increases it to 4%, don't you owe it to yourself to test all possible variations? But conversion science isn't simply about design, flow, and, text. It's about getting your offer right.

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March 8, 2012What QR codes teach us about advertising

QR codes don’t work because they put a barrier between the customer and the call to action. In short, they’re bad conversion science. That doesn't mean we can't learn from them. We just have to find ways to maximise, not minimise, customer response rates.

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February 16, 2012How important is a personal recommendation?

When making a purchasing decision, people value a personal recommendation from a trusted source higher than any other factor – even to the point of trusting that recommendation over trusting their own opinion. How do we make use of that fact?

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January 27, 2012Snickers’ social media campaign is advertising genius at its best

Send a few fake tongue-in-cheek tweets. Then tell everyone it was a joke, associate the joke with the brand. A formula so simple a child could have created it. Yet they didn’t. It was the work of a fiendishly clever advertising brain. But why are ASA investigating it?

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November 30, 2011Can you rush creativity?

You can't hurry love. But as a copywriter, can you rush creativity? Is it possible to have too many ideas? Or is more always more? The answer depends on the client -- and on how well you can read them.

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November 18, 2011The best puns in advertising

Sometimes wordplay is subtle. Sometimes it's not. The pun, that most maligned staple of Englsh language humour, can be both. The trick to a good pun is knowing when, and how, to use it.

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