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April 23, 2010What makes a good strapline?

Straplines, headlines, taglines, slogans. Call them what you will, they’re what make the advertising world go round. It’s rare to find a good headline writer. That’s because headlines are hard to write. Anyone can fill a page with four hundred words, but how many people can catch an audience’s attention and sum up the product they’re selling in four or so words?

It’s more important to sound natural than to be clever.

F Scott Fitzgerald famously started out in advertising and came up with the slogan “we keep you clean in Muscatine” for an Iowa based laundry service. While he …

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April 17, 2010How to write sales-focused copy

I’ve written before about the difference between professional copy, and copy you’ve just written yourself. “Everyone who can speak English and read and write thinks they can be a copywriter,” I said. But they can’t. The question is — why? What does a professional copywriter do that you don’t?

A good copywriter writes sales-focused copy.

What does that mean? Well, here’s an example. Client A comes to me with Product A, and it’s the best product ever (so he thinks). He’s already come up with a great description of Product A to use on his website. But nobody’s buying.

Let’s …

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April 1, 2010Turning your weakness into strength

So, it’s April Fool’s Day. And along with the usual plethora of tech-related pranks (well documented by TechCrunch) this spoof by The Guardian really caught my eye. In my last post, I talked about negative campaigning in politics, and how only a campaign based on hard fact is good enough to go on the attack.

But how do you counter-attack a negative campaign?

The Guardian’s April Fools joke may point us in the right direction.

Gordon-Brown-campaign-pos-008

OK, so it’s an obvious spoof. But the article contains some real wisdom:

Brown aides had worried that his reputation for volatility might

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