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The Idea Writers, Teressa Iezzi

Copywriting in a new media and marketing era

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  • The creativity age has shown us that copywriting is much more than writing copy alone. And copy can be a lot more than a headline or a TV script.
  • Teressa Iezzi argues that marketing is an industry built on assumptions that no longer exist. Assumptions like: “pushing a big marketing campaign for a few weeks is enough to connect a brand to consumers.”
  • Calling the new era the “digital era” adequately describes the basic media shift that’s taken place, but calling it the “consumer control era” far better describes the essential, overwhelming change that is remaking the industry and copywriting.
  • The advertising industry used to revolve around creating brand messages that lent themselves to small interruptions in the content people were watching on TV. These easily digested brand promos no longer have a place in the new era of customer interaction.
  • “Here comes everybody.” More people can communicate more things to more people than ever before. Advertising has been forced to move away from blunt instruments like TV ads and has seen its own familiar model warp before its eyes.
  • The industry reacted with creativity. Although successful, it misses the point.
  • The consumer control era means that creatives must make things people want, seek out and share with their circle.
  • Teressa Iezzi argues that advertising has to entertain people before they will even acknowledge its existence. In today’s world, consumers are in control of what media they consume and when, and – increasingly – they are in control of what consumers think about brands. The essential shift that resulted from the digital revolution is that consumers aren’t just consumers. They’re producers, critics and creators.
  • The entire brand experience is subject to scrutiny and is part of an ever-evolving public conversation.
  • Selling. If you want to write stories for art’s sake, become a novelist or a screenwriter. Copywriting is about selling a story. The intent of a piece of copy is to build and protect the client’s identity, not the writer’s.
  • Story. The market today is overpopulated with products, so setting one product apart from the rest of the market story becomes key. The future of marketing is dictated by right-brain-oriented thinking. Simultaneous, metaphorical, aesthetic and contextual thinking. Left-brain jobs will go overseas and right-brain jobs will become dominant in the West.
  • Design. Should involve not only art directors, but everyone involved in the story of a product. It should function as a narrative from which all communication flows. The product’s power is the root of all copy.
  • Conversation. A simple yet important idea. Copywriting constructs reactions during interactions with the product’s stakeholders and makes connections to the consumer’s life. Copywriting is the beating heart of the consumer’s conversation with the brand.
  • “If you can’t tell a story you ain’t shit.” You have to be able to take control of the story you’re trying to tell. You have to see the story all the way through and this is where skilled creativity comes in. Your art has a very specific job to do: tell a complete brand story.
  • The post-digital-age copywriter is:
    • Creator of ideas. Be a writer + big-picture thinker.
    • Master of the craft. Roles are blurring so embrace all roles in the creative process.
    • Conversationalist. Keep people interested and engaged.
    • Dealer in emotions. Be able to build emotional connections with the audience.
    • Analogue-minded. The channels are digital but the story/connections should be analogue. Don’t let the story become a gimmick to justify a channel.
    • Utilitarian. Use everything at hand outside the usual narrative sense to convey a brand’s story.
    • Explainer. Make the complicated simple.
  • When building brands by having vast conversations, maximum collaboration is mandatory. Don’t have teams that only do one thing. Get everyone involved in delivering an emotional story.
  • You need a relevant and engaging idea. It can’t be an “advertising” idea, it has to be a consumer idea.