Advanced Copywriting Secrets: How to Bring Your Writing to Life!

June 17, 2010

A lot of readers have asked me if there’s a secret copywriting technique to adding more texture and dimension to the general message of what they would like to write. And my answer is “yes”!

More often than not, people provide just the mere facts in their writing, often forgetting to include emotive and sensory words that give readers a true picture of what they’re reading. It is very important to paint a picture of what you are trying to communicate because this makes it easier for your readers to “see” the image you’re trying to create.

Therefore as you write, try to visualize the message of what you want to convey. If you are writing about a product, or anything at all, one of the most important copywriting skills you have to learn is thinking in pictures!

Describe your product in vivid detail, right down to its textures and colors. There is no limit to your imagination and  you may even add interesting details such as whether there are other characters in the scene you’re trying to visualize. What are their expressions? How they are feeling? Whatever your imagination may be, the key thing is to share with your readers what they will see, hear, feel, taste or even smell when they use your product – any product – be it a meat patty maker or a hamburger!

With that in mind, let’s play a visualisation game to help you improve the clarity and control of your mental imagery. Picture the sequence of events as your readers use or consume these common objects. How would your scene unfold?

  • An electric fruit juicer
  • A bar of chocolate
  • A bottle of wine
  • A mountain bike
  • An electronic gadget such as a smartphone
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Use Provocation As a New Source of Ideas for Your Ad Campaign

May 12, 2010

Recall an ad that you last saw. It could be an ad about that new beauty salon in town or the latest hair treatment solution for men above 60.

Chances are, the ideas would all start to look the same.

The good news is, there is a powerful advertising technique that allows you to discover new sources of ideas and draw attention in a stimulating way to your next ad campaign. This is where provocation can make a whole world of difference between an impactful campaign and a mediocre one.

When brainstorming thought-provoking ideas with your team, think about all the negative things about your product. Do your consumers have doubts, frustration or anger that they want to release? What are some of the unthinkable things that people would say about your product? The goal of this exercise is to drum up emotions which would help engage your team into a heated debate using provocation as a basis for new ideas.

Here’s a checklist of questions that will give you and your team the right foundation to stir up some controversy and thus paving the way for new, innovative ideas:

  1. What would be shocking, surprising or humorous in association with your product or ad campaign?
  2. How could you make your ideas controversial (Could it be breaking a taboo? Or addressing a social issue)?
  3. What would a child think or feel about the ideas in your ad?
  4. What unthinkable things would you not do with your product?
  5. Who might be offended or horrified by your ideas? How would people react?
  6. How would your product cause damage, and to what extent?
  7. If you could break a rule in the words you use, what would you say (E.g. Shit! Darn! Son-of-a-Gun! etc.)?

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Want to be Interesting? Tell Stories!

January 13, 2010

People love reading stories.

That’s why newspapers and tabloid magazines sell.

Likewise in copywriting and advertising, the best way to enthrall readers is to weave stories into your product or idea.

Look all around you. What are some of the everyday situations inspired by your own life could you develop around your product to show its benefits? What personal story could you share to make someone smile, laugh or cry? What story would show the strength of a product in an impactful or provocative way?

As you think over these questions, recall the TV commercials that touched your life in some way. What were the similar qualities of those ads that made you respond in a particular way?

One of my favorite TV ads: “Funeral” by legendary TV producer Yasmin Ahmad

In this touching ad, the central theme of  family togetherness is presented in dramatic style that many of us can relate to. The idea of  preserving the memory of a loved one is very much real and could happen or has happened in our own lives. As a result, we are moved by familiar emotions and could either smile or cry.

As you plan your next advertisement campaign, think about which of these styles of drama would be best for presenting your idea in a daily situation or story:

  • Action/Adventure
  • Broadway/Theater
  • Comedy
  • Costume
  • Chatshow
  • Documentary
  • Horror/Thriller/Mystery
  • Love Story
  • Sad Story
  • Soap Opera
  • News

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