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A wander through words


Copywriting! What a glorious, sun-blessed pursuit. So sit back and dip your toes into the warm waters here in word nirvana with a read through these creative bits and bobs.

The good stuff

First up, eye-catching work. We kick-off with a look at some wonderful stuff from DMA Awards champs Karmarama, with their subtly scripted and sharply imagined TV spots in their “This Is Belonging” campaign for the British Army. Dig into the Creative Review here.

Next website developers Squarespace and creative collective JohnXHannes team up with actor / arch-sartorialist John Malkovich (yep, that John Malkovich) for a short film that explores his journey from big screen to needle and thread as a fashion designer. It’s a compelling watch and the scripting is well-balanced throughout.

Ever been struck down with “cyberchondria”? I know I have. That’s when you Google "big toe twinge" and spend three hours crying inside as you learn all about your impending toe-related demise. But fear not – or rather, fear less - because healthcare gurus Babylon have the answer. Their first creative campaign – running outdoor, and via press and digital – is set for trial as an alternative to the non-emergency 111 helpline. It’s packed full of smart writing.

Talking about smart writing, there’s one school that has a host of great work under its belt: Germany’s Film Academy of Baden-Württemberg. After all their students produced a Johnnie Walker spec ad that people tend to consider one of the finest pieces of student work ever. Recently the same school produced spec work for Adidas that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. Check it out here and have a hanky ready.

Finally on smart writing, here’s McCann on long copy. Here’s 932 words on why it matters. It’s a pretty good case.

Copywriters = snowflakes

Are copywriters wallflowers? It’s a perception I’ve come across – although I must admit it goes against the grain a little in terms of my own experience. Anyway, when a creative titan like George Lois rocks back on his 84 year-old heels and tells the creative world to be louder, more surprising, more shocking and more outrageous, I wonder how that makes us writers feel?

Maybe adding to our insecurities, everywhere we turn we copywriters are told “be scared of bots”. We’re creative Sarah Connors and the bots are T-2000s and they will destroy us. Unless we turn the machines to our advantage. Yes. Yes that’s exactly what we should do. This struggle is very real, lest we forget that none other than John Hegarty is deeply concerned that algorithms will soon thwart originality. Gulp.

And now, more than ever, words matter. We can’t move around our social feeds or favoured media outlets without being slapped in the face with “fake news” warnings. Time, then, to take responsibility for the words you use.

You still awake? Good.

Now then. Boredom. Surely the enemy of the creative mind? Au contraire argues Clive Thompson in WIRED. It will make you even more creative.

A great way to round-off this, er, round-up is to point you in the direction of The Drum’s copywriting columnist Andrew Boulton where you can read on for his thoughts on the jealous heart of copywriting.

Until next time…

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