#writerscrawl: Big Bang - how to write just about anything

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#writerscrawl: Big Bang - how to write just about anything


Creative director at CHI&Partners, Laura Rodgers, took us through some key tips to keep your copy zesty fresh – with a bit of Jeff Goldblum thrown into the mix

It’s no longer just headlines that work, Laura Rodgers told our Big Bang audience, but universal truths.

She picked two hugely contrasting pieces of work to kick-off her talk, and to show the variety and flexibility of copy across two such different campaigns.

Know who you are and what you are writing

Both pieces of work featured solid truths: a Currys PC World ad with its Christmas full of tension, anxiety, disappointment (and the stiff upper lip of Christmas morning Britons everywhere):

And The Message podcast for GE that blends sci-fi with real GE technology to create the most listened to branded content podcast in history.

Laura cited the example of copywriter Jim Boulton who told her that in writing you didn’t need to have everything you need right at the start of the writing process. But you have to be flexible and move around tones and modes as you write.

How to get your writing in good shape

Laura told our crowd of writers and creatives to “get out in the world”.

To sample, experience, try and live. To take from sources that can help inform your own writing. So if you’re writing a gritty piece of drama, maybe try out a Shane Meadows show or two.

Immersion is key, she said. In prepping the character Jeff Goldblum plays in the Currys PC World ad, the writers watched reams of his films to create pacing and tone in their scripts to suit Goldblum’s acting and his voice.

Always be a copy re-writer

Martin Luther-King uttered the immortal words “I have a dream” – but they weren’t scripted, Laura said.

In fact his speech that day went through more than a few changes and re-writes as Dr. King strived for the right words.

Point being: never stop trying to make it better and get busy trying to make your writing great. Laura pointed out that Jeff Goldlbum’s lines all had alternatives written, a constant evolution of the right lines and the right way to say things was key to the success of that work.

Surprise is a key copywriting weapon

Don’t ask how to be funny, said Laura, but ask instead how to be surprising. The Message podcast for GE is one such case study, she continued. A tale that twists and turns and devices to keep the listener entertained and challenged. For example, Wikipedia and Reddit threads feature as narrative detours for further reading and serve to deepen the whole experience of that content.

Laura closed by reinforcing her view that copywriters can avoid common pitfalls such as self-doubt and work fear by knowing who you are and what you are writing intimately, from the outset. To always re-write and seek to surprise. And to move your work through the gears, to constantly make it better in the quest for your words to be great.

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