Yesterday was the annual ConnectedTV Conference Brighton, where a range of industry experts guided us through the changes that are effecting the way people consume television. There were many lessons regarding the inevitable changes in how content is written, and how advertisers can interact with the audience. I’ve chosen to summarise what was most interesting to me, and that fits into two blog posts about TV advertising, audience consideration and content writing insights. This one concerns storytelling and the audience in modern media; I’ll follow it with one that’s all about the YouTube insights.
We live in a world where advertisers are being encouraged to come up with original branding at all costs. Even if it has nothing to do with the product. FirstDirect are trying to convince us they’re worth using because they’re unexpected (which is exactly what I don’t want from a bank), while O2 are trying to convince us they’re worth joining because of a cat behaving like a dog (which I find rather baffling, as they’re actively eschewing the quiet dignity of cats). Avoiding clichés is an admirable thing, as anyone can tell you, but sometimes I’d rather people erred more on the side of the unoriginal to give a convincing message. As I hope my latest real-world copywriting example will demonstrate.
This week I completed the design and content of a new website for OpenWater, a medical devices manufacturers’ consultancy firm, based in Hayward’s Heath. OpenWater have clients of all sizes (from start up to multinational), and offer a vast pool of experience in every stage of device manufacture, with expertise in design, production, quality assurance and bringing products to market. Amongst other services. They’re also lovely people. Continue reading
In my downtime between copywriting tasks, as any budding freelancer should, I scour books and blogs for tips and tactics to better understand the world of content writing. Half of the people on the internet offering advice, it seems, have one incredible tip that could change everything for you. They’re anxious to share it with you, but it’s hidden behind a fortified essay of additional information.
Making your point in as few words as possible is not all about choosing the right words. One area worth paying particular attention to is choosing the right tense. With a cover letter, a CV, a service history, and even with parts of a product description, you need to tell a story, no matter how short – and your choice of tense can greatly impact the meaning of your tale. Continue reading
Every time I visit Las Iguanas, before I’ve even ordered I find myself longing for my next visit. One look at their menu tends to make me think a single meal is not enough. You can see on their website and promotional material that they put a bit of effort into their copywriting, but it’s impressive, and worth noting, that their sales efforts continue after you’ve settled down to eat. I imagine there’s some personal preference involved (if you despise Latin American food then you might not be convinced), but I can’t help but be drawn in by every item on the menu. Continue reading
As a freelance writer, query letters are a fact of life for me. I started very early – sending novel submissions, back-stories for my favourite games, and general ideas for ‘inventions’. They rarely received a response. One of my more memorable efforts was an elaborate description of a computer game as part of a magazine competition. The hazardously formatted attachment of my MS Paint game characters won me a very angry response. Quite aside from the fact that it was a competition for computer games designers, not writers who could describe a game. That childish email made pretty much all the mistakes possible in a query or submission. Continue reading