You ever get that feeling when you invent a sure-fire recipe to create impeccable copies? Yeah, me neither. And if you are reading this to come across the ‘unbeatable writing formula’, I’m sorry to disappoint you — the headline’s only there to grab your attention (though I, with great uncertainty, hope you’ll find the read somewhat interesting).
Ever since I got involved in the advertising/marketing sector, I’ve been coming across this single statement multiple times: ‘great marketing copies have been responsible for taking businesses to new heights throughout history’. Given that innovation has very little to do to revolutionize a business and innovative people are less heard of than great copywriters, at least people like me from this field know it’s true—no wonder why copywriting fascinates me.
Jokes apart, but it’s the marketing copy helping a product or service stand out in the crowd that has been dictating our minds in choosing what to consume. If there were no copies, you’d never feel like drinking Coke over Pepsi. But we all know: drinking Coke liberates us from the regular dullness, refreshes us to the next level, or even helps us live longer if consumed every day though it’s just an unhealthy drink that comes with a lot of calories. Furthermore, driving an unreliable, can-break-down-at-anytime Jaguar will never let you down, if it’s about your ego or class, over driving a reliable Civic. So you don’t mind paying a quadruple amount to travel from point A to point B.
Yes, copywriting rules. It’s never been a better time to become a writer since now is when everyone is sprinting to please the digital world (or whatever that’s ruling the world right now), which is only intelligent enough to understand words. Forget designers, the architects, the animators, or the illustrators: their work is nothing if it’s not translated to the machine in the form of a few simple words. And who does it all? The dumb people who don’t mind typing all day.
Businesses don’t need to compete for prime time spots to promote their goods and services anymore, which means, if done correctly, a small startup can shake a billion-dollar empire with its campaign — just like Dollar Shave Club took down the market share of woke Gillette, who don’t mind losing customers for their political agenda (we’ll see about that in coming years, sir). Businesses don’t need to stick on with hundred-dollar a piece cigar-smoking copywriters either. However, since the competition is big and the consumers have zillions of choices, businesses need good content to assure their customers and great copies to sell the products (except on social media where you don’t want to look smart for obvious reasons). Bottom line: we need great marketing copies than ever.
So how to you write ‘the world’s best copy’? The best answer is: no one knows.
If you are in Central London and ask someone how to get to Picadilly Circus, they’ll probably tell you to take a few rights and lefts and pass a few roundabouts, which will get you there. But if you ask experts how to write an excellent copy, they’ll tell you all the ways you could take to get there, such as you should first understand your customers, you should be a wordsmith, you should think differently etc. etc. but never tell you the exact answer because there is not a single correct answer to it.
From my point of view, great copies are like treasures, only cheaper. It may take forever to find the right material, or you may get it right away. And the worth of what you discover is entirely up to the ones who buy it. I think anyone can write the world’s best copy, but definitely not someone who doubts a three-foot bloke’s chess-playing ability just because they know the NBA. The most important thing is understanding the game’s rule and being consistent with what you’re doing.