Successful copywriting requires a copywriter who can suppress their inner poet and their creativity in the name of delivering a professional product.
Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? Surely copywriting is all about creativity and ‘art’? Isn’t that the whole basis of writing… to compose, to create to amuse and astound?
Well… no. Once you start impressing your wit and wisdom on your audience you’ve lost. You’ve started on the slippery slope of writing for yourself you will be shedding readers until eventually your work is reduced to an audience of only one. You.
Art for art sake doesn’t make for good copy.
Don’t just take my word for it. When Advertising copywriting guru David Ogilvy says, ‘When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product,‘ he’s highlighting his firm belief that originality, ‘the most dangerous word in the lexicon of advertising,’ is the enemy.
Whist appreciating that intelligently applied creativity, a balanced mix of killer and poet, can contribute to a campaign’s success, he emphasises the absolute necessity to keep your eye fixed firmly on the prize (whatever the cost in artistic terms).
So what is the prize?
Well, as Ogilvy clearly saw it, and 99.99% of businesses investing hard earned cash in copywriting also see it, is of course – the sale.
It’s strange that so many copywriters fail to see it, too.