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Advice and help for would be copywriters

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Have You Ever Heard The Laughable Like...

Have you ever heard the laughable like? It sounds to me like a good case for the nearest asylum. Has it never occurred to these statistics-wielding lulus that they are having their legs unmercifully pulled? Do they not know that when people are button-holed on the street by strangers with time-wasting questions, they will mostly say the first thing that comes into their head? It may have struck you, like it has me, that the concept of spurious awareness is, in itself, very, very spurious. It begins with a figment of the imagination on the part of the researchers, and it results in a lie, conscious or otherwise, on the part of those questioned. The Monty Python team in all its genius could not have devised a more absurd scenario. But that's research for you so beware.

Research should be viewed with the same circumspection that one would present to some old chap with a conical hat and a beard who told you he could transmute mercury into gold. 70 7 One critical swallow doesn't make a summer Assume that, with lots of fiery enthusiasm in your belly, you write a slightly contentious ad and, in a moment of insobriety, the client approves it and let's it run. Fifteen million readers do not email him criticizing it. Three readers do.

Should you be swayed by the client's opinion that the offending piece be revised before the next insertion? Alas, you'll probably have small option - though you can put up one almighty fight. And should. If you believe in what you're doing (and if you don't, why are you doing it?) then try not to succumb to the first choleric gentleman from Cheltenham Spa who writes to say that, in his ill-considered opinion, you are vastly in error.

8 Logos and taglines never sold anybody anything This, I admit, is too sweeping a statement to be wholly true. But it's true enough for all practical purposes. For those of you who wouldn't know a logo from a rubber-duck, a logotype is that graphic device which appears at the bottom of an ad (usually far too prominently) and which, presumably, is meant to give the reader a neat, symbolic representation of the company to store in his mind and take away with him. Taglines are designed, similarly, to reinforce the image of the product or the company - so they're warm, comforting and often patronizing statements with which to put the ad to bed. They also appear at the tail-end of the ad.

Only a tiny minority of taglines have any memorability, though. I quote: World's most experienced airline. The best tools you can lay hands on.

Better by design. Afore ye go. The appliance of science. They seem to qualify as having the right ingredients for memorability, on account of I remember them. Even so, taglines are not a 'stop me and buy one' the way headlines Almost final analysis 171 are, or should be.

Yet, and I speak from experience, once conceived and approved, both logos and taglines become sacred cows. They must always go into any ad and they must never be touched or otherwise adulterated. Like Frankenstein's monster, they develop a life and will of their own; and like them, they shamble around strangling perfectly good layouts, frightening designers and hypnotizing clients.

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