Guest blog from Rachel Williams, professional copywriter.
I recently met with a prospective client to chat about the possibility of working with them and was pretty much completely thrown by one question they asked: which other copywriters do you admire?
I have to admit that I couldn’t name a single one – I was absolutely flummoxed. But I countered my inability to answer (I hope!) by saying that that’s the whole point. There are hundreds, probably even thousands of copywriters, beavering away all over the UK, but we are all essentially anonymous. Because we write for other people, other organisations, we don’t write with our own voices (at which point I think we would technically become authors or journalists), we write the voice of the paymaster.
But just because I don’t know their names, it doesn’t mean I don’t admire the work of other copywriters. Indeed, I have all sorts of bits and pieces squirreled away in drawers – brochures, ads torn from magazines, empty packaging, anything that I find inspirational or interesting. And right now, if I had the chance to sit in that meeting again, I know exactly what I’d say because in the last few weeks I have been constantly drawn to the Kia ad campaign running on television.
Normally, I’d take very little notice. I’m not in the market for a new car, and it’s not a brand I would consider even if I was. But those ads come on and I’m all ears. There’s actually very little to them: a stationary car in an empty white studio with a voiceover describing all the typical situations that could have been filmed, and a final assertion that there’s no need for such visual seduction, the car can speak for itself.
I love it! The cynic in me says that this is a cut-price solution to an expensive form of advertising, we all know the car industry has been severely affected by the recession. But I don’t care. Kia has had the balls to – as the ads say – ‘park the cliché’ and do something different. So the words are left to paint the picture that is missing and, exactly because we’ve seen it a million times over, we can imagine these cars speeding through deserted landscapes and the like.
It’s a great concept. Incredibly simple but great all the same. And I’m convinced that somewhere out there is a copywriter with a very broad and satisfied grin on their face, just knowing they’ve done a really good job. I know I would have. So, much respect to that unnamed talent!
Are you feeling inspired by any particular communications?