He was the Abbott in Abbott Mead Vickers, considered the greatest copywriter of his generation.
In those days all the best London ad agencies were running long copy ads – and I mean l-o-o-o-n-g copy, as in a full page broadsheet filled with columns of type.
Ads like those were a kind of commercial storytelling, and boy, did some of them ramble on.
But marketing’s evolved exponentially since those days. It’s a very different animal now.
The business of brand promotion has become a whole other story in a world that moves a lot faster, where everything’s available and we all want it now.
It means today’s breed of copy has to run to keep up. It also has to change shape and tone, and adapt to fit an ever changing range of new media.
Long copy still has a role – in the right context – yet even then you’ll be lucky if your headline gets read. And that could be the only thing that is read if it doesn’t grab your audience by the proverbials and make them read the copy.
Whatever the context or the medium, a good headline traditionally had just one purpose – to get people to read the first line of the body copy. And that first line’s job was to make them read the line after it, and so on, right down to your call to action.
These days, copy needs to work effectively across a broad spectrum of media. It must cut through the cacophony of messages and make your brand unmissable.