Top 24 Things Every Junior Copywriter Should Know

Ideas

An ad is more than just a visual or headline. There has to be a concept behind it. Know how to tell the difference between what is an idea and what isn’t.

Actions

Call to action: What do you want them to do? You need to expect some kind of outcome from your advertising. What do you want to happen, aside from immediate and colossal sales? How are you going to do it? Know all possibilities.

Agencies

You should know how an agency is run. The positions, titles, and responsibilities of each department. Not all agencies are the same either. Research and discover which one is suitable for you.

Body copy

Some ads just work better with copy. Like difficult, complicated, or controversial subjects. Or when you need to differentiate products. If you want to change someone’s mind or have him or her do something difficult, a catchy slogan is not enough. When writing copy, what you say is more important than how you write it. Style can follow later on.

Campaigns

A campaign is a series of ads that work individually and cumulatively to communicate the advertiser’s message to the target audience. Campaigns from a clients point of view is a more effective, profitable, and longer lasting for their brand. Find out what elements are included in a campaign.

Concepting

Concepting is the creative process when developing a big idea. For example, for a print concept you have to figure out what is the one thing you want to say about the product and how you’re going to show it. Learn tips, techniques and universal methodologies to help you concept.

Critiques

Should be short, constructive and to the point. Phrases should be like :

  • I don’t get it
  • been done before
  • sounds like advertising
  • boring
  • too cute
  • ridiculous
  • sounds like bullshit
  • good

Do’s and Don’ts

Advertising-ese, Laundry lists, Bad taste, Poor grammar, Deadwood, Wimpy words, and Generic benefits are just a few of the many things you must stay away from. Avoiding these common traps will make your ads tighter.

Execution

Demonstrate the product in use. Show the product itself. Present a close-up of some critical part of the product. Emphasize not the product but a person connected to it. Go a step further and show the lifestyle the product helps create. Ridicule the product. Make fun of the audience. Make old ads new. Find an old form and breathe a new sensibility into it. There are so many ways to present your message. Do the opposite, don’t look anything like an ad. Despite intentions, traditional ads scream, “I’m an ad!” Just do something else instead. The majority of people hate ads. Learn how to make them appreciate it.

Headlines

Before you’re satisfied with one headline, run it past this check list. Should cover at least some of these guide lines.

o Let your headline sit for a while. Do you still love it a day later? Or are you embarrassed to repeat it out loud to somebody?

o Does your headline/ visual make sense or is it completely irrelevant?

o Can you omit anything to make it stronger?

o Try not to use puns unless it serves a purpose.

o Can you do the “billboard test” and still have a concept that makes sense?

o Does your headline appeal to the reader’s self-interest?

o Does your headline attract readers into the body copy?

o Is this the best you can do? Can you do a list of great headlines? Think campaigns.

Humor

Finding out human truths will make your ad all the better. What do people say to themselves and each other about your client’s product category or brand? What do people all notice but never speak on? What has your own inner speech been saying to you?

Images

Don’t decorate an ad to death. The strongest ideas are the simplest. Art directing is equally as important when crafting an ad. Find the best way to show your idea. Don’t limit your self or give excuses that Google or gettyimages didn’t have the picture you were looking for and “this is all you had to work with”. Be resourceful.

Inspiration

Start a visual scrap book. Sketch, doodle, include jotting down anything that makes you laugh. Ways and actions people respond to things…

Interviews

Be prepared to correctly respond when the recruiting director says “So…tell me about yourself.” , “How much do you want to get paid?” , or “What are your weaknesses?”

Layouts

Here are some of many guidelines you should review:

o Did you consider alternatives? (You can never have too many thumbnails.)

o Did you consider the Four Principles of Design?

o Did you use white space effectively?

o Does your layout have a pleasing and logical visual flow?

o Did you choose display type that matches the tone of the ad?

o Is the body copy inviting to read-the right size and proportion?

o Did you honor the margins-allow enough space around critical elements?

o Did you keep it simple? (Less is more.)

Networking

Online resumes rarely get read. You should spend 70% of your time talking on the phone and networking through people you know. Why do all the grunt work yourself? Talk to people. Ask for informational interviews. Come armed with questions and follow up questions:

o How did you become interested in the field?

o How did you get your job here?

o What skills do you find yourself using consistently?

o What type of background do you think is important for this field?

o What technology skills are critical for new employees?

o How has the industry changed over the last ten years?

o What do you like about this job?

o What is the most difficult thing about this industry?

o What attracted you to the industry?

o What makes someone successful here?

o Where do you see the industry going in the next five years?

o What are the key business issues your company is facing?

o How do you differentiate your business from that of your competitors?

Positioning

Where a brand stands compared to its competitors in the consumers mind. Before you develop the position of your client’s product, you have to ask:

o What is the current position?

o What is the competitor’s position?

o Where do you want to be?

o How are you going to get there?

Process

Getting the facts. Brainstorming with a purpose. Finding the reference/visuals. Drawing a writer’s rough. Working with the art director and the rest of the team. Preselling the creative director and account executive. Selling the client. Great execution. Maintaining continuity. Discovering what worked and why. Know these steps in detail.

Taglines

If they’re done right, taglines can be the most important element of a campaign…

Typefaces

Like many of the design choices you’ll make, your choice of type and color goes a long way toward enhancing awareness and building strategic comprehension. You must have a reason for the typeface you chose. Typography has its own language. Know typefaces and understand them.

Biographies

Know some of the ad greats. At least know who Ogilvy is.

Books

“Hey Whipple Squeeze This” is a mandatory read for anyone getting into this field. Start a library of ad books. Discover other titles that are very interesting and insightful.

Guerilla Ad’s

You’re not just staging a stunt, you’re communicating a brand truth. Stay on strategy. What does your client’s brand need to do or say, and is this a good way to get it done? Know about what benefits and risks you should consider when placing ads in advertising free zones.

Public Speaking

In selling your ideas, you’re also selling yourself. Your insight of the target audience will drive your presentation. It’s very simple-who are you talking to/what will you tell them/how will you deliver the message/how do you know it will work? Don’t memorize. Know your material and speak from the heart, not from memory.

Good Luck!



Source by Sergio Fermin

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