Category Archives: Marketing
Well this is interesting.
This is the Direct Marketing Association’s attempted analysis of the state of the copywriting industry. The film – Madmen v Mavens – poses several questions to two separate groups; one of seasoned agency writers, and another of young whippersnapper writers. The results are interesting – see for yourself and let me know what you think.
I’ve written a couple of blogs for different organisations this month. They all had one thing in common; they wanted to give their opinion on something relevant to their industry or area of expertise without offending or alienating customers and service users. Which isn’t that simple, because it’s very easy to offend when you critique. Not because you’re being aggressive, but because others may be defensive.
To really withdraw from this risk, you need to sit on the fence. In this position, you can balance the view from both fields. Which is fine when you want to produce bland copy that helps people explore both sides of a coin. But, when you’re looking for something attention-grabbing, sitting on the fence – as the saying goes – gives you splinters. Personally, I don’t get on with opinion ‘from the fence’. Not just because I don’t want to spend my evening removing splinters, but because I don’t trust it.
So, what do you do? You take a clear position. Here are the benefits:
An interesting piece popped up on Yahoo News last week; an account about a council tax scam where fraudsters contact you to say you’re due a financial reward as a thank you for paying your bill by direct debit.
Now I don’t know about you, but the concept of my local council financially rewarding me for paying tax would be enough to make me click ‘SPAM’ faster than you can say ‘seriously unlikely state incentive’. However, clearly enough people were falling for this to warrant its broadcast, albeit hidden within the confused jumble that is Yahoo’s landing page. So I read the whole thing and there – towards the end – was a paragraph about spelling.
With only a week to go, this is just irresistible. Jonathan Jones introduces a feature in today’s Culture Guardian showcasing alternative takes on the political campaign poster from some of Britain’s leading artists. You can see their work here plus more detailed commentary from each artist (and Jonathan’s introduction) here.
I agree with the article tone that official campaign offerings are more than unimpressive, but I’ve really enjoyed the unofficial and not so underground stuff like My David Cameron. If anyone can teach the big parties a thing or two about clear copy, it’s the creators of some of these gems.
Very early comments on the Guardian site suggest there is a big gap between fine art and graphic design when it comes to posters. My own take – unsurprisingly – is it comes down to the copy and the connection the copy has with the design. Hence my favourite of the lot is this one by Goshka Macuga. Clear, clever, totally connected to its purpose and comes with a back-story.
A busy few weeks in the Kate Starling copy room have kept me away from my blog for too long. *Imagine doleful, semi-troubled and slightly sheepish emoticon here. If only English punctuation could cut it.*
On the non-doleful side of things, I’ve got a stack of new stuff to share which I shall slowly nourish you with in the coming days. And even better than that… Net result of busy few weeks is a big Hello and Welcome to two new Kate Starling copy converts: Ferrier Pearce a rather lovely and talented bunch of designers from the South East and moving north: Beach Marketing an equally creative and technically clever team from Northampton.
Delighted to have them both on-board and looking forward to posting some of the results of our ventures on here.
Back sooner than I was last time.
I’ve been reading a few blogs by fairly well-lit individuals in the business and marketing world. Some appear to conjure up new concepts on a regular basis. Quite aside from how exhausting this must be, it made me think about whether it’s actually possible to come up with more than one Big Idea.
One or two of my subscriptions include the blogs of successful business gurus, considered experts who are watched by a certain sector of Corporate plc for the next big thing – this on the basis that they’ve already delivered one widely adopted Big Idea. But are subsequent pearls of wisdom original new ideas of value and reason for contact, or just the same story set in a different scene?