THE DIFFICULTY OF CREATIVE COPYWRITING!
Why Ads Are So Hard To Create!
Should Copywriting and Commercials Be considered Art
by Stu Leventhal (author, business consultant, entrepreneur...)
It is no secret that people do not like commercials! The promotional writer has to overcome the stigma that accompanies all words written for economic gain. Copywriters often attempt to disguise their words from being ads until the ending. This sets up a feeling of mistrust between the reader and the writer that has to be overcome. Copywriters use sweetened words, often emulating fine literature as well as popular writing styles of the times to hook a reader then they struggle to find the best time to slip their sales pitch in hoping the reader will not be appalled too much.
An author of a sci-fi thriller can engross himself in the story and his characters and let his or her imagination run free. The story is all that matters! A copywriter does not have that liberty to create whatever he or she wishes. There are rules and laws and expectations for every industry a copywriter writes for. A copywriter has business obligations and money making motives pushing his creativity and that means added pressures from deadlines and being accountable to people, many people who are often sticking their two cents into your creative process. There is a lot of money at stake with any type of ad writing and more than just the copywriter’s reputation is often on the line.
Copywriting, words put together to promote a product or service usually lack the sparkle of literary writing straight out of the box because copywriters have to be able to write about all kinds of subjects they may or may not feel passionate about. Copywriting is a business first and fore most so the ability to choose one’s writing subjects is for the most part off the table. Clients need copywriting for the projects they are pursuing and often that is the only work that is available. Therefore the copywriter has to be able to get his mind into the creative mode for the work at hand, any work that is presented to him or her. There is often a lot of research to do before word one can be put on paper!
The copywriting process is usually complicated from start to publication. The copy will go through many hands and many people will voice their opinions and unleash their influence on the final outcome. Add the fact that most copy will be tested before it is released on the full market place. This means the experienced copywriter knows his copy is slated to be tested and will be put through many trials and edits after edit will be made before it is actually published. Titles and phrases are tested then modified then tested again, over and over to see which draws the best reaction from readers. In the world of big business even the slightest increase in attention given to an ad can mean millions of dollars lost or gained! Can you see how all these distractions can take away from the creative writing process and shackle the copywriter’s artistic hands?
Copywriting is a very high pressured, high performance oriented profession. Ad writers are usually criticized for putting money before their art. They are put down by their writing peers, scholars and the so called literary community at large. Most copywriting work is performed incognito meaning commercials, sales pitches and advertising copy do not openly display the copywriter’s name as author like a poem or story would. Copywriters are rarely given the respect that other main stream authors get. They are labeled sell outs! I for one am tired of the illusion of the starving artist being romanticized. Artists of all kinds have a right to make a living, live a fulfilling life and support their families! The idea that struggling writers and artists of all kinds live a fantastic bohemian life style is a myth. Struggling artists and writers are engrossed in their art; studying, practicing and experimenting to create their own styles! A Creative writer’s time is spent writing and revising their manuscripts and reading the masters of old.
Should copywriting and advertisements be considered art? Of course, if they are worthy enough, entertaining enough and worthwhile reading. Art is a record of life and you can bet good money on the fact that a hundred years from now today’s advertisements will be hanging in museums and displayed in art galleries and selling for fortunes in antique shops! Art is in the eye of the beholder. Whoever said advertisements and commercials were not art! One’s advertisements and commercials represent one’s generation better than many history books! Copywriters are people too! Copywriting requires mastering all the language, diction, grammar and word usage skills as all the literary genres do and much more. In a modern society no one should be put down for trying to earn an honest living, especially copywriters!
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