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Over the years, long copy ads have given way to much shorter, straight-to-the-point, advertising.
The reasoning people like to claim for this change is that society doesn’t like to read long copy anymore, however the popularity of Harry Potter sort-of flies in the face of that view.
In my mind – and it’s something I’ve said many times – it’s not about the length and more about the quality … though maybe I’m confusing that with what I tell my wife.
But writing from ‘be interesting to the audience’ perspectives aside, one other element of copywriting that has, in my mind, sadly declined, is the quality of the headline.
These days it’s either a very bad pun … a blatant cry for attention or some utterly beige bollocks.
Maybe this is more a sign of my age, but I recently came across a headline [via someone’s instagram feed] that not only grabbed my attention, but charmed me enough into wanting to know more.
No, I’m not joking, I’m serious.
This was it …
Yes … yes … I know all you can see is the headline so you can’t tell what it’s referring to, but that’s not the fault of the castle but the person who took the photo of it, however given I have an inherent loathing of castle visiting thanks to countless days as a child being dragged to all manner of them by my parents, the fact I would actually consider seeing whatever rundown piece of history they’re talking about is utterly amazing.
What I love about that headline isn’t just that it’s the antithesis of the shouty, meaningless and soulless rubbish you see in all manner of ads, from cars to clothes … nor is it that it’s got charm and a genuine human-touch to it … no, what I love about it is more than that, it’s the fact it’s intriguing and interesting – not in a contrived kinda-way, but in a genuine relevance to the product/brand kinda-way – and in these days where advertising either seems to talk a lot but says very little or spouts off a stream of ‘rational benefits’ that no one other than the marketing team gives a fuck about, it’s refreshing to see and, I would imagine, effective to encounter.
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