10 Copywriting Tips From Adrian Holmes
Starting his advertising career in 1976, Adrian Holmes worked in a number of advertising agencies including Grey Advertising;, Saatchi & Saatchi, CDP (Collett Dickenson Pearce) and WCRS before becoming the Chief Creative Officer in Lowe. He later moved on to Young & Rubicam.
Adrian won awards at Cannes, D&AD, The One Show, Campaign Press Awards and the British Television Awards. In 1994, Adrian served as President of D&AD.
He wrote an essay giving ten very useful tips for copy writers in The Copybook: How some of the best advertising writers write their advertising. The Copybook presents the collective wisdom of some of the best creative minds who mastered the art and science of persuasive communication.
Adrian Holmes shares his wisdom in the form of ten tips to more effective copywriting.
1. Make the most of your deadline.
2. Before starting your copy, workout where it’ll end.
3. Keep the reader rewarded. Any copywriter has to strike a deal with the reader. And as far as the reader is concerned the deal is this: “I’ll keep reading as long as you keep me interested.” So always ask yourself: Have I expressed this in as original a way as possible? Have I been ruthlessly concise? Have I kept my side of the bargain?
4. Don’t over-egg the mix. Beware of loading your prose with too many jokes and verbal conceits. As a rule, the plainer you keep things, the greater effect of the occasional flourish.
5. Read Poetry. Why not? I think the best copywriting is a form of poetry. We fuss and fret about the way things sound as much as poets do. So study their techniques, see how they use language, rhythm, and imagery.
6. Read your copy out loud to yourself.
7. Don’t get too precious about your words.
8. Treat your copy as a visual object. For some reason, copy that looks good on the page has a knack of reading well, too.
9. Observe the Sonata structure, which has three phases: the exposition, the development, and the recapitulation.
10. The Good is the enemy of the Great. You have completed your 15th draft. You finally sit back and say to yourself: yup that’s good. Congratulations! Now tear it up and do it again. Only better. I told you this writing business was tough.
Follow these and you are sure to develop a winning persuasive communication strategy for your products, services and causes.