Sunday, October 14, 2012

Everyone's A Copywriter Now

It's getting harder and harder for us Creatives to feel special, when there are so many damn people nowadays doing more or less exactly what we do, on the internet, for free.

I was researching memes recently for an ad, and what struck me was how similar they are to print ads. 

First World Problems

College Freshman

Overly Attached Girlfriend

And of course, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there making YouTube films, many of which are like TV ads, except the budget is zero, and the makers do it for free (excepting the very few superstars of YouTube, who make just a few thousand dollars a year).

It used to be that advertising occupied a unique space. There was Art, which was 'up there'. Then there were TV shows and movies, which were somewhere 'over there'. The two closest things to advertising were comedy sketch shows, which we pillaged ruthlessly to make ads out of, and conceptual pop videos, which we, um, also pillaged ruthlessly to make ads out of.

I guess my point is that what we do is beginning to have less and less scarcity value.

Are we sitting on our asses as complacently as first-world call centre workers in 2006?


Lubomir said...

Scamp, I see you’ve discovered my secret love - Natalie Tran... I’m warning you! She’s mine!

Probably very soon we'll be living in a world, where technologies such as 3-D printing will be available to everybody and anybody with a smart idea and a little expertise will be able to make their ideas a reality. It starts with - “everyone’s a copywriter” but it will lead to “everyone’s can make their own pair of sneakers or mobile thingy”. I find it wonderful.

By the way this week I’ve researched title sequence making for my blog and look what I’ve found - this is exactly what you are talking about:

Anonymous said...

The way I look at it is this: most of the internet/memes/online stuff is cool, but its creators didn't start with a problem. They simply thought of something cool to create and made it. In this way, it can be likened to scam advertising.

On the other hand, true advertising uses a client's problem as its starting point and it's our job to create a solution for that problem.

Years ago, my art director was expressing his love of film directors and I pointed out that yes, while the good ones are very clever people - they have one job, and that is to engage/entertain people.

As advertisers, we have an objective on top of that which is to sell something (be it a product, a point of view, etc).

That is the difficult part is in our job - finding a solution to fit a brief or marketing objective, rather than just make 'cool shit'. That said, if you can make cool shit that achieves the objective, hats off.

Charles Edward Frith said...

Advertising is toast. The clock is ticking on two counts. One is cold fusion or LENR free energy and 3D printing. It's a race to the bottom on price and so software for printing out flip flops will be where the action is at. The other impending doom for advertising is trust in mainstream media. Ordinary people now understand that corporate media cover's for the power elite in the most despicable of scenarios (eg. Jimmy Savile) and when the penny drops that on balance mainstream media is toxic and poisonous the hold it has over people will dwindle.

These are my forcasts and this is not the first time I've gone on record as such.

Here's an example of my own copwriting headline. I do it frequently for posts.

K said...

The YouTube superstars earn 100K+ BTW.

Anonymous said...

Dear Scamp, here's a totally unrelated question for you. Maybe you could answer it in a future post or in a reply. Here goes: How do you get out of a bad agency into a good one?

Scamp said...

Do great work.

If you can't do great work on the briefs you have there, do proactive ads.

That is all.

Anonymous said...


Scamp said...

Too long, at 226 words? I think that says more about you, frankly

below the parapet said...

Yet to find a website where people post up 6pp leaflets, birthday cards for senior clients and shiploads of new names for the same old product. So I'm safe. Fuck the Sword of Damocles.

Dan said...

I remember when Roy & HG said "Lots of guys are funny, but we can be funny when the red light comes on"

Anonymous said...

Is she funny because she's hot to hot because she's funny?

Scamp said...

Ah yes, the so-called 'Sarah Silverman question.' But whichever caused whichever, i agree with you.

tallllama said...

The problem is much bigger. It's become a world of DIYers. There's a dearth of professionalism. Everyone's a copywriter, designer, photographer, director and editor. And it's all due to technology and access to computers and information. We're all doctors (WebMD), we're all lawyers (LegalZoom), we're all accountants (Quicken). Yes, anyone can do anything, but that doesn't mean they'll do it well. And until someone dies due to a horrible self-diagnosis based on bad information culled from the Interwebs, we'll probably continue along this path.