A Copywriter's Rant: Either You Get it, Or You Don't

Dina Giolitto
 


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Today I am having a rant inside of my own head. Woo hoo, the copywriter is losing it again! Maybe.

Maybe not, though. I like to think that these internal mini earthquakes I have are the root to a more productive mindset. Are you a copywriter, too? Then you probably share my angst. Let's work this one out together.

Here it is. I have the pleasure of chatting with many marketers who go through the swinging door of my freelance business. I've come to the conclusion that they either get it, or they don't. Meaning, they get my drift, my style, my meaning. And if they don't get it, all the articles and advertising concept pitches in the world aren't going to make them see it my way.

I will give you an example of people “not getting it. " Maybe you can relate.

A client comes to me with some fairly dull website copy. He says, “We want to totally rework this to be more edgy, like the Vitamin Water website. " So I go to Vitaminwater.com. What I see is some MAJOR edgy web copy. It's so edgy, it's bordering on blasphemous. Seems the Vitamin Water people are drinking that stuff to purify their dirty little souls. Go there, you'll see what I mean.

So this client of mine then occupies most of my New Year's week with his grandiose plan for the copy overhaul. I give him a little edge, but tone it down because the Vitamin Water site is a bit much for what he sells.

Guess what happens? He cuts our contract short and then takes his site down for “the big relaunch" doing whatever he did after we parted ways. After SIX MONTHS, he then puts up a new version of his website that's NEARLY IDENTICAL to the old one!

That dude did not get it. He loved someone else's bawdy concept, but failed to realize it wasn't what HE wanted for his own business. And then he had some kind of freakout I guess, and decided to go “back in the box. " The guy spent six months of his time and hard-earned money to figure out he didn't really want to do what he thought he wanted to do. What a shame.

Copywriters encounter people like this all the time. Whether you're freelance, small agency, in-house or Madison Avenue, at least half your clients will ask you to create something specific for them, when deep inside that's the exact opposite of what they really want. But still, you go through the painful motions, all the while knowing that you're not being “got" and this is not going to work out.

So, why do it then? Why keep TALK TALK TALKING all this marketing hype, target-audience, blow-sales-through-the-roof power copywriting? Why the articles, why the networking, why the fever?

Because eventually, you will find someone who DOES GET IT. And when you do. . . oh, the ecstasy! Damn, but there's nothing like the joy of creation with someone, or better still a group of Someones, who are of the same mental mindset.

Advertising is a little like your relationships. You may go on fifty-five dates with 13 different people, and each one manages to get under your skin somehow. All seems hopeless. You think you're an island. Then along comes The One.

What? Instead of bickering, boredom or tension, you can actually find peace, harmony, great conversation and big thrills with someone on this planet who likes you for you? Amazing. That can happen in your advertising and marketing endeavors, too. It's utter synergistic bliss. It's a natural high, and it's the reason for all of this fuss in the first place.

Okay then, how do you find this elusive promised land? How will you ever love and be loved in this big, hopeless world of clashing wills and big egos and impossible marketing dreams?

You have to get out there and let yourself be found.

To all of those new-agey people out there who like to go off about the Laws of Attraction in Advertising? I feel you! I hear what you're saying, and you're totally right.

Just put yourself out there and do what you do best. . . and someday, someone is going to come knocking who GETS IT. And that, Copywriter Friends, is what I call NIRVANA.

Rant over. Peace out.

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

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