The dying art of Copywriting

Undoubtedly, living life in the fast lane has its consequences. Time is at a premium. We live in an instant age where everything is wanted ‘right now’. People stay in touch through 140 characters spelt out in the micro-blogging sites. Your status is defined not so much by your work or social standing, but by your presence in social media. It surprises me to see the way people read these days.  It is just a cursory glance – a typical lackadaisical attitude, to say the least. It seems like most of us are victims of a chronic condition of ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

With shrinking concentration spans, how can traditional long copy survive in advertising world? While advertising greats like David Ogilvy, Neil French, Bruce Barton swore by long copy, the recent trend has been to stick to, what is often considered a style statement – minimalism. The popular notion is that long copy ads don’t work anymore which is why everyone – from FMCG clients to government offerings – prefers the short copy.

That’s not true. It was never true. It all depends on the brief given to the agency, how much the client wants to reveal about the product, what the media plan is and whether it allows for a long format. If one is interested in a certain brand, he will read any ad about that. Or if someone is interested in a particular category like, say, buying a car, he would read ads of that category, whether long or short. So you will have readers, be it for the craft or for the category.

Personally, I believe good copywriters are hard to find. A reader’s disinterest is cited as an excuse to mask their inability of the writer to do what he should be doing – writing.

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