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Copywriting
Part 4: Effective Advertising Messages
Chapter 13
Chapter Outline
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
Chapter Key Points
Copywriting: The Language of Advertising
Copywriting for Print
How to Write Radio Copy
How to Write Television Copy
Writing for the Web
Copywriting in a Global Environment
13 - 2
Key Points
• Explain the basic style used for advertising
copy
• Describe the various elements of a print ad
• Explain the message characteristics and tools
of radio advertising
• Discuss the major elements of television
commercials
• Discuss how Web advertising is written
13 - 3
Copywriting:
The Language of Advertising
•
Four types of ads in which words are crucial
1.
2.
3.
4.
•
If the message is complicated
If the ad is for a high-involvement product
Information that needs definition and explanation
If a message tries to convey abstract qualities
Copywriter
–
The person who shapes and sculpts the words in
an ad
13 - 4
Advertising Writing Style
• Copy should be as
simple as possible
• Should have a clear
focus and try to convey
only one selling point
• Every word counts;
space and time are
expensive
•
•
•
•
•
•
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Practical Tips
Be succinct
Be single-minded
Be specific
Get personal
Keep a single focus
Be controversial
Be original
Use variety
Use imaginative
description
13 - 5
Advertising Writing Style
• Tone of voice
– To develop the right tone of voice, copywriters write to the
target audience as if they were in a conversation
• Grammar
– Copywriters must know the rules of grammar, syntax, and
spelling, though they will play with a word or phrase to
create an effect
• Adese
– Formulaic advertising copy
– Brag-and-boast copy
13 - 6
Copywriting for Print
• Display copy
– Elements readers see in
their initial scanning
• Body copy
– Elements that are
designed to be read and
absorbed
The Headline
• Key element in print
advertising
• Conveys the main
message
• Works with the visual to
get attention and
communicate creative
concept
13 - 7
How to Write Headlines
• A good headline will
attract those who are
prospects
• The headline must work
in combination with the
visual to stop and grab
the reader’s attention
• The headline must
identify the product and
brand, and start the sale
• The headline should
lead readers into the
body copy
– Direct-action headlines
– Indirect-action headlines
13 - 8
How to Write Other Display Copy
• Captions
– Have the second-highest readership and serve an
information function
• Subheads
– Sectional headlines used to break up a large block
of copy
• Taglines
– Short, catchy, memorable phrases used at the end
of an ad to complete the creative idea
13 - 9
How to Write Other Display Copy
• Slogans
– Repeated from ad to ad
as part of a campaign or
long-term brand identity
effort
– Can also be used as
taglines
•
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•
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Slogan Techniques
Direct address
A startling or
unexpected phrase
Rhyme, rhythm,
alliteration
Parallel construction
Cue for the product
Music
13 - 10
How to Write Body Copy
• Body copy
– The text of the ad
– Primary role is to maintain the interest of the reader
• Lead paragraph
– The first paragraph of the body copy
– Where people test the message and see if they want to read
it
• Closing paragraph
– Refers back to the creative concept and wraps up the Big
Idea
– Call to action
13 - 11
Print Media Requirements
• All media in the print
category all use the
same copy elements
• The way these elements
are used varies with the
objective for using the
medium
Newspapers
• Copy does not have to
work as hard to catch
audience’s attention
• Straightforward and
informative
• Writing is brief
13 - 12
Print Media Requirements
Magazines
• Better quality ad
production
• Ads can be more
informative and carry
longer copy
Directories
• Use a headline that
focuses on the service or
store’s personality
• Little space for
explanations
13 - 13
Print Media Requirements
Posters and Outdoor
• Primarily visual
• Words try to catch the
consumer’s attention
and lock in ideas
• An effective poster
marries words with
visuals
Product Literature
• Also called collateral
• Used in support of an ad
campaign
• Typically a heavy copy
format
13 - 14
How to Write Radio Copy
• Must be simple enough for consumers to
grasp, but intriguing enough to prevent them
from switching the station
• Ability of the listener to remember facts is
difficult
• Theater of the mind
– The story is visualized in the listener’s imagination
13 - 15
How to Write Radio Copy
• Voice
• Music
• Sound effects
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Radio Guidelines
Keep it personal
Speak to listener’s
interests
Wake up the inattentive
Make it memorable
Include call to action
Create image transfer
13 - 16
How to Write Television Copy
• Moving action makes television so much more
engaging than print
• The challenge is to fuse the images with the
words to present a creative concept and a story
• Storytelling is one way copywriters can
present action in a television commercial more
powerfully than in other media
13 - 17
Tools of Television Copywriting
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Video
Audio
Voice-over
Off camera
Other TV Tools
The copywriter must
describe all of these in
the TV script
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Talent
Announcers
Spokespersons
Character types
Celebrities
13 - 18
Planning the TV Commercial
• What’s the Big Idea
• What’s the benefit
• How can you turn that benefit into a visual
element
• Gain the viewer’s interest
• Focus on a key visual
• Be single minded
• Observe rules of good editing
• Try to show the product
13 - 19
Planning the TV Commercial
• Copywriters must plan
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Length of the commercial
Shots in each scene
Key visual
Where and how to shoot the commercial
• Scenes
– Segments of action that occur in a single location
• Key frames
– The visual that sticks in one’s mind
13 - 20
Scripts and Storyboards
• Script
– The written version of the commercial’s plan
– Prepared by the copywriter
• Storyboard
– The visual plan or layout of the commercial
– Prepared by the art director
13 - 21
Writing for the Web
• More interactive than any other mass medium
• Copywriter challenged to attract people to the
site and manage a dialogue-based
communication experience
• Banners
– Most common form of online advertising
13 - 22
Writing for the Web
• Web ads
– Create awareness and
interest in a product and
build a brand image
– Focus on maintaining
interest
• Other Web formats
–
–
–
–
Games
Pop-up windows
Daughter windows
Side frames
13 - 23
Copywriting in a Global
Environment
• Language affects the creation of the
advertising
• Standardizing copy content by translating the
appeal into the language of the foreign market
is dangerous
• Use bilingual copywriters who can capture the
essence of the message in the second language
– Back translation
13 - 24