Copywriter definition by an Advertising School in NYC. Agree/Disagree?

5 replies
I was searching online for copywrting classes and advertising schools and I came up with the definition below: Do you guys agree with it?

It's very interesting because I think they teach "branding" instead of "direct response". Like all the commercials we see on tv.

I love direct response and I can't get enough of it, writing, reading, learning, etc. But I do wonder how different and how unique branding is. I mean, it is very general to say the least, and can't track results as accurate as direct response.

Hell, I just heard that new cologne (is it Gucci, I have no clue) paid Brad Pitt around $7,000,000 to recite 40 words. Imagine that copywriter writing those 40 words that have nothing to do with selling the product. I suppose he doesn't take resposibility for his writing since he's not selling anything. Is that a good carreer?

Anyway, the Ad School definition is below:


Copywriters are wordsmiths. They're smart
and can belt out one-liners with the best of
them. They can spell while the rest of the planet
can't and love the way words can change the
world. But most importantly, they have ideas.
The great thing for copywriters is that the Web
has brought copywriting back from the dead
and the curriculum reflects this rapidly evolving
media maelstrom. In most cases, the copywriting
students, will be teamed with art direction
students just as they will be teamed when they

work in an ad agency.
#advertising #agree or disagree #copywriter #definition #nyc #school
  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    Would be nice if they could shoehorn a sentence about selling into that definition.

    It's obvious they aren't thinking about direct response. We have the opposite prejudice around here, which is just as wrong headed.

    Branding can strengthen direct response. To understand why, you need to know what branding actually is. Branding is NOT image. Branding takes place entirely in the mind of the customer. Your brand is how the customer feels about you.

    The hottest brand on this forum is called Gary Halbert. Invoke that brand and watch the quoting and emoting begin.

    That Brad Pitt ad for Gucci is an attempt at branding. Gucci is attempting to transfer the positive feelings people have about Pitt (his brand) to their label.

    Most commercials people think of as branding efforts actually have a different goal. They are shooting for top of mind awareness (TOMA).

    Cavemen and taking lizards in auto insurance commercials are all about TOMA. That company is trying to be the first name you think of when it's time to buy auto insurance.

    A TOMA campaign can outperform direct response when the buying cycle for your category is externally long or unpredictable (plumbing, auto repair, insurance).

    Direct response and TOMA both benefit for strong branding.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by racso316 View Post

    I was searching online for copywrting classes and advertising schools and I came up with the definition below: Do you guys agree with it?
    The definition you quoted has at least one inaccuracy:

    "the Web has brought copywriting back from the dead"

    Copywriting was alive and well before the web. Space ads and mail ads were generating billions of dollars in sales each year.

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  • Profile picture of the author staceythewriter
    Originally Posted by racso316 View Post

    The great thing for copywriters is that the Web

    has brought copywriting back from the dead . . .

    Back from the dead? Really?

    I would be reluctant to take a course where they profess to be knowledgeable about the copywriting field, but don't realize the field never died and that copywriters are behind many of the written and/or spoken words coming out of many actors' mouths endorsing some product or service, and on much of the promotional correspondence ("junk mail") in their mailboxes, in white papers, on every advertisement affixed to buses and bus stops, on trains, on billboards, in radio scripts, some jingles (yes, copywriters!), taglines, retail signage/posters/POP, press releases and perhaps the vast majority of the printed marketing literature these folks lay their eyes on.

    We used to do it on typewriters; now we use computers. We used write for ads that appeared in magazines; now these ads are on the magazines' websites. The discovery meetings were all done in person; now we video-conference, etc. When I think of copywriting and its components, I am reminded of its inevitable and "natural" transition, its evolution, not its resurrection.

    Stacey Mathis
    Stacey Mathis Copywriting
    The Copywriter's Highway to Success
    Twitter: @staceythewriter

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  • Profile picture of the author davidreese

    It has to do with your goal. My guess is that is from the Miami Ad School -their NYC campus?

    If your goal is to get a job in an agency they are a good choice. They'll help you build a book and they have tons of contacts. If you goal is to do freelance work with a focus on direct response you can find course recommendations in the forum that are more appropriate.

    It helps if you are clear about your end goal.

    David Alger
    Thumbtack Bugle We Get the Word Out

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