Copywriting - a Historic Background

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Copywriting is a missing word in many dictionaries.

Here are a few definitions.

'Copywriting is any writing that promotes a product or service'

'Copywriting is any writing that offers a product or service for sale.'

'Copywriting is writing to promote a product, service or an idea.'

There are many more definitions you can find on line.

'Copywriting' was made- up word. Writers used to study old ads. They would figure out why certain ads were successful. They would copy certain elements and use them in their own copy. It was a matter of 'copy-write.'

There were no copywriting schools then.

Let us look at two practical cases.

'Two Young men,' was a masterpiece written by Martin Conroy in 1974 (in just a few hours.) It's a two page letter.

Where did Martin Conroy get ideas for his $1 billion letter he wrote for the 'Wall Street Journal'?

Conroy's format is that of Bruce Burton who wrote about two men who served in the American Civil War. It was written in 1919. The two later got reunited.
Burton got his format from an inspirational ad written by Ruthrauff and Ryan.

The ad was for a memory- enhancing seminar.

It was a matter of 'copy-write, copy-write.' It was the format and a few 'words that sell,' which were copied.

Remember to copywrite with copyright observations.

Here is another 'copy-write' evolution of a great ad.

This was written by John Caples in 1925, a copywriting legend. He worked for Ruthrauff and Ryan where he was given to study a binder of 100 successful ads. He was also given a stack of thousands of failed ads to study.

He later composed a famous ad, 'They laughed when I sat down at the piano -'
Note the difference here.

He studied both successful and failed ads.

Do you have any other similar story about the evolution of copywriting.

Let us share!
#background #copywriting #historic

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