When approaching marketing collateral, web or advertising pieces, copy will play an important role. What you say, and how you say it, can make or break your piece. It can affect the designer and how they interpret what you want to convey from a visual aspect. It can also effect how audience receives the information – or if they do for that matter.

Copy can tell a story. It creates feeling, action and thought. And when done well, it acts as a guide.

Clients play a crucial role in the grand scheme of marketing. They convey the goals and information they’d like crafted into messaging from the marketing professionals in order to reach said goal. And after tons of questions, explanations, research and editing, your writing geniuses make it all into the perfect tool.

So how do you get people to read or engage in what you are writing about?

First step, identify the audience and choose a style. In this example, we will use branding and direct response.

Branding

Branding copy is written in a manner to make the audience “connect”, or feel a certain way about a product. It taps into your emotion. This style of writing can make you feel happy and joyous, it can give you a sense of confidence, pride or empowerment. It is meant to tell you a bit about how that particular brand shows up, what they stand for and who they are.

One of my all-time favorite branding examples is a campaign put out by Always. (For those lost souls who are unaware, they make feminine hygiene products). Back in 2014, they put out a campaign called Always #LikeAGirl. The premise of the campaign was to have people portray what it looks like to do something #LikeAGirl. Check out the commercial below.

How did that make you feel? For me, it left me feeling empowered. Like “this company really knows and supports women.” They are trying to change what it looks like to do something #LikeAGirl. I connected with it personally and it left an impact.

Another great branding campaign, happening right now, is by TJ Maxx.  They challenge you to find your inspiration with these powerful ads.

Meet Lily. Meet Kindness, Intelligence and Beauty. #maxxlife

TJ Maxx National commercial. #maxxlife

Here they are not selling clothes, or promoting any sort of sale, but telling you who they are,who they support and what they believe in as a company. They want to connect with their audience.

Direct Response

Ok. So then what is direct-response writing? For lack of better words, it is copy written in a manner that will solicit a direct response from its reader. For example, Lifelock. This company protects their clients from identity theft, so their messaging comes with a call to action.

Here the message is “ holy crap the world is out to get me and if I don’t get this fast I’ll be a victim of identity theft.“ Ok, maybe not verbatim. But you get the drift.

Petsmart is another great example of direct response marketing. This one is a bit more obvious with the offer enticement at the end. They give you a reason to contact them through a sale or product you need.

TEST TIME!

Ok, so let’s have a little fun! Below are a few clips of commercials and ads I’ve gathered for you. Your challenge is to guess which are utilizing branding copy, and which are direct response. Be sure to share your answers with us on Facebook to see how you did!

CLOSING:

If any of this has you scratching your head about where your brand is at, we’re here to help.

Article written by

art director/design master/dog whisperer