All posts in the Copywriting category

Copywriter chat: Ten minutes with Nick Asbury

Nick Asbury is one of Britain’s most-awarded copywriters and a thoroughly good bloke to boot. He consistently produces truly inspiring work for everyone from Little Chef and Unicef to Cambridge University. Nick always has a creative side-hustle on the go, whether that’s Corpoetics (found poetry from corporate websites), his Perpetual Disappointments Diary or, most recently, […]

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Snapshots from D&AD Writing for Design 2018

It was a sign. On the street leading up to the Truman Brewery in East London, there was an empty Argos microwave box bearing the slogan ‘Heat. Ding. Done.’ This clever packaging project won a D&AD Writing for Design award two years ago, the last time I was on the panel. I kept an eye […]

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How to win a D&AD Writing for Design award

How to win a D&AD Writing for Design award Last week a clutch of copywriters gathered in the basement of the Truman Brewery to judge the D&AD Writing for Design category. Led by foreman Nick Hynes, our jury included Ben Afia, Katie Ewer, Dave King, Afy Nou and Claudia Ruane. We’d been instructed to be […]

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4 ways to use poetry in copywriting

How can you smuggle poetic techniques into business writing? Rishi Dastidar gave an eloquent demonstration at this year’s Wordstock festival, where a flock of copywriters gathered to celebrate their love of writing. He called his session ‘A poet’s guide to killing’ and, in classic storytelling mode, said that he’d tell us what that meant at […]

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How to make an impact with charity copywriting

What effect do the words you use have on your fundraising success? Here we investigate the impact of good charity copywriting. At the last count, there were over 195,000 charities in the UK, all looking to attract support, donations and – wherever possible – life-long allegiance to their cause. Whether charities succeed or fail in […]

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Velvet antlers; hidden talents

You might remember that a few weeks ago I mentioned a new project, 26 Stories of Christmas. Well, the site went live yesterday for the first day of advent. Day one features my 62 word poem about the flying reindeer of Finland. The 62 word poem, or ‘sestude’, is inspired by the fabulous drawing of Santa […]

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How not to pitch a film script

“Go on, pitch us a film!” That was the bold – and unusual – challenge from David Parfitt of Trademark Films to people from writers’ collective 26. Film production companies don’t normally hold X Factor style auditions for film ideas, and it’s rare for them to consider suggestions from people without heavyweight screenwriting credits. So the […]

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Horror stories at Shoreditch Town Hall

It was the day before Hallowe’en – a suitably sombre evening for a night of horror stories hosted by D&AD. Shoreditch Town Hall was packed with people keen to hear terrifying tales of screw ups from ad industry insiders. Here are five things I learned. 1. “The key to brilliant work is to have no […]

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Teenage Cancer Trust Christmas cards

The other day I was sent this picture of reindeers pulling Santa’s sleigh. The child who drew it has cancer and is being helped by the Teenage Cancer Trust. It’s all to do with a new writing project that brings together copywriters like myself from writers’ group 26 and children supported by the Teenage Cancer Trust […]

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Soak it in a pond, soak it in the sea

I caught the Stradivarius exhibition at the Ashmolean on the very last day. Had forgotten all about it until the curator, Jon Whiteley, popped up on the Today programme, talking about how people behave in museums. He told the story of someone who came in to show him a violin, convinced it was a very […]

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Once upon a housing estate

Since Procter & Gamble hired Jim Bangel 40 years ago and made him their official ‘Storyteller’, the profession of ‘corporate storyteller’ has become increasingly mainstream. Storytellers now pop up all over the place, not just in their natural habitat – marketing and advertising – but in oil and gas companies, the automotive sector and software […]

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Language: with extra chilli sauce

‘Arrange the langoustines on top in a wigwam fashion’. This instruction caught my attention when I was cooking dinner the other night.  I’ve never made a wigwam of langoustines before, but this was an admirably clear piece of stage direction. Of course, if the shellfish had been alive it might have been tricky. But as […]

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Designer Soapbox: Gill Thomas

Gill Thomas has played many roles since she left Liverpool Poly with a fresh BA Hons in Graphic Design. She’s been a designer, team leader, creative partner and board director. She’s worked for some of the most influential design agencies around, including Pentagram, Newell & Sorrell and The Partners, and her clients have ranged from […]

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10 public speaking tips from actor Sharon Duce

How to own the room When we give a presentation, we turn into animals, according to actor and public speaking coach Sharon Duce. Our bodies break into fight or flight mode, anticipating an attack. Our hearts race, our mouths go dry and our jaws tense up. We scan the room for predators. Will they come […]

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How do you celebrate a petabyte? A party planner’s dilemma.

The other day, sitting in a yard in Shoreditch, in front of luminous orange glasses of Aperol and Prosecco lined up on a garden table made of an old pallet, Charlie announced that his boss wanted to celebrate a petabyte. Well, of course you’d want to celebrate a petabyte if you had one, wouldn’t you? […]

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