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David Ogilvy

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Another copywriter has been amusing my girlfriend! But it’s OK. There’s nothing dodgy going on. In fact, if you’ve ever seen the famous copywriter Drayton Bird give a talk, you’ll already know he’s a charming old sod.And irreverent too, which is probably why I get on with him. (I guess our shared appreciation of swearing helps too.) I’ve seen him speak a few times now. But over in the US recently, it was the first…

Dan Adams is an award-winning freelance copywriter who has worked with some huge names including Virgin Media, British Gas and PayPal. I caught up with him recently to pick his brains on all things copy and found out that as well as being a fellow fan of Ogilvy, he also likes to mix things up with a bit of rap. Here’s what he had to say: AllGoodCopy: Who’s your biggest copywriting influence in the industry? Dan…

What connects TV presenter Fiona Bruce, Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom and novelist W. Somerset Maugham? Give up? Well, they’re all from Canterbury. As too is Stephen Marsh… a freelance copywriter and generally good egg. He’s written copy for a vast variety of clients all around the world, including a private detective, which is undeniably cool, right? I caught up with him to discuss writing routines, dealing with emotions and E.L. Doctorow. Here’s what he had…

Drayton Bird wants me shot… I’m not sure if he’s aiming for a fatal wound or if he just wants to ‘see me dance’ as per the poker scene in Goodfellas. Either way, it’s not every day that a legend of the copywriting industry issues a bounty on your head. So, what happened? Well, as usual, it’s my fault… I asked too many questions. After the popularity of my previous expert interviews with the likes…

I’ve just published a new book for Kindle… Buy This Now: A Beginner’s Guide to Direct Response Copywriting. Inside I’ve brought together ten simple rules that I recommend you follow when it comes to starting out in your copywriting career. This isn’t abstract stuff. It’s specific advice that you can apply to any copy you’re working on. From understanding the importance of a varied vocabulary to learning how to swallow your creative pride, Buy This…

Once upon a time, direct-response copywriting was considered ‘the Don’ of copywriting… Not the Don Draper. Far from it. You see, Don Draper – the famous fictional copywriter from the TV series Mad Men – is an indirect-response man. He writes copy that’s designed to briefly get your attention and then force the product to linger in your mind. And, if it’s good indirect-response copy, it’ll linger long enough to still be there when you’re…

So look… You might disagree with me here. You might sneer. You might even think I’m an idiot for saying what I’m about to say. But I’m going to say it anyway. I’d be a liar if I didn’t. Spit it out? OK… With direct-response copywriting I think it’s often better to be cliché than clever. “Eeeeeww, I hate clichés. Glenn, don’t you get it? Clichés are the devil’s work. Don’t you know I’m a…

Pictures paint a thousand words, right? But when it comes to using pictures in a direct-response sales letter, a badly chosen image will more likely lose you a thousand sales. More often than not, in my own sales letters I tend to avoid using stock images altogether. After all, when writing long copy you’re really constructing a persuasive argument as to why someone should buy what you have to sell… using WORDS. Obviously, to do…

A sales promotion landed on my desk recently… Nothing new there; being a professional copywriter, hundreds land on my desk every week. But this one caught my eye. Unfortunately, it was for the wrong reason. You see, it wasn’t the headline that caught my attention. In fact, when I got round to reading it, I didn’t think much to it. A few too many clichés in my opinion; it lacked a truly unique idea. What…

It’s always that Ogilvy guy, isn’t it? Damn him and his insight. But the fact of the matter is – he was right. I can’t remember in which of his books he mentions it (On Advertising or Confessions of an Advertising Man) and let’s face it, they’re both pretty similar anyway. But yes, he does mention it… What? That, as a copywriter, you should use the products and services you’re writing copy for. Ok. In…