We drop straight in this week to a brief chat I had over the bank holiday weekend with copywriter, networker-extraordinaire and all round nice person, Vikki Ross…
GLENN (GF): OK, let’s forget all this copywriting event stuff for a moment and let me ask you a very important question: what’s your favourite capital letter?
VIKKI (VR): That’s an easy one… it’s ‘V’, of course.
GF: Of course, I should have known. To be fair, it’s a good one. Aside from Vikki…you’ve got V for Victory…V for Vendetta…V for Versace. It’s a strong capital letter. And it also has the quite rare ability to pose as a number too. I respect that. I like Q personally. And I think R is pretty strong…but we’re not here to talk about capital letters. We’re here to talk about Copy Capital.
VR: We are. Though I can second your ‘R’ vote too.
GF: Ah yes, of course. Vikki Ross…what’s this Copy Capital thing all about?
VR: Copy Capital is an exciting event for creative, advertising, marketing, media and branding professionals. Andy and I created it to celebrate copywriting and to invite everyone involved in the process to join us in remembering how fun our jobs can be.
GF: Andy as in Andy Maslen…copywriter, author and well-known whippet owner.
VR: That’s him. We always wanted to do something like this because there’s no other event like it – it’s celebratory, lively and fun, plus inspiring, thought-provoking and motivating.
GF: Lovely stuff. Though this used to be known as Copy Cabana, right? What happened to the ‘Cabana’ element? Will there still be Hawaiian shirts?
VR: We launched Copy Cabana two years ago right on the beach in Bournemouth and gave it a fun name to communicate the celebratory tone of the day – plus every beach needs a cabana! But we always wanted to bring the event to London so this year, we packed away our flip-flops and deflated our lilos to create Copy Capital. The fun bit is still a very important element and now for most, the event is more convenient to get to if travelling from the North and abroad. Hawaiian shirts still welcome but Andy won’t be wearing one this year.
GF: I know Andy to be a sartorial maverick, so I’m sure he’ll still pull something good out the bag. Outfits aside, who’s this event for, besides copywriters?
VR: We invite speakers to enlighten, educate, entertain and inspire our audience. We want attendees to leave uplifted, motivated and hell bent on being the best they can be at work. So it’s not just for copywriters – it’s for anyone in creative, advertising, marketing, branding and media roles. Last year, two people from outside of any of these areas came to Copy Cabana by accident and had no idea what to expect – afterwards, they told me they had the best day they’ve ever had!
GF: Yeah, I read a couple of reviews of past events and they were both very complimentary. People seem to really enjoy it. Who’s speaking this year?
VR: We’ve got Fay Weldon CBE…Mark Budden MBE…Ellie Spicer, International Copywriter at Marks & Spencer…Aimee Lewis, Senior Copywriter at Ogilvy…Roshni Goyate and Leyya Sattar, Copywriter and Art Director at The Other Box…and Teresa Monachino, Designer and Author of Words Fail Me.
GF: It’s a busy roster!
VR: It is! We’ve also got Jo Wallace, Creative Director at JWT London…Alex Glance, Creative Director at Virgin Holidays…James Cross, Creative Director at BBC…Uri Baruchin, Strategy Partner at Superunion…and Scott Morrison, Founder of The Boom!
GF: That’s a real variety you’ve got together?
VR: Yeah, Andy and I try to offer a line-up that influences and inspires the areas around copywriting, and we choose our speakers because they have jobs we wish we had, they write for brands we wish we could, and are incredibly successful and celebrated.
I think people are keen to join us as speakers because there’s no other event like ours. For Copy Cabana 2016 and 2017, we were incredibly lucky to have amongst many others, copywriting legends Drayton Bird and Steve Harrison, Hayley Redman, Lead Writer at Innocent, Sue Unerman, Chief Strategy Officer at MediaCom, Kathryn Jacob CBE, CEO at Pearl & Dean, Kerry Thorpe, Communications Lead at Ben & Jerry’s, and Joe Fattorini, Writer and The Wine Show Presenter.
GF: Fay Weldon sounds like a hell of a catch…how’d that come about?
VR: Isn’t she?! I have Rory Sutherland to thank for connecting us – when I found out that Fay worked as a copywriter at Ogilvy in the Sixties, I knew we had to have her talk about her experience there, and her life as a novelist, playwright and screenwriter. I emailed Rory asking if he had her contact details and within minutes he very kindly replied with her agent’s email address.
In a Copy Capital exclusive, Aimee Lewis will be interviewing Fay – two Ogilvy copywriters from very different times!
GF: Very interesting. The failed novelist in me always smiles when I see so many successful novelists have had careers as copywriters. There’s hope for my masterwork on the life and times of a Grimsby fishwife yet! But back to the event, briefly…are there any secret Elton John-esque after parties?
VR: We’ll be hosting a #copywritersunite night at The Doric Arch. I’m now tempted to throw in an Elton John theme and dress code.
GF: Good. It’s not a real event unless there’s an after-party. P Diddy says so. And where can people buy tickets for this shindig?
VR: They can find out more and book at www.copycapital.co.uk
GF: Lovely stuff. I will hopefully try to get along myself this year…and I definitely recommend others do if they’re able. It’s a great line up of speakers…but also it’s a great opportunity for copywriters to meet each other.
VR: It is. It’s a really relaxed atmosphere and everyone is really excited to talk to like-minded people.
GF: Finally, then…as if I couldn’t guess…what’s your favourite capital city?
VR: London, of course!
GF: I was hoping you’d stick with the V theme and say Vladivostok?
VR: That’s not a capital, is it?
GF: No, it isn’t. Good point. But when else do you get to write Vladivostok in an article about copywriting?
Thanks to Vikki for sharing some more details about the event there.
As I say, if you’re a copywriter and looking to learn more about the craft and meet a load of like-minded people…you should get yourself down.
All the details are on the website at www.copycapital.co.uk
P.S. Remember, my fiancée Ruth and I…otherwise known as ‘Gluth’…are running the Great Grimsby 10k this year and raising money for the British Heart Foundation.
For the many readers outside the UK who are wondering what on earth ‘Great Grimsby’ is…it’s where I’m from. Grimsby is a small fishing port on the east coast of England. And it’s, er, great.
Anyhow, we’re over 70% of the way towards our target of £500, which is pretty good and I thank everyone who’s contributed so far.
As a bonus for readers of All Good Copy, I’m going to hold an exclusive live webinar where I’ll open the floor to a live Q&A and reveal some of my top tips.
If you’d like to join us for the webinar…and more importantly sponsor me and Ruth for the run…