It Wasn’t A Sequel To Begin With
November 29, 2012 – 18:32 | No Comment

My 3rd novel wasn’t meant to be a sequel to the 2nd novel in the first place. Then something happened. Characters began to beg to be included in the story. Thus, a sequel was born.

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Job Description: Copywriter

Submitted by on December 5, 2009 – 17:02No Comment

The first job I had upon graduation was being the only full time copywriter in a small ad agency. That lasted only for six months because the ad agency wasn’t much of an ad agency anyway. Then I was in publication for a year. Throughout my career journey, even as I put on different hats in different organisations, one thing remain constant in my working life: Copywriting. I’ve been loving the thrills that copywriting jobs can give me and never fail to constantly accept jobs that require this skill. It’s being on the go with deadlines, ideas, urgency and more deadlines that drives me in my daily life.

What does a copywriter do? Write, of course! Take a look at the printed ads in newspapers and magazines. Remember the last time you look at a billboard filled with powerful headlines? Don’t forget the TV commercials you watch on TV and radio commercials you listen to. Every medium that involves words and text for the purpose of advertising, that’s the copywriter’s task – to prepare any written copy and text for advertising purposes.

I write the headline, body copy, terms and conditions, clauses, TV commercial scripts and even radio scripts. The way the ad would sound, the efficiency of sending the right message to the right audience, the tone and manner of a campaign – all determined by the way a copywriter writes. Here’s the best part: Nothing goes out to the public until you sign your name off after proof reading all the materials that has written text on it. Of course, once you have signed, you are responsible for your work and writings. If the public spots a spelling error, they can sue you (the copywriter) for it. If they don’t, your clients will.

You mean all you do is write? Writing is not everything, of course. Otherwise, I would rather write a book than copy that persuades others to buy something they might not need at the end of the day. As a copywriter, writing is not the key to success. The key is to write creatively. Get the brief right, outline the restrictions and mandatory, then deliver a copy that meets both client’s expectations and communicates effectively with the target audience. Sounds simple? I call it challenging. Let me give you an example.

The NIKE tagline ‘Just Do It’. It is a simple line of three words. You’d think that coming out with that tagline was a simple task; you are wrong. A good tagline must be able to sit independently and at the same time complements the entire campaign in all mediums used. It has to go well on TV, radio and printed materials. The audience has to be able to connect with the idea and understand what the tagline means.

If a tagline is powerful enough, like NIKE’s, audience will be able to link it to their lives and this will benefit the brand. When I was still in college, my lecturer told me once that the copywriter who wrote the tagline ‘Just Do It’ for NIKE earned more than a million dollars because the tagline was a success. Copywriting is not writing what you feel, it’s sending out the right message to the right audience. Still think that copywriting is easy?

What’s the best part about being a copywriter? You get to participate in brainstorming sessions and you work hand-in-hand with the Art Director. Nope, you are not above the Art Director. Neither are you below him. You are right beside him – partners in crime. You do more than just writing. You are given the chance to analyze, conceptualize, visualize and create. If you don’t like the art direction which the Art Director has come out with, you have the authority to talk him out of it and discuss about it because you are the Copywriter. Visual and copy must work hand in hand to create an effective advertisement. Never let the Art Director tell you what to write. Always discuss and agree on something together. This is what I call ‘The Drawing Board Stage’ where copywriters have fun doing other things instead of writing.

Personally, the best part about being a copywriter is going out into the fields. When I go into the recording studios to listen to the Voice Talents reading my radio scripts; to guide them to read it the way I want it to sound like. It’s just superb. Another exciting adventure would be being at the shooting set; to be right there in person and watch the camera crew produces the entire TV commercial script I write; to listen and see if the actors/actresses got the words and intonation right. That feeling of being in control is overwhelming every time.

What do you get out of copywriting? Personal satisfaction – lots of them. When you drive pass a billboard and see the headline you wrote printed across the giant board for every driver to view, when you watch TV and come across the commercials you written, when you listen to the radio and the scripts you have written started booming through the speakers, when you flip the newspapers and magazine and discover your writing across the pages. The personal satisfaction that comes out of my job overwhelms my heart to the brim. Perhaps that’s why I have always put copywriting ahead of graphic designing. It’s where my passion lies.

Hopefully I have provided some insights to what it means to be a copywriter. If you guys want to know more, let me know. I have lots of copywriter’s stories to share.


Main Responsibilities:

  • Partner in crime with the Art Director to come out with a Big Idea or Concept for the entire campaign.
  • Responsible for all the copy in every marketing/advertising campaign including above-the-line and below-the-line communication materials.
  • Responsible to ensure that all the copy is accurate, grammatically correct and readable before the communication materials go out to the public through proofreading process.
  • Responsible to ensure that the copy written is read accurately when it comes to audio/video production.
  • Able to work on translation for the jobs when required or oversee translators to ensure that the accurate message is being sent out through other languages.
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