Jerry McTigue - Copywriter


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  Make Your Product, Not
Your Copywriter, the Hero

by Jerry McTigue

Copywriters love to show off their creativity. I know. I'm one of them.


But one thing I learned early on is that it's not about me. It's about the product I'm trying to sell. As a cub, I would sometimes come up with ideas, puns, analogies I thought were absolute genius. Only to be shot down by my creative director who thought them clever but off message, not conveying the product positioning or benefit sought.


At first I'd walk off in a huff (what do they know), but eventually came to realize they were right. What's the value in being brilliant if it distracts from the very product or service you're trying to promote?


I can't believe how many millions, no billions, of dollars are wasted on commercials and print ads that may be enormously entertaining, but leave you without an inkling of what the product was, or how it benefits you.


If you're going to be funny, clever or outrageous, tie it inextricably to the product itself, so there's no way the customer will forget. Here's one of my favorite commercials of all time, not only because it's funny, the brand it makes light of was forever etched in my mind:

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. *Winner of both the Clio and Andy Awards for Advertising Excellence.


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