What do Copywriters know? And what can you learn from a thermostat?

Copywriter's Thermostat

“The most difficult people to find are those that have the capacity to become good copywriters. I have found that they always have well-furnished minds. They give evidence of exceptional curiosity about every subject under the sun. They have an above average sense of humor. And they have a fanatical interest in the craft of advertising”

David Ogilvy said that. Is it true…?

A creative director I once worked for explained to a junior graphic designer to whom he was teaching the ropes that a good copywriter can talk about just about anything for about three minutes. After staring at me pointedly, not for three minutes because he knew given that much time I’d try to fill it, he added, with a smile, that a good copywriter has then told you everything he knows about the subject.”

Copywriters get to know a lot about your company while they’re working with you, but some say their heads are full of feathers and champagne corks — there’s no room for anything ‘serious’ to stick for long.

Even if that is true, in their flitting about, they can bring a rosy-cheeked optimism to the stale cogs of your cookie factory. (Or whatever other type of factory or business you run.)

And those rosy cheeks are stuffed full of folding money.

But of course it’s still your cookie factory that needs to bake the biscuits.

How can you give your cogs rosy cheeks, and make them rain dollar bills, pound notes, or Botswanan pula?

I’ve no idea, to be frank. My head has no space for inconsequentials.

But if the zeitgeist is about energy efficiency / good design / control / fairness / the environment / all sorts of stuff like that…

…then it might make sense to look at what you can do with your product in that direction.

The zeitgeist is not just for sexy products like the iPod. Your vacuum cleaner used to be a dusty monstrosity that you shoved into a cupboard. But you’re not so fussed now about hiding your new Dyson away.

Plus: your Dyson puts the dust in its belly, rather than in a cloud in your living room. And its handle stays upright pretty well, too.

And those new-fangled hand driers in the gents and in the ladies that just about rip your rings off…

They actually use less energy — because they ‘scrape’ the water off your hands rather than try to boil it off.

And the fella that fixed together your iPod, what sexy new product is he working on now?

He’s actually fixing up your boring old thermostat.

Instead of the complicated mess that’s hanging off your wall, you can get a new thermostat with the simple beauty and usability of the iPod.

“It already had the temperature that I would have selected for efficiency. And I thought, how could it know? I didn’t remember putting in those temperatures — it did a better job of remembering my pattern than I remembered my pattern.”
Yoky Matsuoka

A thermostat worth mentioning…but can a thermostat be a real conversation piece for guests in your home?

Maybe yes, when it’s as nifty as that.

And if something as boring as a thermostat gets talked about, then surely you can do something with your product…?


The last 3 posts on the blog:

➜ Hey Look At Me. I’m a Copywriter!

➜ Copywriters are not the only Creatives

➜ Advertising diamonds and democracy

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Talk soon.



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+353 87 357 4031

Skype id: RichardClunan

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