Copywriting Workshop – Drummond Central.

Drummond_logo

As part of a module, we took part in a copywriting workshop, led by Drummond Central, which saw us explore existing examples of copywriting as well as different ways to generate ideas and create good copywriting.

We were each given a celebrity name for which we had to write a lonely-hearts advert. The trick was to be clever with our copy so as to give small hints as to the identity of the celebrity and not give it away within the first sentence. My lonely-hearts advert was as follows –

“Forty-nine year old male who stands out from a ‘Few Good Men’. Seeking younger female for ‘Risky Business’ and possibly ‘Endless Love’. Has ‘All The Right Moves’ and is an all-round ‘Top Gun’. Up for a ‘Cocktail’ both ‘Knight & Day’. Is this ‘Mission: Impossible’? Suri not…”

The celebrity assigned to me was Tom Cruise.

I found the exercise useful because it highlighted the importance of being as creative as possible with just words. The lonely-hearts advert was read aloud to the group so it also stressed the importance of tone of voice and how large a role that played too. It opened my eyes to the relevance and significance of copy and that advertising is not reliant on strong visuals alone.

Simon & Sue Tell Their Storey.

0 0 1 221 1262 Newcastle College Group 10 2 1481 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE

Different_logo

The group was also fortunate enough to be paid a visit by Simon & Sue Storey from DiFFERENT. Being a creative team, it was interesting to see how the art director and the copywriter work together. We were guided through how their own studies had led to their careers and subsequent career progression. It was also explained to us how we might go about deciding on our own route through advertising; be it as a copywriter or as an art director.

The DiFFERENT workshop also answered a lot of the group’s questions with regard to the role of the art director.

I learnt that the art director is the person responsible for the visual of the piece. They also supervise and unify the vision: they transform the concept into words and pictures. For example in publishing, particularly magazines, the art director would set the template that attracts readers month after month. The art director typically has a background in fine art or graphic design subjects, as well as knowledge of computer design software. The art director would normally have the final say on most creative decisions.

I have found that the copywriting & art direction workshops have proved particularly beneficial in helping to broaden my knowledge of the subject and also acted as a catalyst in encouraging me to start thinking about what area I might want to specialise in. Both aspects of the industry are appealing, however I feel it may be useful to start developing skills with one of the two roles in mind.

The SMART way to set targets.

Screen_shot_2012-05-22_at_18

Linked in with my studies, I have been encouraged to set SMART targets. SMART being an acronym as follows  – 

 

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Timed

 

SMART targets are a good way to ensure personal development and in turn increase productivity and skills. They are helpful as a way of displaying progress and provide self-gratification and encouragement to the participant.

 

My own SMART target would be to manage my time in a more structured way so that my work load is comfortable and deadlines are promptly met.

 

By using a diary and to-do list, I will be able to keep track of my progress for each module. Referring to my module guide is also a good way of ensuring that I am managing my time well.

 

This target is dependent on self-motivation, responsibility and sensibility. Making sure that I don’t work too many hours at my job is vital in ensuring that I can focus attention on my studies for example; being employed full time, I can easily be distracted away from college work and find myself falling behind. This target is relevant in aiding the development of my time management skills – skills necessary for most aspects of life.

 

This target will be ongoing and particularly important during the build up to a hand-in and over college holidays. It will last the duration of the course and be self-enforced and self-assessed.

 

Feeling very manipulated..!

By using curves to manipulate the reds, greens and blues of an image, by messing with blend modes, linear dodges, opacities, gaussian blurs and adding noise, we have transformed “perfect” digital images into aged, sun-bleached images with a retro influence.

 

 

Original image – 

Image_3

 

 

Final image – 

 

Image_03_copy

It appears the secret to creating the best photographic effects is to be subtle. Little changes have big effect.

 

 

 

Novice photo manipulation? Done!

The Importance of Brand & Identity.

Chocolate

To demonstrate the power of branding: our anticipations, perceptions and expectations of a product, we conducted a blind tasting using 4 different brands of chocolate. They were Cadburys, Thornton’s, Green & Blacks and Tesco’s.

The result of the blind tasting clearly displayed the power of branding and proved that, thanks to advertising, some brands are perhaps stronger than the product itself. In the case of Cadbury, which is long established, traditional and evokes childhood memories, there is a strong brand loyalty. The colour purple for example is synonymous with the creamy, consistent quality that we know and love.

A brand such as Thornton’s has proved a good example of strong branding promoting a distinctly average product. Thornton’s attempt to give an air of maturity and good reputation, selling themselves as a sort of local chocolatier that can be relied on for special occasions. The truth is that Thornton’s market gimmicky, over-priced, mindless sentiment.

The second-best tasting sample was also the second cheapest. Tesco’s own branded chocolate follows the stores ethos of being “value for money”. It is simple and familiar branding for simple and familiar products. However, this is quite misleading, as most consumers would assume Tesco branded goods to be the cheapest. This perhaps demonstrates a selfish strategy that Tesco has employed in it’s bid to make profits.

Sample number four was Green & Blacks chocolate. Considering it was one of the more expensive samples and sells itself as being sophisticated, indulgent and luxurious, I did not find Green & Blacks as palatable as the other samples. The branding is quite old fashioned and clearly recognises Green & Blacks eco-friendly and charitable acclaim which I find to be a strong selling point but as a result may give the product an air of snobbery.

This branding exercise has shown me that the general public is relatively fickle when it comes to their brands. Brand loyalty does exist, however I’ve learnt that the most expensive is not always the best. Due to brand strategy, people will opt for a specific brand simply thanks to celebrity endorsement, advertising or sponsorship. The brand itself is hugely responsible for the success of the product. Brand power is relevant today more than ever – with so much competition and the speedy advances in technology, it is paramount that a brand is adaptable.

 

D&AD

After visiting D&AD in London last week, I have been made aware of the support and inspiration they provide. Having received log in details to their website, I have been able to learn more about the history of the company and what their aims and objectives are. 

 

It is good to know that D&AD are there to support and nurture creative professionals throughout their education and careers and that I can access their archives when searching for inspiration or simply as reference. D&AD set the absolute reference standard for creative excellence so it’s good to check out finalists’ work and get a grasp of what is expected.

 

Here are some examples of work that I have found particularly brilliant – 

 

Picture_5Picture_6Picture_4