Writing takes effort. And a certain amount of obsession. If you doubt that it’s worth listening to Jerry telling you how he approaches writing. Especially when it comes to shaving down all the excess, when he’s crafting the end of a peice.
For anyone who has ever typed in the wrong URL address, the number 404 will spring to mind. In the beginning of the internet, some twenty odd years ago, a number was all you got: a bald 404 referring presumably to an error code. Some slightly more enlightened sites added a little more to the experience: “You’ve 404’d, dude.” The line still assumed a tech knowledge that was beyond most people at the time.
Gradually companies who cared just a little more about their customers reading experience wrote a few emollient words to help assuage the pain of error and feeling lost in cyberspace. But the Telegraph, which seems to be a class act in terms of its user experience seems to have done a lot better. A simple cartoon by Matt which is suitably funny and on point.
“Did you threatent to overrule him?” The famous question that Paxman asked 14 times before the lack of answer gave the answer away. Bluster is often a sign something isn’t truthful. Whether you’re a journalist or a copywriter you need to have the persistence to get behind the bluster and find the truth.
One of the problems mobiles responsive sizing gives us is that we’re never sure exactly what is going to appear as the final result. Pictures have to be created so that the subject of the picture is in the centre. That limits things considerably. And there’s even more trouble when you start putting type messages in respsonsive situations.
You want the message to appear as Acme is proud to sponsor World Aid . But what you actually see in certain screens is different.
Acme is proud to ponsor id. The truncation is worse than meaningless. It makes the brain work hard to guess something that probably wasn’t very interesting in the first place. The Two Ronnies nailed the experience with this classic sketch.
Until Linkedin produces responsive banners the advice has to be don’t put type in the banner head.
Saying one thing well is always more interesting than a rag bag of non sequiturs. Even if you’ve got lots to say, the trick is to bring it all under one singular theme. This man makes a bunch of observations about how we use just one word in the English language.
Masters of story don’t start with a simple fact or assertion, they weave a story that does the same thing.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks could have begun his speech by simply saying something like “all faiths have similarities, but they also have interesting differences.”
That would have been a perfectly coherent way to start a speech at an interfaith dinner. But by starting with a story that demonstrates the same thing, he does so much more than assert a first beat.
He demonstrates mastery of the story form, establishes his own character as a player at Government level, and also brings some laughs to the room. But the story is always in the service of demonstrating the first beat of the rest of his speech.
Two ads, two foods, and two very different approaches to tone. I’m not a big gum chewer, and I do like my prosecco, so perhaps I’m biased. On the right, it’s all about proposition. On the left it’s all about tone. The use of words like civil and sozzled, shindig, even sea salted rather than just salt, all paint a picture of acceptable, maybe even necessary decadence.
The typography which is itself a little tipsy, helps remind us that being too square and sober is best left to other brands and other products.
If you’ve got to sell a pack of salted crisps, where margins are high and competition is intense, tone is your secret weapon.
Sex is can be done without lots of dialogue, why shouldn’t an ad work that way too?
One of the smart things about this spot is that it communicates the joy of sex with a condom rather than the dangers without one. By being positive it’s more memorable. And because most of us would rather see bunnies than genitalia in an ad, it’s hugely enjoyable to watch.