What was once considered the Holy Grail of advertising, the immaculate, the precise, the intellectual “art of copywriting”, is now in the possession of anyone who can speak or write. And there is nothing wrong with it, because “why not meri jaan”.
We are living in a time where e-commerce is booming, and every now and then we see a new startup inviting established agencies to pitch to them. Most of the time, these startups are backed by large corporations or investors, hence they expect quality work, experienced creatives and out-of-the-box ideas. Yet, they don’t have enough money to pay since they are ‘startups’, remember?
So, what do agencies or digital agencies do? To solve this increasing problem, they have squeezed budgets too. They hire anyone who can speak or write, irrespective of their educational background since ‘everyone’s creative and everyone’s a copywriter’. Whether they know the basics of storytelling or not, it does not matter. What matters is to quickly fill the ever-increasing gap between new businesses and new creatives in the market. Once that is done, the concepts, content and copy are being produced in agencies like ‘Garam Naan’. There is no novelty factory left in today’s commercials unfortunately, because the demand is so high, most do not have the time to work on the craft of story. The scary part is that the client is okay with it.
“Except for a few courses offered at the top art schools in Pakistan, we don’t have proper institutes where one can sharpen their copywriting skills. Online courses offered by MasterClass and the like require a certain grip on language, and we all know the problems with our curriculum and education system.”
So, what’s the difference between new copywriters and the old, and between new stories and the old? The answer does not matter anymore, no one has the time to ponder over the fact that quality is immensely compromised, and that there are no new ideas left – everything seems to have been seen or heard before. What’s left is just the style and the viewers are absolutely fine with it, but for how long? Sooner or later we will reach a plateau.
For a long time, creatives have told the story in 30-seconds, where the product comes in on the 8th second. Now, in the digital age, the length of the content does not really matter as long as it keeps the audience interested; a copywriter can write on and on till they find themselves at a loss of words, and in my opinion, it’s the death of a good story.
“Whether writing copy for a commercial, content for the digital medium, a press ad, or a feature film, our copywriters need to learn how their audience perceives their story within a specific timeframe without getting bored or confused.”
To solve that, our copywriters need to learn only one thing: Whether they are writing copy for a commercial, content for the digital medium, a press ad, or a feature film they need to learn how their audience perceives their story within a specific timeframe without getting bored or confused. And mastering that needs proper audio-visual education, experimentation and experience.
Except for a few courses offered at the top art schools in Pakistan, we don’t have proper institutes where one can sharpen their copywriting skills. Online courses offered by MasterClass and the like require a certain grip on language, and we all know the problems with our curriculum and education system. Unless we sort the basics, things won’t improve much.
The problem I see today when I read digital posts is that they are extremely generic and formulaic. It seems that every other brand is talking in the same tone and due to this reason, it does not help brands in the long run. For me it is an alarming situation.
A creative person is known for their uniqueness and truth. If they fail in finding that, then this field in which they are playing will not be beneficial for them. Reading books on copywriting is the key. That’s the only source left for young, bright creatives. The more they read, the more it will help them find their unique style. Once that is done, I guarantee there is no stopping.
The doors of opportunity for creatives have opened wider than ever in our country, and we see more and more heart-touching and fun content almost every other day. It’s high time that institutions introduce proper curricula and courses, especially designed for copywriters, so that tomorrow when there is more demand we all are ready.