“Simon recently reworked our website copy ... it resulted in an impressive improvement in both enquiries and sales for our business” says Robin James, MD of Planet Numbers Ltd.
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Beware of false internet gurus!

Website and digital content scams
There's a whole online industry of self-proclaimed gurus and experts that's entirely dedicated to telling online marketers how to become millionaires by marketing themselves online. They offer courses, seminars & webinars, Skype consultations, books, DVDs — you name it — telling you their fool-proof, tried-and-tested, success-guaranteeing methods to sell. Which is all well and good. The problem is that the majority...

Sky DM pack | Their most successful mailer ever

B2C mailpack case study
Sky needs no introduction. Their customer recruitment has, for a long time, been driven by a combination of direct mail and TV advertising. Their direct marketing agency, Table19, asked me and highly-experienced Direct Mail art director Tim Bennet to help with a mailing to recruit new customers for Sky's most expensive TV package. The package we devised became Sky's...

How to write a brilliant poster in five minutes flat

How to write a poster
Here's how to write a poster, based on something we see on every street... We've all seen them, the desperately sad home-made posters pinned to trees and lamp posts. "Lost cat. £250 reward. Call 0123 456 7890" Plus a picture of the hapless feline. These are a perfect example of how posters should work. You get what they're about in a...

How NOT to write and design a full page press ad

How to write a press ad
Want to know how to write a press ad? Here's how NOT to do it... This is a real jaw-dropper. Back page of The Telegraph, full page broadsheet press ad. And it's a brilliant case study of everything you should never do in a press ad. Look at the picture and see if you can guess what it's advertising. The...

Is your brand issue really a company structure issue?

Is your brand issue a company issue?
More often than we'd like to think, what is described as a problem with a brand is actually a problem with a company's structure. I found myself in a meeting last week where this was particularly evident to everyone but, it seemed, the company concerned. The client (a large financial services brand who shall remain nameless) was telling us that we need...

Why the new VW Arteon commercial is TV advertising at its very best

How to write a tv ad
Want to know how to do car advertising? The new VW Arteon tv ad is a brilliant lesson in how to do it right... Why is it brilliant? Because the creative team involved have clearly been given an incredibly boring brief (by the client/planners/suits) that said "Sell this car on how beautiful it is". But have shown us all that,...

Remember: nobody wants to read your sh*t

Does anybody want to read your stuff?
Just read the book "Nobody wants to read your sh*t" and it's a timely reminder about one of the basic facts in the marketing and advertising business: nobody wants to read your ad. Nobody wants to read your website. Nobody wants to read your email. And yet the marketing industry seems to have forgotten this fact. We see so much...

How to write the perfect creative brief

How to write a creative brief
Here's a quick tutorial on how to write a creative brief. A dying art it seems! Writing a bad creative brief is really easy. Writing a good one is really hard. Why does it matter? Because the better the brief, the better the work you'll get back. If the brief is vague and woolly the work will be even vaguer and woolier. Here's a...

Ageism in advertising is out of control

Is ageism in advertising out of control?
In most industries you care to think of, experience is considered a jolly good thing. He's a highly experienced surgeon, you're in safe hands with him. She's a hugely experienced lawyer, she's the best person to have in your corner. He's a massively experienced electrician, there's not a problem he doesn't know how to fix. And so on. But in advertising...

Why new branding may be the last thing you need

Do I need new a brand?
They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And this is especially true in the ludicrous mixed-up world of marketing and what they now call 'branding'. A few years ago, everyone who knows only a little about marketing became convinced that The Brand is everything. You had to build a brand to sell your product. Everyone who knows a lot...