When Copywriters Wrote With Imagination
Now, copywriters say they have to write "fast" instead of smart to catch easily-distracted viewers' attention. Hooey.
It’s hooey because it underestimates people’s intelligence. Because people like it when ads make their brains work a little because then they don’t feel so fucking insulted.
Dave Trott recently posted the below 1986 ad for Fisher-Price roller skates. I don’t recommend much about Twitter but if you’re a creative, follow Trott. The ad stirred up a discussion about creativity, now and then.
The layout draws you in, the copy pays it off. You are entertained. You are sold. It was written by Frank Budgen. (If you don’t know about him, look him up.) It won a D&AD Silver Pencil.
Runners are different beings. I used to be one. My parents were both competitive distance runners. They don’t need to to see your shoes. They do need to feel like you understand them. Written by Dave Dye (again, look him up). See more of his Adidas work here.
Continuing with running shoe advertising, Nike was of course the leader. By Wieden & Kennedy. Just a beautiful ad.
Mothers, there’s a mad man running in the streets, and he’s humming a tune, and he’s snarling at dogs, and he still has four more miles to go.
2002 (I think) ad written by Jim Nelson while at Carmichael Lynch. You don’t need to see a close-up shot of the bike. Nelson talks about the great high-energy creative environment at the agency here. I know what that environment feels like. Good luck finding it in any agency today.
1988 ad by Hal Riney & Partners. Copy below. Yep. It’s perfect.
They’re what the gardener wears, aren’t they?
1994 ad by BBH. Written by Charles Hendley. Won a D&AD Wooden Pencil. A great example of what I was taught at SVA: visual and copy both working hard, together creating tense art. AGAIN, no product.
Lastly, a camera ad with no photos? What is this insanity. 1991 ad, won a Gold Pencil at the One Show. Copywriter: Richard Kelly. Art Director: Ron Rosen. Ad agency: Scali McCabe Sloves / New York.
NOTE: Most of these ads were recently shared on Twitter by ECD John Long. Again, I don’t recommend Twitter much but if you’re a creative, follow him. He’s been posting an excellent ad thread: How it started/How it’s going.