You say you want an evolution?

I hate feeling that I’m ‘past it’. That maybe, just maybe, I’m now considered ‘too old’ to be a writer in advertising and marketing.

This insecurity is all in my own head. Probably.

But I’ve been mulling (ooh I love a good mull) over my 25-odd years in the business, and I’ve noticed a running theme.

Good copywriters have the ability to constantly reinvent themselves.

Creative writers like me who joined the industry in the late 80s (please don’t do the maths), and who are still working in it today, have had the ability to keep on changing.

We moved from pure advertising (amusing TV ads, crazy radio scripts, snappy 1-line posters and press ads) to integrated advertising (getting into response mechanisms — phone numbers, coupons).

COUPONS! Anybody here remember ‘Order today by completing and returning the coupon’ ads?

No?

You obviously haven’t lived.

John Caples. A fine example of a coupon ad.

John Caples. A fine example of a coupon ad.

We worked without email. Or the internet.

We had to do our research using big, fat factual books.

And spend the entire afternoon at vast photo libraries, just to find one amusing image of a cat.

Oh yes. Things have certainly moved on.

Markets changed. Needs changed.

We transformed ourselves from through-the-line (writing everything from DRTV to direct response press and posters) to below-the-line (direct mail, door-drops, POS).

We evolved from results-based direct marketing (‘Check out my 0.5% pull on this muthafucken leaflet dude!’) to the metrics and real-time evaluation of digital marketing.

We eventually went ‘media neutral’, until, Borg-like, we were fully assimilated into the web via digital, social media – and content creation.

We haven’t lumbered aimlessly, brainlessly, crashing through a changing world towards our doom.

Today’s copywriter survivors have been constantly refining their predatory skills, sharpening words, keeping canny, staying fit enough to find the next meal.

Then. It occurred to me.

I’m (kind of) happy to be thought of as a dinosaur. Because dinosaurs were not the evolutionary end.

They were just the beginning.

They eventually evolved into birds.

And birds can fly anywhere.

'Ch- ch- ch- changes...'

‘Ch- ch- ch- changes…’

Whether you write brochures, blog to order, or tweet wit, copywriters of the world, of all ages, crank up that volume and sing along…

You say you want a revolution?

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We’d all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well you know
We’d all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright…