“Most of our work is only ever appreciated by other writers.”
That sentence could’ve been uttered anywhere you’ll find more than one copywriter or content writer. It could’ve been spoken to a near stranger in the bar after a marketing conference, shared in an email between colleagues, or muttered to a trainer in a workshop.
As it happens, it was tweeted to me by another copywriter.
Most of our work is only ever appreciated by other experts.
It’s true. And it’s something every advertiser, every marketer and every writer has to come to terms with.
Nearly every writer.
Some don’t care.
Ari Merkin didn’t care when he wrote the script for this advert.
The tobacco company who threatened to pull a billion dollars of funding for anti-smoking causes after tens of thousands of bodybags were dumped on their doorstep didn’t appreciate it.
The American Legacy Foundation who commissioned the ads only to be dragged through court for half a decade by tobacco companies, after losing their ad spots on ABC, CBS and NBC didn’t appreciate it.
Smokers who watched it and stared at the bleak future of awaiting them didn’t appreciate it.
Even other writers who didn’t get to marvel at catchy lines or wordplay didn’t appreciate it.
Because it stopped 500,000 young Americans from starting smoking.
It saved nearly 170,000 people from dying from smoking-related illnesses.
It’s easy to write content that people appreciate.
Whether it’s fluffy content that buffs the ego of business owners.
Whether it’s buzzword-packed content that lets marketing managers pack in terms they’ve heard from other marketing managers in marketing management seminars.
Whether it’s pithy wordplay that has copywriters cooing into their coffees on the morning of a creative conference.
What’s hard to write is content that drives results.
At Hampson Nattan Williams, we don’t lose sleep about whether you appreciate the words we use, appreciated though it is when you do.
No. All we ask is that you judge the message-led-marketing we produce on the results delivered.
Because at the end of the day, it’s not about who appreciates your advertising.
It’s about who’s motivated by it.