by Allison Bloom, Senior Copywriter
If I'm ever a contestant on Jeopardy, I hope the categories are as follows:
All Natural Lip Balms
'Cellular'? Phones (note the 'Cellular'? in quotation marks)
I'd ring in on everything. I'd make them all true daily doubles. And, for the record, I'd regale the audience with a very entertaining story during the contestant interviews about the time I almost hit Billy Joel with my car.
As a copywriter, you become an expert on a range of different clients, brands and products. I've studied up on meal plans, makeup, and moldable compounds. My head is filled with random facts, such as how much it costs for a student to subscribe to a newspaper (about $100 a year) and what it means for a beauty product to be considered all-natural (made with at least 95% all-natural ingredients). I fall asleep thinking about why certain condoms are so effective (polyisoprene) and how the world's greenest vodka is made (quadruple distilled).
At the end of the day, my brain is more jam-packed than the trunk of my car on a week-long vacation with my family. It's all part of being a copywriter. We have to immerse ourselves in the brand and really become temporary experts ' whether it's about dairy-free appetizer wraps or how to backup your cell phone. Ultimately, the copywriter is the one writing the copy that reaches the consumer, so if we're not knowledgeable about a product, how can the consumer be persuaded?
How does a copywriter go about building such a robust arsenal of information? At AMP, it starts with our Consumer Insights team. Insights researches, qualifies and quantifies hoards of information to paint a picture of the brand. Then it's my turn to start investigating. I read. I talk. I google. I drag the Designer or Art Director down the street to CVS so we can spend the walk dissecting nuances of the brand. I do everything possible to soak myself in the brand. My goal is to seamlessly create a voice for the brand that sounds close enough to its existing personality to be viable but fresh enough that it meets the current objective.
Finally, I collaborate. At the end of the day, the client is always the ultimate brand expert. They have a concentrated knowledgeable of the brand that can rarely be rivaled. They are the master. I am just the grasshopper. (I think that's the right analogy - I've never had a Kung Fu show as a client).
That's how copywriters go about becoming brand experts. It's not rocket science. It's just brand immersion. It's the first step in the creative process, and it makes for quite an interesting arsenal of knowledge.
Oh, and if the final Jeopardy category is Vegan Dessert Puddings, I'd risk it all.