I was already considering discussing copywriting this month when I saw a passage in a brochure from one of Britain’s top yacht builders declaring that their latest model would “never fail to disappoint”.
The rest of the copy wasn’t much better, and ignored pretty well every established copywriting principle that’s been tried, tested, revised, tweaked and proven in a century of advertising and marketing practice. It’s not what you’d expect from a leading UK boat builder, but surprisingly they’re not alone, there are many similar examples.
Recently, we’ve seen some boat Ads with no headline at all. That might be OK for purely image-driven products like perfumes and fashion, but there must be more to say about a million pound boat.
The mystery is why the value of words seems to be so unappreciated even in such high echelons of the marketing trade. Good copywriting can be the deciding factor in a purchase decision, it can convince, it can create need, it can ignite desire. Bad copywriting does nothing for sales, it can even be such a turn-off that it does more harm than good.
If you’re spending millions producing the product, and tens or hundreds of thousands on brochures and advertising space, some compelling, well-written words that could make a crucial difference are well worth the effort.