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Who Killed Long Copy

Even as I start collecting my thoughts, the reactions of my creative director and the art guy loom large over my head. For the uninitiated, long copy is not the name of my pet T-Rex. It is… well it is just long copy. Stop. Stop right there. Dare you even think of it as lots and lots of text, mindlessly typed-out to fill in the entire ad space. There is more to it – a bit of pun, a tinge of sarcasm, a few slapstick jokes here and there and the product is sold. Yeah trust me on this. There isn’t anything more to it. So, it will be rather nice if you could just find something better to do rather read this obituary. Go fish.

 

Shoo!

Gone? Well! Now that we have this space solely for you and me, I can begin. So, where were we? Oh yes! What is it about long copy that makes people see red? Seriously! I mean, it often lingers around the height of discrimination – as if long copy is like a guy with a face full of blisters that has maggots lurching all over.

 

Hey! But it’s not that bad. Take my word.

Go read Neil French (I know, I know – go Google him) if you don’t believe me. “Nobody reads long copy anymore. Here’s Why.” That’s what he said but only for an ad for the Straight Times of Singapore. And the prankster that he was, he filled the entire full page with type. Hold that jaw before it drops off. Ibid.com was an image library. And you would expect a no-copy ad. Again, blotched the ad space with type (did I hear someone say “yuck”) – of course as a consolation he gave some space for the visual – but that’s all there was – SPACE for the visual and no visual.

 

Now you can scream

Shifting to a more serious plane, what is it that killed the art of long copy? Why do art directors have nightmares at the sight of a 100-word copy? You would say nobody has that much of time, let the visual do the talking. Give me break.

 

First things first

Talk to the right people. Shout at them with the headline. Even better. Yell at them. And then start whispering with the copy. And make sure you whisper long. That sounds cryptic to you. That’s may be because you don’t understand long copy. Make your headline interesting. Your copy even more interesting and lay it out even well. Agreed long copy doesn’t work always. Of course its not a magic potion. But that doesn’t mean you need to flush it to the fishes.

 

You killed long copy

As a copy guy, if you run away from words, well you’ve sentenced your career to death. So maybe you killed long copy.

 

(contributed by copydesk)

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