Goldilocks: The Fairytale Copywriter

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Goldilocks: The Fairytale Copywriter

All sorts of quizzes and books supposedly identify which skill sets are ideal for which careers. But for advertising copywriter hopefuls, there’s a quicker litmus test. You don’t have to be a mind reader, a narcissist or even an extrovert. To write effective ads, you have to be Goldilocks, synthesizer of two extremes.  


 Too Hot, Too Cold

Copywriters are compromisers who understand rules well enough to know when it’s OK to break them. They can manage compliance in industries like banking and insurance, which demands creativity inside the box. A copywriter both cools down wild, outlandish messaging and warms up bland, legless statements, sometimes even simultaneously.


Too Big, Too Small

Copywriters are consolidators, slicing words from ads with surgeon-like precision. Intuition aids the copywriter in recognizing the fine line between informative and obnoxious. They know that too small becomes easily ignored amid the clutter of an ad-filled environment, while too big gets dismissed like a peddler of “designer purses” on a crowded corner.


Too Hard, Too Soft

Copywriters are distillers who find a way to take many factual details of a product or service and boil them down into relatable emotional benefits. Perhaps most crucially, an effective copywriter has the ability to blend the hard and the soft sale.


Despite the existence of infinite paths of storytelling, the framework of balance is one that an advertising copywriter can never abandon. Instead, he must be a perpetual seeker of the “just right” prose. (Not “just write;” this isn’t a cheap pun show people.)

Katie Tillou

A curious, creativity-craving advertising copywriter who believes that puns are underrated and that 90% of brands are far less consumer-centric than they should be. 

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