Where once we wordsmiths sweated over every word, now we are happy to get it out on time and move on to the next pressing job. I can look back at my notebooks from years ago and see that I attempted a hundred iterations of a line before finally settling on the perfect one. Today I measure my free time to write in chunks of minutes, not days.
Certainly I’m faster and better at it than I was. But the industry simply doesn’t demand it of me anymore.
When was the last time you tucked into a beautiful long copy ad and marveled at the clear-headed logic and slinky prose? In the hit and run culture of today’s advertising, indeed modern living, where attention spans have necessarily had to diminish as multi-tasking has increased, we have just about enough time to smack the consumer on the head with a hilarious image and move on. The ubiquitous website sign-off is the new seduction: Find out more…
Hastening matters further is the increasing trend towards interactive and experiential advertising – facilitated by the agency but created by the consumer – which has also reduced the need for the writer to wield his or her literary chops.
But the heat is clearly off the copywriter now.
We are victims of forces we can’t control. With the ever-increasing importance of instant messages and experiences, we have watched our craft decline, resigned to seeing our best articulations relegated to blogs like this.
Where is it all leading?
Next blog post: Rebirth of the copywriter