My first lesson in advertising came early in life. Whenever I was hungry, sleepy, in pain, or merely uncomfortable as an infant, I advertised as loudly as my lungs would permit. – Maxwell Sackheim
Copy isn’t just something we do to sell. It’s something that we all do, all the time.
The button-down shirt you wear on a date. The flash of a smile you give the clerk at the store. The tone of your voice when your mom calls. The watch on your wrist. The book you carry to the cafe. It’s all copy. It’s all trying to get other people to do something, or not do something, or to get you to feel a certain way, or not feel a certain way. It all has an end goal, be it conscious or unconscious.
Why do you wear that button down shirt on your date? Why do you display your collection of your favorite band’s records? Why does your voice rise in pitch when your mom calls?
Copy is simply a focused channeling of what we all do, all the time: manipulation.
With your music collection, you’re manipulating all who come into your home to comment, adore, approve, appreciate. With your button down shirt, you’re manipulating your date to view you as more attractive, more wealthy, a good choice for a relationship. With the quick flash of a smile you give the clerk, you’re manipulating him to be courteous, but to leave you alone. Wouldn’t a prolonged smile tell the clerk that you’re interested in conversation? Wouldn’t no smile or eye contact at all manipulate the clerk to feel unappreciated?
This blog dives into this craft. Just as rhythm is innate in all of us (after all, our hearts beat steady, 24 hours a day), so is copy. You do it all the time.
So let us talk then, you and I, about how to use what’s already in you.