PETE

Creative ideas
worth spreading

IF NOBODY READS COPY ANYMORE
WHY ISN’T YOUR HEADLINE LOREM IPSUM?
THE ROLE WORDS PLA...
Back when most of you
were just a glimmer in
your daddy’s eye (the
1980s), copy was
important.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013...
Then, the Internet came
along.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

3
With it:

• 
• 
• 
• 

Great shopping
Easier access to porn
The death of print pubs
And, some would say, the
demise of the...
Back in the golden age,
nobody counted
characters.
It was the idea that
counted.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer A...
The answer to the question,
“how long should a headline
be?” was “as long as it
needs to be and no longer.”

© 2013 PETER ...
The award books were
filled with long headlines.
It was called, “the
Minneapolis style.”
Let’s take a look.

© 2013 PETER ...
© 2013 PETER MAYER

8
© 2013 PETER MAYER

9
!

© 2013 PETER MAYER

10
© 2013 PETER MAYER

11
!

© 2013 PETER MAYER

12
!

© 2013 PETER MAYER

13
So what happened to the
Minneapolis style?
Joe Alexander of the
Martin Agency put it this
way.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013...
He said, “The Almighty
Headline kept many a
copywriter in business
for a long time.
Until, suddenly, it
didn’t.”
© 2013 PE...
“That little thing called
the Internet arrived and
the world of cranking out
lines in your office
disappeared.”

© 2013 PE...
“In this new world, a
copywriter had to venture
out of his or her comfort
zone and—gasp!—not even
write a headline. Maybe ...
So where does that
leave us?
Is the headline really dead?

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

18
NO WAY, JOSE.
(I’m a writer. Sometimes we rhyme.)

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

19
But clearly something’s awry.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

20
A writer on ihaveanidea.org
noted:

•  Most of the industry’s biggest
awards go to headline-free
ads.

•  Most advertising...
He said when he tried to
convince his copywriting
students of the relevance
of headlines, he had to
dust off 15-year-old
a...
Let’s look at a few more
ads from back in the day.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

23
Let’s fall back in love with
words.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

24
© 2013 PETER MAYER

25
© 2013 PETER MAYER

26
© 2013 PETER MAYER

27
© 2013 PETER MAYER

28
© 2013 PETER MAYER

29
A poster should contain no more than eight words, which
is the maximum the average reader can take at a single
glance. Thi...
© 2013 PETER MAYER

31
Lose the ability
to slip out of meetings
unnoticed.
The Economist

© 2013 PETER MAYER

32
© 2013 PETER MAYER

33
© 2013 PETER MAYER

34
Those were great ads, weren’t they?

TOO BAD NOBODY READS COPY
ANYMORE, RIGHT?

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Adv...
WRONG.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

36
I think famous copywriter Howard
Gossage had it right:

“Nobody reads ads.
People read what
interests them.
Sometimes it's...
So here’s the challenge:

Whether we’re writing a
Google text ad, a Facebook
tile ad, a postage stamp size
banner or a blo...
Was John Pucci onto
something when he
asked, “are hashtags the
new headlines?”

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Adv...
Maybe so. But they’re not
the only kind of
headlines.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

40
Headline-driven concepts
are a tool – and an
inexpensive tool at that.
You can do great work
without animation or even
pho...
And just because you’re
writing a blog or a social
post, that doesn’t mean it
can’t be crafted.
Brands should sound like
y...
THANKS.

© 2013 PETER MAYER

© 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising

43
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The Role Words Play In The Digital Age

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If Nobody Reads Copy Anymore, Why Isn’t Your Headline Lorem Ipsum?

Presentation by Lori Archer-Smith, Associate Creative Director

Published in: Design, Business
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The Role Words Play In The Digital Age

  1. 1. PETE Creative ideas worth spreading IF NOBODY READS COPY ANYMORE WHY ISN’T YOUR HEADLINE LOREM IPSUM? THE ROLE WORDS PLAY IN THE DIGITAL AGE © 2013 PETER MAYER 1
  2. 2. Back when most of you were just a glimmer in your daddy’s eye (the 1980s), copy was important. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 2
  3. 3. Then, the Internet came along. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 3
  4. 4. With it: •  •  •  •  Great shopping Easier access to porn The death of print pubs And, some would say, the demise of the golden age of advertising copy © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 4
  5. 5. Back in the golden age, nobody counted characters. It was the idea that counted. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 5
  6. 6. The answer to the question, “how long should a headline be?” was “as long as it needs to be and no longer.” © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 6
  7. 7. The award books were filled with long headlines. It was called, “the Minneapolis style.” Let’s take a look. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 7
  8. 8. © 2013 PETER MAYER 8
  9. 9. © 2013 PETER MAYER 9
  10. 10. ! © 2013 PETER MAYER 10
  11. 11. © 2013 PETER MAYER 11
  12. 12. ! © 2013 PETER MAYER 12
  13. 13. ! © 2013 PETER MAYER 13
  14. 14. So what happened to the Minneapolis style? Joe Alexander of the Martin Agency put it this way. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 14
  15. 15. He said, “The Almighty Headline kept many a copywriter in business for a long time. Until, suddenly, it didn’t.” © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 15
  16. 16. “That little thing called the Internet arrived and the world of cranking out lines in your office disappeared.” © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 16
  17. 17. “In this new world, a copywriter had to venture out of his or her comfort zone and—gasp!—not even write a headline. Maybe let the art direction lead a campaign.” © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 17
  18. 18. So where does that leave us? Is the headline really dead? © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 18
  19. 19. NO WAY, JOSE. (I’m a writer. Sometimes we rhyme.) © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 19
  20. 20. But clearly something’s awry. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 20
  21. 21. A writer on ihaveanidea.org noted: •  Most of the industry’s biggest awards go to headline-free ads. •  Most advertising blogs are dominated by purely visual concepts. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 21
  22. 22. He said when he tried to convince his copywriting students of the relevance of headlines, he had to dust off 15-year-old annuals to prove his point. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 22
  23. 23. Let’s look at a few more ads from back in the day. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 23
  24. 24. Let’s fall back in love with words. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 24
  25. 25. © 2013 PETER MAYER 25
  26. 26. © 2013 PETER MAYER 26
  27. 27. © 2013 PETER MAYER 27
  28. 28. © 2013 PETER MAYER 28
  29. 29. © 2013 PETER MAYER 29
  30. 30. A poster should contain no more than eight words, which is the maximum the average reader can take at a single glance. This, however, is for Economist readers. The Economist © 2013 PETER MAYER 30
  31. 31. © 2013 PETER MAYER 31
  32. 32. Lose the ability to slip out of meetings unnoticed. The Economist © 2013 PETER MAYER 32
  33. 33. © 2013 PETER MAYER 33
  34. 34. © 2013 PETER MAYER 34
  35. 35. Those were great ads, weren’t they? TOO BAD NOBODY READS COPY ANYMORE, RIGHT? © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 35
  36. 36. WRONG. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 36
  37. 37. I think famous copywriter Howard Gossage had it right: “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it's an ad.” © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 37
  38. 38. So here’s the challenge: Whether we’re writing a Google text ad, a Facebook tile ad, a postage stamp size banner or a blog, we need to write copy that’s compelling, entertaining and relevant. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 38
  39. 39. Was John Pucci onto something when he asked, “are hashtags the new headlines?” © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 39
  40. 40. Maybe so. But they’re not the only kind of headlines. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 40
  41. 41. Headline-driven concepts are a tool – and an inexpensive tool at that. You can do great work without animation or even photography. Let's not forget that. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 41
  42. 42. And just because you’re writing a blog or a social post, that doesn’t mean it can’t be crafted. Brands should sound like your friends talking, but not your stupid friends. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 42
  43. 43. THANKS. © 2013 PETER MAYER © 2013 Peter Mayer Advertising 43

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