Posted by: CogitoErgoPost | November 4, 2015

Brewing Fresh Copy

“Not many of us ever get close to our childhood dreams. Copywriters do.” John Lyons, former Creative Director, Ketchum Advertising.

John’s quote—including the legendary ad man Tom McElligott (read further down this post)—inspired me to write engaging, advertising copywriting-style tweets for I Am Someone‘s 2nd Annual Ultimate Online Charity Auction, ending a few days ago. IAS is a non-profit organization who’s goal is to end bullying, text ‘211’ 2talk.

Despite IAS being new to twitter with only about 250 current followers, yet growing, these three sample tweets were able to generate low four-figures impressions and was well received by people.

IAS Kardashians win win win

As an aside, and to give credit, “Bid. Win. And Give Back.” was IAS’s President Greg Moore‘s contribution. I thought that slogan-like phrase he tweeted was strategic and should close some of the tweets, where it was possible to do so at maximum of 140 characters on twitter.

Writing these tweets forced me to think and research about anything and everything I knew since childhood that was fitting to the auction items in hand, and to attempt to extract witty, intelligent copy from those findings. It was about getting thoughts down on paper, and examining them to determine if they would appeal to a varying target market.

Writing straight copy is easy. But to produce unique and fresh copy that’s captivating is where the challenge lies. That challenge was addictive and a pleasure to the brain, despite, in some cases, having to write, rethink, write, then rewrite over and over. Accuracy with simplicity are some of the key factors; and tweets at 140 or less seemed to have made the effort easier versus having lengthy copy. If the copy was magical, the outcome was satisfying to the creative soul.

As mentioned earlier, I also drew from one of my advertising inspirations, Tom McElligott, who produced amazing work and attracted lucrative clients to his then Minneapolis-based agency. Tom gave a Mid-West flavour to his ads, which was an otherwise big-city NYC, LA, Chicago advertising look and feel. Here are some of his iconic treasures…

haircut ae copy  Fallon_mcelligott_04

e church



  1. I think the examples that you provide are great copy styles to emulate. I often find that writing shorter copy with restrictions on word counts, like Twitter’s 140-word character limit, to be more challenging. As an aspiring copywriter, this is one of my biggest challenges. I agree that, in today’s over-stimulated world, finding the perfect formula between concise, captivating, unique, and fresh content can be extremely challenging. I appreciate the humorous tone of your examples as well! Keep up the good copy work!

    • Much appreciated for your comment. Off the top of my head, other writers you may want to research for inspiration include Janet Champ, Jim Riswold, and Lee Clow.

      ps, I agree. Too much media out there that we need to break through.

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