A love letter to long copy, by Jax Lynch.



Dear L.C.,

It’s a little old fashioned these days, isn’t it? A love letter, that is. But then, so are you. With your luxurious dimensions and your measured elegance and the sheer nuance of you.

These days, it’s short copy they’re swiping right for, with its bold, look-at-me immediacy, its accessible style, its Hemingway-esque economy. (There are rules, you know: 25 characters for a headline, 90 characters for text. What would Ogilvy have made of that, do you think? Or Joyce?)

Perhaps that’s why you and me aren’t seen around together quite as often as we used to be. But we’re still very much an item. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

First, you have personality. You allow a brand to be uniquely itself and create a distinctive tone of voice that is savoured and remembered.

Secondly, you’re respectful. You’re interested in the reader. You treat them as an individual and speak their language (hello, segmentation!). You assume they’ll have concerns and objections before making a commitment, and you take the time to talk things through. So if my job is to get someone to sign up to something expensive, unusual or long-term, it’s you I’ll turn to.

Thirdly, you leave room for a relationship to grow. There’s space in a longer word count to refer to the brand’s history with the reader, to acknowledge loyalty and remind them of good times and bad. So for charity supporter retention, for example, you’re still very much a hot date.

Fourthly, you love new media platforms. While short copy gets the punters inside, it’s you that makes the landing (page) happy. You power the scripts of videos – now the most powerful medium for disseminating a brand message online. You make websites genuinely informative and helpful, especially if you are broken up into easily accessible chunks.

Fifthly, you tell great stories. Sometimes the devil (or angel) really is in the detail. And people still love a good book, whether it’s in print or audio format.

Sixthly (is that even a word?), you’re fun. There was once a McDonalds long copy ad for Swedish audiences, written as if by a cheeseburger, and it’s a masterpiece.

So, while we may not hang out on a daily basis, I still fancy the parentheses off you. And so should everyone, from time to time.

Your little semi-colon,

Jax

PS I’m not cheating on you, but short copy is quite fit too. If you like that sort of thing.

About 11 London

11 London is an advertising and communications agency, based in leafy West London. We work in the areas of health and humanity - with organisations, brands or products that improve or prolong life. To learn more about 11 London, please contact:


Matthew Hunt

matthew.hunt@11-london.com

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