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  • Hannah Telluselle

Writing for sale

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Whenever we try to explain what a copywriter is doing, most think of us as the ones creating slogans. A "slogan" is since many years referred to as a payoff or tagline. It's the company's mission, distilled in a sentence for the target group. The target group is the desired customers, businesses and users, whom we'd like to buy a company's products or services. And to write a payoff is quite flattering for a copywriter, but also very hard, so I thought I'd share how I do it. Normally, it's done in teams with an Art Director and Project manager at an advertising agency, but it can also be made by employees in-house.

Not too long ago, Twitter changed ownership and thus will also create changes to its business, whether it's its organization, looks and mission, it makes both excited and inspired, since I've studied Organizational Change and Development including Leadership and Culture, besides being a copywriter knowing that an acquistion always will become a good time to step up the marketing, when the changes are underway. Having a good tagline can help both internally and externally as a statement that summarizes the business. It can become a motto. A mission is the company's own statement. A tagline is the statement that is for the users.


There are some ground rules: It should be short, positive and activating. And it should be so unique that no other company would fit with it. That of course, is also a matter of building the brand and becoming top of mind, but nonetheless it's what all copywriters strive towards. Nobody wants to copy anyone else's. Two of the more famous taglines are: Nike: Just do it! and Nestlé: Have a break, have a Kitkat! What would then be a similarly good payoff for Twitter?


The first thing I do, is writing down the fun and phony ones like: What happens on Twitter, doesn't stay here. and Just say it!, making puns on already known ones.


The second thing I do, is research. I listened to Elon Musk's Ted Talk and another interview on YouTube, as well as read his tweets and Twitter Business blog's description of their aim and mission. When doing a pitch, it's customary to also meet with the client of course, but that can depend on whether the client is actively seeking a new advertising agency or not.


Then I sit and think a while about the preferred users that Twitter wants, as well as how to keep the ones they already have. And last, but not least, the shareholders and advertisers who also need to find it attractive, something they would like to belong to. To have that quality. This altogether often constitutes a brief and is the foundation for the communicative platform that we build a marketing strategy from, together with the client.


Next, I brainstorm and just write down about ten suggestions or so, like: Create, connect, contribute or All the talk, that could fit for Twitter. After sleeping on them another day or so (This whole process usually takes about two weeks for a copywriter.), I came up with this suggestion: Twitter: Drive the conversation. Hopefully this could both be seen as taking the leadership on the market for digital platforms, driving sales, letting the users drive the content, and of course be a small pun with Elon Musk being the driver of Tesla. A driver is also another word for motivational factor.


Then, it's up to the company to like or dislike, to be corrected with other suggestions or tweaks, to be presented in a whole graphic makeover, or for keeping the same, and for any advertising campaigns.


What Twitter thinks of mine? We'll see...

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