Wednesday, November 10, 2004

:: adgruntie :: This makes me ill

+ Someone on the email adlist I belong to notified me of a horrible site today. Seems like there's lots of stuff to get me riled today. Apparently Marketing Drive feels that it's necessary to eliminate work from copywriters. Heck, who knew someone would find a way that would be cheaper than outsourcing? It sickens me that people would 1) take work away from someone, 2) actually think that a program can come up with smart, engaging, on target headlines, and 3) openly prove that there is no respect anymore for professionals.

The site (which I refuse to link to- copy and paste into a new browser if you want to see it) is a bland boring typical archetype of a corporate site from 1990. The god awful highlighting of words is sickening, along with the terrible prose they use to try to persuade you to get this piece of crap program. And, this program is only avaliable for PC users...which definitely says something. If you are using a Mac, you know better. You probably also understand the value you get by hiring a professional to craft headlines that will set you apart from the rest of your competitors. In the business world (and in life) you get what you pay for. Copywriters who charge a high hourly rate more often than not are very experienced and know what the hell they are doing. They are crafters of the language who painstakingly put words together to create unique concepts that connect to the people viewing the ad. Their ability to craft lines more interesting than "how to increase profits" is what makes them worth what their rate is. Not only that, but, using such a program almost guarantees that your headline will not stand out amongst the clutter of headlines out there and that it will be very similar to anyone else's that purchases and uses this dreck.

It's bad enough that the marketing and advertising world has turned to outsourcing the work to countries where they will work long hours and for cheaper rates - but now those people are going to have to find another or cheaper way to create copy to compete. It's one sure fire way to destroy lots of lives, our world economy, and the value of good advertising.

This lack of respect for the art of advertising is depressing. And by art I'm not talking about fine art or anything like that. I'm talking about advertising as a craft. Similar to furniture making, potters, and chefs, the creatives in the world of advertising are craftspeople. There is an art to creating an effective, compelling, engaging, entertaining advertisement. It's not just throwing a bunch of words or images together to make some hodgepodge of a mess. It's not about looking in a thesaurus for another way to say "fantastic". For example, they recommend ending each headline with a "." "!" or "?", headlines don't have to have punctuation to be powerful. The words, the emotions, and the connetion to the person reading it is the most powerful part of a headline, not the punctuation. Exclamation marks are so over used in headlines, that they blend into the clutter! It also makes you look like a fool!

This is the kind of thing that really gets under my skin. I have to say that the lack of respect for professionals in advertising is absolutely disgraceful. This program is like instead of going to a doctor or lawyer, you punch in some stuff and cure yourself or defend yourself. I've ranted about this before, but it's something I think is very important. There's a reason why there are professionals out there who specialize in this kind of thing. There's a reason why you go to a doctor when you're not feeling well, or a lawyer when you're getting sued. It's the same reason companies go to advertising agencies or hire freelancers to help them with their concepts, branding, and headlines.

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