Who can say what content creation will look like in ten years?
In the face of changes in an industry with a thrilling yet hazy future, it’s comforting to know that copywriting principles haven’t changed. Sample these timeless truths from some great Mad Men-era copywriters:
On brevity: “There is no such thing as long copy. There is only too-long copy. And that can be two words if they are not the right two words.” — Jim Durfee, Durfee & Solow
On originality: “I write down in the margins all the clichés and purple bits that clutter my head. I find that only by writing them down do I exorcise them. If I simply try to forget them they keep coming back like spots on a teenage chin.” — David Abbott, DDB London, French Gold Abbott
On connection: “My own copy improved when it occurred to me that we relate to a company as we do to a person… We ask, is it honest, reliable, modest, amusing, trustworthy. If it is, that company may eventually become our friend.” — Tony Brignull, Collett Dickenson Pearce
On power: “A strong idea, simply presented, is far more effective than a weak idea strongly presented.” – Jim Durfee, Durfee & Solow
On the future of copy: “Copywriters are still in the business of big ideas. And writing is still thinking. But the final result may no longer contain any words at all.” — Marty Cooke, Cooke&Co
While the medium may change, the underlying message is timeless. Great copywriting will always be succinct, original, sincere, and powerful.