Good copy is not a copy. Dare to be different!: Abe Udy on ads

Here’s a great quote from Tom Peters:“Too many people risk their life savings on a not very original idea.  No, I don’t mean that you have to start a Google, but I do mean that you must be clear, very very clear, about how your new Italian restaurant or real estate agency will be “dramatically different” from the current offerings in your market.” 

I believe this concept should be applied when writing copy or producing ads for clients – who hopefully present you with an original idea/product/service/widget to start with! 

But in most cases, our clients aren’t very ‘different’. So, how do we present our clients as ‘dramatically different’ from the others? How can we get their message to stand out from the ‘noise’?



It’s a question I asked myself when I heard an ad for a real estate client being edited in one of our studios today. There was the obligatory ‘friendly, knowledgeable staff’ line, the ‘over 100 years combined experience’ patter, and the usual ‘we’ll help you find your dream home’ phrases.

The problem is, I think we’ve heard it all before.

So how do we approach writing an ad, casting the voice or producing the spot so it sounds different to the rest? Perhaps one way to approach this challenge is to highlight the problem for the listener, and then present them with a solution.

For example..
Client: Golden Sable Florists 

The Problem: Guys often forget birthdays/anniversaries/important dates, and when they do remember, it’s often on their way home from work and too late in the day to do anything about it.

The Solution:  Golden Sable are open till 6:30pm, plus they have chocolate and vouchers for other gift stores that can be bundled with the flowers. And you can pick them up on the way home, after work.

Perhaps, in the creative process, we could even make suggestions to our clients as to features they could add to their business to make them different from others. As an outsider, it may seem obvious to us, but not so to them.

Helping our clients to sound ‘dramatically different’ certainly is a constant challenge, but one we must take on. Otherwise, they may as well throw their marketing dollars in the air and watch it flutter away in the breeze.

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