Copywriters are not typically known for our brevity when it comes to words. Ask any designer, they’ll tell you. There is an epic battle between designers and writers waging on in agencies around the world. Designers: Can we chop the copy by half? Writers: Can we alter the design to include the copy?
As wonderful as wordiness can be in the right situation, there is an undeniable impact that comes along with being able to convey a grand message, passion or purpose in a few succinct words. The best spirit lines, mission statements and vision statements are proof of the point. If you’ve ever sat down to craft one of these streamlined beasts, you’ll understand.
Saying a lot in a little can be one of the greatest challenges a writer will ever face. When it’s bad, it’s really bad. It falls short and fails to capture the spirit of the message you want to convey. It can come off as lazy, misdirected, cliche and boring. But when you get it right, it’s golden. People pay attention. They remember you and your brand.
I recently discovered one such tagline in an unexpected place: a bag of manure. Or “Moo-nure,” rather. Moo-nure is an organic soil containing a not-so-secret ingredient: cow poo. When I lifted the bag into the back of my car, I noticed Moo-nure’s tagline: We Are Number 1 in the Number 2 Business. It made me laugh out loud.
When you know who you are as a brand, understand what you do and have a vision for what you want to become – you want to share that with the world. Finding those few, precious, perfect words may not always be easy, but when you do, you’ll know it. And others will remember it.
And now for a little exercise. A friend recently passed this link along to me.
One life. Six Words. What will yours be?