David Droga Defends The Words, And The Wordsmiths

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Chairman of Droga5, David Droga, offers a spirited defense of the art of copywriting:

Today, the glamour of the “Mad Men”-era is long gone, but great copywriting is still very much a core part of the gig. We live in an age of wild media clutter, and big ideas are more difficult to communicate than ever before. Large chunks of the public discourse are played out in 140-character koans and pungent status updates. People who want to express themselves effectively can learn a lot from the hard-won concision of the copywriter.

Long before social media existed, the proto-tweets of advertising had penetrated American popular culture: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” “Where’s the beef?” “A diamond is forever.” “Think different.” You’d be hard pressed to find a writer’s craft that has more directly influenced the vernacular.

It’s always great to see someone like Droga, whose agency produces more multi-faceted campaigns than just print ads, speak to the power of words. But ask any copywriter these days, it’s not getting easier. With less time to do work, the power of matter-of-fact phrases like “click here” that trigger higher responses on the web, and the notion that everyone, clients and consumers included, can be a writer, the art of clever, persuasive, and provocative copywriting is much trickier to defend.

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.