Teaching The Basics Of Advertising Isn’t So Basic Anymore

A little confessional today:
So I’m teaching a five-week “Intro to Ad Copywriting” class at Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts. It’s only a five-session course, part of a “Summer Boot Camp” for the business. It’s not much time. So we’re starting with the basics: Headline writing, concepting, making persuasive arguments. We’ll move into visual thinking, writing for the web and radio/video later on. Really though, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what today’s copywriters need to know to be successful.

I’m starting to think that teaching the basics, in this era of so much fragmentation, is a little like walking my students to an all-you-can-eat buffet. I’m the one who has to give them a fork, a knife, and a plate. Otherwise, they can’t go any further.

A while back on Talent Zoo I asked the question, Are the Fundamentals of Advertising Fundamental Anymore?. And the truth is, I have no idea. Some of the best ideas in advertising and marketing, if you believe what you read and what’s getting awarded, has little to do with the art of copywriting.

But I gotta start somewhere. Right? What would you want aspiring copywriters to know?



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.