It’s easy to write a clever advertising headline. It’s harder to write a headline that speaks in a language other than the one we see in the award books. It means truly getting under the skin of either the brand or the consumer the brand is talking to. A tip I never forgot was to visualise somebody I knew who epitomised the audience and essentially start my bodycopy as if it was a letter to them. So if I were writing for a product my Mother would be keen on, I’d start the bodycopy with ‘Dear Mum’ and remove it at the end. It just allows you to write in a way that doesn’t sound like a salesman.
The Polo campaign was an interesting one to write, as it had to tackle the audience’s perception of the sport. That is, a bunch of elite wankers on ridiculously expensive horses smacking around a ball in front of a braying, rich crowd.
And in many, many ways they were right.
But to attempt to convince the average Aussie to take a second look at a sport they’d never considered watching, we had to demonstrate that Polo could poke fun at itself. So we tackled the perception head on with the wankiest, most ostentatious headlines imaginable. And by doing so, the audience saw an invitation. After all, in Australia if you can take the piss out of yourself, you’re a good bloke, no matter how many millions you have in Daddy’s trust fund.
Once the first headline was written, the others came quite quickly. My tweed clad, shotgun-toting heir to the duchy of wherever was fully formed in my mind. Once he was there, he began to speak. I just took dictation.
(D&AD Writing for Advertising.)