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The Copywriter Vs. The Coffee Lady

23 March 2010 No Comment

It happened last week.

We were doing a pre-production meeting and one of the clients realized that there was too much information in their new TV spot.

I agreed. Our first script had at least half of the information about their offer.

I opened the computer and rewrote it.

That’s when the coffee lady entered the room.

1waitress“Here is our target.” said the client. “show it to her.”

The woman was a bit scared. I would probably be too, if I entered a room with 15 people and somebody called me “target” and then said they would “show me” something.

The client continued.

“We are thinking about an offer here and we would like to know your opinion about it.”

“What kind of offer?”

He asked me, and I read just the short version of the offer part to her, calmly, and giving a special attention to the main benefits. She reacted immediately.

“That’s fantastic! I think everybody will love it!”

“They will love what part?”

“The…offer!”

“Can you please tell us, what offer it is?”

“Oh, you are offering people great stuff, that’s worthy.”

She obviously didn’t get it.

And she was not watching her favourite TV show, with a lot of other commercials in the middle and their children fighting in the couch while her husband was asking for a beer.

It made me remember about an interview with a famous actor telling about his biggest fiasco ever.

He said that everybody met him in the streets and kept congratulating him for the success.

Some weeks later looking at the clipping, he realized that it was because of his big beautiful photos in the huge coverage of his decline in the newspapers and magazines.

The client was right: the coffee lady was our target. But people already have a lot to do, to learn, to read, to remember. And the media and the advertising are massacring them.

The best we can do keep making it simple, surprising, at least, looking good.

- Fabio Seidl

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