and another thing…

Dealing with clients is often tricky. A savvy switched on client can makes working an absolute pleasure. This inspired AdVerbitims site shows the other side of the coin, however, with an insight into what makes creatives want to plunge their heads into food blenders.

These kind of conversations happen so frequently that they just become part of the job.

For me the most persistent grip is still the idea that you can’t start a sentence with the word “and”. Believe me this still happens, and even in 2008 there are people who think this is unforgivable. They have of course been schooled with the idea that you must not start a sentence with a conjunction, (for example “and” or “but” or “so” or “because”).

First I would like to reassure these people that the English language will not crumble and civilization will not fall, its great battle lost, just because copywriters bend the rules. Copywriters are bending the rules for one reason only: because marketing copy has a particularly tough time getting read. Be honest, have you ever sprung out of bed with a burning desire to read marketing copy?

That’s why one of the most basic skills of the copywriter is to make copy easy to read. After all, our readers, bless ’em, are easily spooked. And if they they are going to stop reading something, they’ll do it at the end of a paragraph. Look at all that white space… Scary isn’t it?

But starting a paragraph with a conjunction is like putting a tiny little magnet on it. This joins the first sentence in a paragraph to the last one in the preceding paragraph – and tricks the reader into thinking that no jump has been made. Instead of bolting for the long grass, they stick around and finish what you have written.

And in that way you might just persuade them to do what you want them to do.

About Peter Kenny

I lead a double life. Identity #1. A writer of poems, plays, libretti, prose, journalism and so on. Identity #2: A marketing outlier, working with London creative agencies and my own clients as a copywriter and creative consultant.
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