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Is Long Copy Dead?

March 7th, 2012 by Bob Bly

Yes, according to my subscriber GB.

“I don’t know anyone in today’s age, other than a very bored stay-at-home, who has the time or patience to read through all those pages of copy, and God forbid, having to sit through those horrendous dragged-out sales videos,” she says. “I’m at the point that if one of those videos comes up, there’s no message or product on earth that’s worth such a waste of time and I delete it on the spot.”

She is particularly critical of Agora Publishing, a company that has pioneered long-copy landing pages and video sales letters. “Agora needs an overhaul,” she says. “It’s no longer working for busy people. Needed: one page, short and focused with impact.”

The problem with GB’s argument is that Agora makes a fortune from those long sales letters and videos, to the tune of around $300 million a year — kind of demolishing GB’s premise that long copy doesn’t work for them.

Your thoughts?

 

 

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70 responses about “Is Long Copy Dead?”

  1. Joseph Ratliff said:

    I love it when this debate surfaces.

    Long copy will never die, neither will video sales letters IMO.

    If one page isn’t enough to sell whatever is being sold, how could long copy be dead?

    Busy people read long sales letters too, if there is a compelling enough reason to do so. Also, it does help they are reading something that appeals to them (a la part of the target market the letter is directed to).

  2. Oliver Radini said:

    I think the truth is that bad long sales copy has always been dead, but people generalise to all long sales copy. The difficult part is making long copy interesting, but that’s the job of a copywriter.

  3. Morgan said:

    I’ve found long copy especially effective when trying to convince someone to purchase a high-ticket item. These prospects have a lot of questions before making a significant investment for their business or personal use.

  4. Erica Douglass said:

    Great point…but here’s something to think about:

    1) Are Agora’s revenues going up or down over time?
    2) Is Agora testing (and having success with) different forms of sales letters?

    As they are a private company, we may never know the answers to these questions. But it’s still worth testing for our own businesses.

    Moral of the story: Never believe what someone else says–either way! Test for yourself, and see what works.

    -Erica

  5. David Harper said:

    I respect my readers’ time way too much to be interested in long/short. I know they are busy. I want to edit for the shortest length possible to respect their time. If i can make it shorter, shorter, then better, better … because I respect their time. To let techniques like long copy enter into the motivation is to dilute trust.

  6. Bob Bly said:

    David: If short copy sells $100 and long copy for the same product sells $1,000, you are saying you would use the short copy? That would increase your marketing costs tenfold.

  7. Mary Rose Maguire said:

    Ah, the old “Long copy is dead, people hate long copy!” debate!

    My husband hates long copy. I love it. Adore it. I’d write it even if I wasn’t getting paid for it. (Wait a minute… I have!)

    I used to be slightly suspicious of its effect, (“I don’t have enough time to read a novella!!”) UNTIL I stumbled on a LC page that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. It fed my inner conspiracy theorist, fears of the future, etc. etc. It led me by the nose all the way down the page until I suddenly realized…

    I had been hooked!

    Why? Because it was a topic that interested me. The author was claiming to have “inside information.” (Always a good hook.) Secrets sell and yes, even knowing what I know about long copy, I happily went along for the ride.

    I have a split-test direct mailer on deck that consists of a one-page sales letter and a four-pager. (I’m doing this mostly to prove my husband wrong as well as get new business… what can I say? He’s usually right about most things!)

    I am betting the four-pager easily pulls more response than the one-pager. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I did a great deal of research to find the pain points of the targets, so we’ll see if I was right with the copy.

    Long sales copy works because ultimately, people have a greater hold on their wallet than ever before. They want proof. They want reassurance. They want solutions that are credible. Giving them short copy doesn’t ease their mind and IMO, will not loosen that grip on their wallets…

    I’d love to hear if anyone did a short vs. long copy and found that their sales INCREASED with the shorter copy. Perhaps there are industry exceptions.

  8. John Forde said:

    Ha… Bob sent me the link to this page and now I see why.

    Alas, while GB is not alone in the objections she raises, she would find herself very lonely in her conclusions… especially at a table with Agora’s marketers.

    I confess, I write some of those lonnnng messages. Strike that, I write a lot of them. And I get what might sound like a tiny single-digit percentage royalty on the sales any of those promotions generate.

    In other words, if long OR short copy doesn’t sell, I go broke. We don’t need to go into my personal finances… but I’m far from broke. And I’m just one of many copywriters making a very good living doing this.

    My point isn’t to flaunt, but to illustrate that you have to imagine that those who pay us to do it must either be fools… or making a lot more on those long letters than we are.

    And in fact, they are.

    Bob put it succinctly about Agora. They’re a $300 million-a-year company (actually, more than that now). Those videos you hate? Just the format change alone (not a word of copy was changed from the print letters) tripled response rates, even on “tired” text letters and put a surge of an extra $100 million+ to the bottom line.

    For confidentially reasons, I can’t be more specific… but I think you can see the point. GB might feel that the half hour or more to watch a video isn’t worth it, but perhaps it’s not the length but the topic that’s not interesting to her?

    I like to offer this analogy to GB-types: “Gone with the Wind” was one of the most successful movies of all time, at two minutes shy of four hours. Would it have been 10 times better as a five-minute short? Titanic, Gandhi, The Sound of Music, Sophie’s Choice… they’re all long too. Would cutting any one of them in half make them better?

    Imagine the things we could improve, if making them happen faster were the only criteria. 50-year love affairs, fine meals in five-star restaurants, youth… wouldn’t all be better if we just skip all the build up, the long middles, and the resolution… to just get them over with instead?

    Yes, GB might say, but you’re not making great (or even good) movies, writing great novels, or leading us through all the drama of a lifetime… you’re just writing pieces of “junk” mail.

    True. But we use the long copy deliberately and without apology, just the same… for one very simple and, at least to us, obvious reason: it works.

    Like gangbusters.

    Would shorter versions work even better? GB might think so. But we know otherwise. We’ve tested versions that were shortened by as much as 40%… and have consistently seen response rates fall by half or more.

    What’s that tell you? Frankly, I have no idea… because I’m sure GB’s right that people are more busy than ever, more overwhelmed by media messages than ever, and less patient than ever (generally speaking)… but if long copy beats short copy, we’d be fools to go short just because someone like GB says we should.

    Speaking of long, that’s where this reply has already gone… so my apologies for that. No, strike that too. Hope that I went on just long enough to make this clear… and long enough that maybe you enjoyed reading it, too.

    (Bob, thanks for the forward.)

  9. Mary Rose Maguire said:

    Well said, John.

    And for the record, both my husband and I are huge fans of the very long story, “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. And I am very fond of the huge tomes of Harry Potter stories, by J.K. Rowling.

    I’m with you, Bob Bly, and all others who know the truth: long copy works.

  10. Jim Logan said:

    I believe the long copy versus short copy argument is crazy. Copy should be as long as necessary to compel the reader to act.

    The most successful letter I’ve written for a client was one page. And the most successful letter I’ve written for my business was four pages. Neither letter was intended be a certain length when I started.

    Forget about how long or short the copy is and instead focus on the argument you’re making to compel the reader to act. Don’t add one word more or less.

  11. Jacob Duchaine said:

    I think that long copy isn’t dead so much as it’s losing market share.

    I do think there are a lot of people who prefer shorter copy, and that the Facebook and Twitter culture are increasing that portion.

    On the other hand, there are still many situations that long copy is exactly what people are looking for. I think that saying long copy’s dead just because it’s a bit less popular than in days past is wrong.

    As you pointed out, people are using long copy, because it still works.

  12. Juan Ortiz said:

    I agree in the sense that long copy is not going anywhere. If it did, so would brochures, newspapers, and keynote speeches. However, One has to know where to apply long copy, and where not to.

    I don’t believe long copy belongs in blog posts because of the way people use technology today (phones and tablets for reading). But when it comes to informercials, brochures, annual reports, and speeches, you obviously need long copy to create a complete picture of your message to your consumers. Short copy won’t get it done there.

  13. Martin Gross-Albenhausen said:

    I had an easy way of proving how effective long copy is. Aside of not being crafted as one piece of copy, printing out all the copy in one single product page of Amazon would make you read one of the longest sales-letters ever written.

    Not to forget that we do not read sales letters as one letter. Maybe the letter starts with that famous Johnson-Box repeating the teaser or making a bold statement. Then we have sublines … bullet-copy … bold copy … Pictures … we process long copy, and if the target ist well selected, it will be drawn into the text.

    Remember the formula: 40 % target, 40 % offer, 20 % creative. Still valid today, IMHO

  14. Vikas Shukla said:

    Bob, I think long copy is still effective. In fact, most of the times long copy outsells short copy. It’s because there remain several unanswered questions in a short copy. And those unanswered questions raise doubts in the customer’s mind, thus killing sales.

    A long copy answers almost every question a customer may have, leaving no room for doubts! That’s the reason I always prefer long copy.

    Vikas

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  25. Fasha said:

    According to campaignlive “Long copy is of course long dead. The adverts of yesteryear featuring hundreds of carefully crafted words are clearly no more. During the 1990s, the long-copy ad loved by generations of creatives somehow ceased to be, and the occasional examples we see today tend to be pastiches of these past forms.”

    Thank you!

  26. Lesley said:

    I have read also from other articles:

    “It is not true that long copy ads do not work anymore. It was never true. It all depends on the brief given to the agency, what and how much you want to say about the product, what the media plan is and whether it allows for a long format. If one is interested in a certain brand, he will read any ad of that. Or if someone is interested in a particular category – like, say, buying a car – he would read ads of that category, whether long or short. So you will have readers, be it for the craft or for the category,” feels Satbir Singh, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide.

  27. Nathalia said:

    It’s ironic that the one place where long copy really has fallen out of favour is advertising, the industry that invented copywriting in the first place.

    – campaign

  28. Karina said:

    From campaign:

    ” Partly it’s because international campaigns demand international solutions. According to Mr Bean creator Richard Curtis, one of the reasons the films succeed everywhere on earth is their lack of language. When Mr Bean needs a new pair of underpants, he doesn’t head to a shop with a sign saying ‘Haberdashers’, he heads to a shop with a giant pair of Y-fronts hanging outside. We get it, whatever language we speak.

    But mainly it seems to be a combination of changing creative trends and the advent of new technologies. Copy, when it features in the mix at all, doesn’t mean headlines and body text. Instead it’s woven into visuals, products, apps and experiences that play out across multiple platforms and in multiple locations. As a result, today’s advertising copywriters tend to produce relatively few actual words.

    But here’s the thing: who says long copy has to go on ads? The marketing mix is broad, and long copy is alive and well and living on websites, brochures, packaging and so on. For brand writers like myself who spend our days filling up the above with dozens or even hundreds of words, it’s ironic that the one place where long copy really has fallen out of favour is advertising, the industry that invented copywriting in the first place. Funny old world, isn’t it?”

  29. Sonia said:

    From copyblogger:

    “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever. ~ Kyle Reese, The Terminator

    Remember the first time you saw it?

    The yellow highlighter? The centered red headlines? The fake handwriting and the blinking arrows?

    You thought the same thing everyone thinks. “Who in their right mind would give this person a credit card number?”

    You didn’t realize what a ruthless, efficient machine you were looking at.

    In case you don’t know the genre, what many people call those awful sales pages are the internet version of an old copywriting tradition known as long-form copy.

    Long copy isn’t new to the web. Decades ago, successful direct mail copywriters like Gary Bencivenga and Gene Schwartz noticed that “the more you told, the more you sold.”

    In other words, the more relevant, compelling information they could cram into a piece of physical mail, the more likely it was that the customer would buy. Bencivenga in particular liked to push things to almost absurd extremes with direct mail pieces called “magalogs,” which were sometimes nearly as long as the books they were designed to sell.

    But if direct mail was the birthplace of long copy, the Internet was responsible for bringing the form to tens of millions of new readers.”

  30. Angel said:

    According to copyblogger

    ” The copy is just as long (or longer) than the lengthy pages created by more traditional copywriters. It does all the same work—answering the most frequently-raised objections, building rapport, presenting benefits, building urgency.

    But it’s delivered over time, and in a friendly, relaxed tone of voice. It doesn’t seem desperate. And it doesn’t burn out the prospect. Even if the prospect doesn’t buy this time, he’s in a great mood to buy something else down the line.

    The next time you say that you “hate cheesy long sales pages,” start paying attention to the sales copy that does persuade you. See if you can spot the classic persuasion techniques when they’re presented in a new wrapper.”

  31. Maja said:

    According to hubspot

    “The longer your copy can hold people, the more of them you will sell; and the more interesting your copy is, the longer you will hold them. If you can keep your reader interested, you’ll have a better chance of propelling him to action. If you cannot do that, then too small an amount of copy won’t push him far enough along that road anyway. “

  32. Liza said:

    From hubspot

    “Best Copywriting Ads That Prove Effectiveness of Long-Form Advertising
    With long copy, a brand can increase trust, break down the viewer’s objections, and provide her with a better understanding of the product or solution. It gives your brand a chance to tell a more complete story, and in the process, more thoroughly convince the person that your brand is the best brand.

    The main objective is to maximize the impact of every word and phrase. People do not read bad copy, irrelevant copy, and plain boring copy, but they are willing to read long ads with a lot of text if it is engrossing.”

  33. Sofi said:

    “No one wants to read long copy. No one has the time to read long copy – they’re too busy living their hectic lives, checking their phones, running to their next meeting. Long copy will never work as well as a short, catchy one liner. It’s 2015, and humans communicate in texts, whatsapps, tweets… even tweets can be too long sometimes. ‘Slate’ recorded that only 60% of people will scroll through a whole article online, and ‘Trap.it’ suggest that people read a mere 62 words on a webpage before they move on.

    The average human’s attention span is now less than a goldfish’s – it lasts a whole 8 seconds. So everything needs to be easily digestible within an 8 second window, otherwise your time is up and your consumer’s mind has drifted off to outer space remembering the funny cat video they watched on YouTube yesterday.”

    – thewonderfulland

  34. cat said:

    Anyway… yes, in some cases this may indeed be true. However I’m still championing the long copy ad, that there’s still a place for it in our fast paced world of advertising and design.

    In 1963, David Ogilvy (advertising man extraordinaire) said…

    “There is a universal belief in circles that people won’t read long copy. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

    ” Yes true, that is over 50 years ago, and a lot has changed since then. He also went on to say 20 years later…

    “All my experience says that for a great many products, long copy sells more than short… I believe, without any research to support me, that advertisements with long copy convey the impression that you have something important to say, whether people read the copy or not.””

    – thewonderfulland

  35. Vicen said:

    “Now having something important to say is one thing that can differentiate a brand. Maybe this brand stands for something, that can’t be explained in a few short words. In a world of consumer throwaway culture, maybe this is a good thing. Maybe this will catch the eye of a reader, in a magazine which is glossy image after glossy image… maybe the reader wants something to read.

    The Royal Parks Foundations’ ad has a lot to say, for example. It has a lot to say about squirrels.

    I stand by what David Ogilvy’s quote, and I raise him to another point. Long copy can make you feel. If written well, long copy can take you to a faraway place, just like the Royal Park’s example shows… even if it is just to the life of a squirrel. Long copy can spin a web of glorious magical words around your mind that make you imagine what it would be like to live in a world where anything is possible.”

    – thewonderfulland

  36. Seira said:

    According to thewonderfulland

    “Visual ads on the other hand conjure up in your mind the image that the advertiser wants you to see. With a copy ad you conjure up the image in your own mind, and that can sometimes be much more powerful. Just like when you read a book, and become so stuck with the idea of the characters you have in your mind, that you refuse to see the film when it comes out. Imagination is the key.”

  37. Kitty said:

    Based from thewonderfulland

    “Sometimes it’s the thinking after you’ve read the copy that stays with you. It’s like a good book that plays on your mind months after you’ve read it, or the poem that you still remember from school. We are all frustrated designers after all, and we don’t like to let go of our own thinking.

    Naturally there is a place for long copy, and there’s also places that it shouldn’t necessarily be used. Billboards for example… no matter how fantastic your long copy ad is, you don’t want to be causing car accidents because people just can’t tear their eyes away from the story. There’s a place for everything, and cleverly crafted copy can be used in a multitude of mediums in order to create optimum impact. It just needs a little more thought.

    At the end of the day, long copy is only going to work if there’s a good hook. Hook, line and sinker – it has to have a good storyline, you have to want to read on. However it’s definitely not a lost art… the copy just has to work harder in order to captivate the reader. When looking for long copy ads for this blog post, I struggled to find any modern outstanding ones; but I think that there’s still something in long copy, be it nostalgic or not.”

  38. Prepaidcardstatus said:

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  39. Jenny said:

    From a copywriter’s perspective we’re conditioned to love words. It’s built into our DNA – so of course we’re going to vouch for long copy! Take a gander at some of Wordsmith’s favourite long copy ads:

  40. Daniela said:

    When it comes to advertising and content marketing, copywriters are faced with a daily conundrum: short or long copy? No matter what the length, copy should resonate with your audiences. Don’t allow yourself to make decisions based around the mantra ‘the shorter the better’, because time and time again statistics prove otherwise. Did you stop to think perhaps your target audience might not want “big pictures” with ambiguous copy? There are times when short copy can result in miscommunication, misunderstanding and to put it quite simply, may miss the mark completely.

    according to:wordsmith

  41. Jyra said:

    We are living life in the fast lane. Status is not about work and social standing as much as a line on social media. And people stay in touch through 140 characters spelt out on micro-blogging sites.

    When everything is going short, how can the traditional long copy survive in advertising world?

    While advertising greats like David Ogilvy, Neil French, John Caples swore by long copy ads, the recent trend in India – and abroad – has been to stick to shorter passages with a no-nonsense approach. The popular notion is that long copy ads don’t work anymore which is why everyone – from FMCG clients to government offerings – prefers the short copy.

    according to:bestmediainfo

  42. Nicole said:

    One of the toughest jobs a copywriter has, is to maintain consistency of interesting and engaging content throughout the length of their copy. Krispy Kreme excels in this area, by takes the brutally honest approach. Instead of “sugar coating” their already overly sugared doughnuts Krispy Kreme face up to their shortcomings. Charles H. Brower, Chairman of advertising agency BBDO commented, “Honesty is not only the best policy. It is rare enough nowadays to make you pleasantly conspicuous.” They aren’t the healthiest things on the menu, but so what? It’s unapologetically committing the cardinal sin of advertisers in the confectionary industry – speaking the bittersweet truth. Krispy Kreme don’t advise you to overindulge in their delicious goodness, but instead celebrate life’s little pleasures. Life’s too short to be counting calories, so go on and have a doughnut.

    accordind to:wordsmith

  43. Aseya said:

    Partly it’s because international campaigns demand international solutions. According to Mr Bean creator Richard Curtis, one of the reasons the films succeed everywhere on earth is their lack of language. When Mr Bean needs a new pair of underpants, he doesn’t head to a shop with a sign saying ‘Haberdashers’, he heads to a shop with a giant pair of Y-fronts hanging outside. We get it, whatever language we speak.

    according to:campaignlive

  44. Trisha said:

    But mainly it seems to be a combination of changing creative trends and the advent of new technologies. Copy, when it features in the mix at all, doesn’t mean headlines and body text. Instead it’s woven into visuals, products, apps and experiences that play out across multiple platforms and in multiple locations. As a result, today’s advertising copywriters tend to produce relatively few actual words.

    according to:campaignlive

  45. Charles said:

    But here’s the thing: who says long copy has to go on ads? The marketing mix is broad, and long copy is alive and well and living on websites, brochures, packaging and so on. For brand writers like myself who spend our days filling up the above with dozens or even hundreds of words, it’s ironic that the one place where long copy really has fallen out of favour is advertising, the industry that invented copywriting in the first place. Funny old world, isn’t it?

    according to:campaignlive

  46. Chrissa said:

    recently ran into the owner of a company who paid over $50,000 to get a celebrity to endorse their product. The product costs about $75.

    They’re going to have to sell a TON of the product to get their money back. But they chose this celebrity because of his 1.5 million followers on Twitter.

    Here’s the theory: The celebrity will tweet about the product and the product will fly out of the warehouse.

    It will not happen. You get 10-20 words on Twitter before you run out of space. Let me ask you a question. Will you buy a $75 product based on 10-20 words? Of course not.

    Social media can help with brand awareness and it can drive some traffic, but to sell big numbers of a product that’s not something you really need—especially one that costs $79—you may need 2,000 to 3,000 words of copy on a web page.

    I know this because I regularly write these pages and one of them just generated well over $1.5 million in revenue and represented 63% of the company’s sales in 2013.

    Confidentiality keeps me from revealing all, but it was in the golf space. You need a roof over your head more than you need golf equipment. Tweets will not sell much golf equipment, but a finely-tuned landing page can generate massive revenue.

    according to:crazyegg

  47. Khei said:

    n October last year, I attended the AWAI Fast Track to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair, which is the annual trade show for direct response copywriters and content providers.

    Bill Bonner, the founder of Agora, was the keynote speaker. Agora is a leading international publisher of financial, health, and travel information. The “typical” Agora sales page for even an entry-level product is well over 2,000 words.

    After his excellent speech, someone in the audience asked, “Is long copy still working?”

    Bonner replied, “Copy is getting longer.”

    He was talking about the long-form sales copy for his products and services, but let me take his thought one step further: In today’s marketing environment, there’s more than copy.

    Today’s sales copy embraces traditional sales copy PLUS blogs, articles, emails, and social media content.

  48. Hercy said:

    My clients increasingly ask me to write the full suite of copy to sell their products. So I write Google AdWords ads, online display ads, advertorials, landing pages, emails, blogs, Twitter posts, and more.

    The ultimate goal is to funnel the potential customer to a page where I make the full pitch; that page leads to the page where you enter credit card information and hit the “buy” button.

    according to:crazyegg

  49. Joy said:

    Copy is alive and well. Let me augment this thought—especially if you believe that content marketing alone will revolutionize your business. Make sure your content is geared toward making a sale. Simply providing information you think someone might find interesting is a total and complete waste of valuable typing energy.

    Organize your content around your marketing strategy and not the other way around.

    People who follow the latter are the ones who believe that copy is dead and copywriters have no value.

    Today’s most successful marketers understand the value of complementary copy and assign copywriters who understand how to sell to write this content.

    according to:crazyegg

  50. yangyang said:

    “It is not true that long copy ads do not work anymore. It was never true. It all depends on the brief given to the agency, what and how much you want to say about the product, what the media plan is and whether it allows for a long format. If one is interested in a certain brand, he will read any ad of that. Or if someone is interested in a particular category – like, say, buying a car – he would read ads of that category, whether long or short. So you will have readers, be it for the craft or for the category,” feels Satbir Singh, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide.

    There was a time when long copy was favoured by not just advertisers but by clients as well. Neil French, the British adman who brought an advertising revolution in Asia, has often been called one of the last true bastions of long copy. David Ogilvy, John Caples, etc., all swore by the long copy format. Ogilvy, in his famous book ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’, wrote: “All my experience says that for a great many products, long copy sells more than short … advertisements with long copy convey the impression that you have something important to say, whether people read the copy or not.”

    according to:bestmediainfo

  51. Glady said:

    Equus Red Cell’s Chairman, Swapan Seth, a votary and exponent of long copy, does not fully agree. According to Seth, while the former glory years of long copy advertising were well guarded by creative craftsmen and writers, most agencies today are ill-equipped to write them. “To take refuge in the client’s un-interest is the excuse of the lazy and untalented,” insists Seth.

    Incidentally, Seth makes it a point to churn out two or three long copies each year himself, including the copy for HT’s Mint Lounge and the Wildlife Safari copy for Taj Safaris.

    according to:Swapan Seth

  52. Jo said:

    A lot of these arguments seem invalid also to Ajay Kakar, Chief Marketing Officer, Aditya Birla Group – Financial Services. Kakar feels that though it is often felt that marketers and brands do not wish to accept the risk of a long copy, it cannot be generalised.

    “It is fashionable to say and presume that long copy is dead. Who has the time to read, etc., are the kind of arguments we come across. But the truth is it depends on the category and the consumer. If it is a high involvement, high cost or high engagement category, I’d like to know as much as I can before purchasing something,” he says.

    accoring to:Ajay Kakar

  53. boy said:

    While most people agree that long copies are not as widely used as in yesteryear, it is not dead. The art of writing a long copy however is something that has to be cultivated properly for the art to survive.

    According to Seth, many long copies are unreadable. What he himself does is to write them out like a conversation while visualising each line. “A good long copy needs to give information, has to be humorous, should be subtle, and all this while being written in a nice way. All these incidentally are the components of a fine conversation. And a conversationalist.”

    according to:bestmediainfo

  54. Linda said:

    However, O&M’s National Creative Director, Rajiv Rao, feels a long copy can be humorous or serious – the tone does not matter. What matters is the headline and the body. The headline itself should be eye-catching, and the body should be something that makes people want to read it till the end. The ad should be understood in the end.

    “The long copy is definitely about the craft of writing, not the tone. But just like one shoe doesn’t fit all, a long copy is not always required. You have to know when it is needed. A few instances are there which require a long copy, and that will never change. But can the long copy make a strong comeback? It is hard to say so, though I wouldn’t completely say no either,” Rao said.

    according to:Rajiv Rao

  55. Giecori said:

    The common notion is that long copy is dying with the death of people’s interest in reading. Television and the 30-second TVC have sealed the coffin for long copy, it is widely argued, as the new formats make products attractive in the blink of an eye.

    according to:bestmediainfo

  56. Sahara said:

    KV Sridhar aka Pops, National Creative Director, Leo Burnett India, explains that long copy flourished in India when print was important. “In the dying stages of print, television came in and print was relegated to a corner. TV took the mantle of emotional advertising. And with that, people started to forget the power of copy. They don’t realise that visuals will restrict imagination. The written word can never be replaced.”

    Many people hold the same view as Pops. But then again, Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Bang In The Middle, feels that nothing is killing long writing, because if that were the case, then the first thing to have closed down would have been newspapers and magazines.

    according to:KV Sridhar

  57. Farrah said:

    “It is not the form of writing which is in question. Nowadays, we absorb much more in a second than we did a decade back. Besides, clients may not encourage it because of a lack of space. More importantly, people who write long copy aren’t there anymore. They have gone on to mediums which are more accepting of a long piece, like blogging. Some people have left writing altogether. Only some of us are left who like and use long copy. Advertising has moved to telling stories in three words or thirty seconds. In such a scenario, the craft itself is going down,” says Suthan.

    Suthan incidentally regularly writes long copies and uploads them on the agency’s Facebook page. These are not for any particular client, but created just because he and a couple of others at Bang In The Middle like long copies. According to him, this act not only protects his writing skill by sharpening it, but also sort of creates a branding for the agency. “It proves to the world, that yes, we are here and we can write about anything under the sun and make it interesting.” (As proved by his recent tribute to the ‘Gajar ka Halwa’.)

    according to:Prathap Suthan

  58. Kim said:

    Agnello Dias, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India, feels that change in media habits are the reason why long copy is going away. “Persuasive writing has been fractured with increased media fragmentation. We all know the basic tenets of mass persuasion: AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. These were one of the few commandments in the bible of advertising writing. Currenlty, the first three (Attention, Interest, Desire) seem to have become the sole preserve of television or the internet and therefore conventional copywriting is relegated to information or data dissemination.”

    according to:Agnello Dias

  59. Ara said:

    According to Rajiv Rao, it is so. He is a strong believer that long copy is meant only for print and can never work in digital where audio visual takes a front seat.

    But Pops feels otherwise. He explains, “There is so much written material in digital. What matters now is to see how the new generation of writers use the medium. They might just make it more interesting, more argumentative and more thought-provoking. We must accept that media habits have changed. The early morning newspapers have been replaced by iPads and cell-phones. There is too much content out there, with no one to curate or filter anything. But things like Kindle give you hope. That whatever the screen, people read. And as long as people read, long copies can work.”

    according to:bestmediainfo

  60. Thine said:

    Josy Paul, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India, feels that it is futile to complain about long copy’s survival. “Nothing ever dies. They take on new forms. They evolve over time. Long copy is alive and clicking and is finding its way into many different streams – long radio scripts, long internet films, long content pieces, long blogs and so many other creative pursuits. You’ll find long copy is all over the Net. People are writing and writing. It’s like the floodgates have opened for long copy. There’s a sudden outpouring. Looks like the world of advertising had trapped long copy in some old notions of print ads.”

    Taproot’s Agnello feels that “clients don’t believe in it any more as they feel TV and internet alone more than covers all the persuasion thrusts that they need. It may not necessarily be the right belief but it certainly is a belief.”

    according to:Josy Paul

  61. Rodel said:

    A recent ad in the US for Apple sparked a debate about a revival of long copy. But while many people heaved a sigh of relief, assured that long copy is not dead, many others felt that only a huge brand like Apple could pull off something like that.

    According to Satbir Singh, it is a misconception. He feels that the use of long copy should be decided on the basis of what the product is and how much information is to be given, not the brand’s reputation or standing. A new product may want to give more information, or play up one of its features. Then the long copy makes sense. “But then, some brands have a heritage of writing long copies while some have deliberately stayed away from them.”

    Ramki agrees. But he also says that “bigger brands may have more resources or spending power. They don’t have to start from scratch like a new brand. But then again, long copies are popular for new politicians and, say, new real estate projects. In both cases the information provided is of paramount importance.”

    Why would a politician use it? According to Ramki, a long ad is likely to have a better conversion rate. “Whether it pulls more is a statistical question. But it converts more. If 100 people read your ad, 30-40 will be persuaded to buy it. That is a high percentage in comparison to those who are just intrigued by a short copy or TVC.”

    So, while most of the top creative minds lament the disappearance of the long copy, they are hopeful that it can still survive if practitioners choose appropriate mediums for it. As Josy Paul said, “Why complain when every medium is welcoming the art. Let’s forget the past. Let’s embrace where long copy is finding new ground. Everything is relevant if you are connected with people and their dreams, hopes and fears. After that it’s the skill of the writer to keep the reader hooked.”

    When so many top-notch long copy exponents still feel strongly about this once thriving art, long copy may yet survive. But the real danger, at least in a country like India, is that the skill with the written word itself is diminishing across spheres.

    according to:bestmediainfo

  62. Felrose said:

    No one wants to read long copy. No one has the time to read long copy – they’re too busy living their hectic lives, checking their phones, running to their next meeting. Long copy will never work as well as a short, catchy one liner. It’s 2015, and humans communicate in texts, whatsapps, tweets… even tweets can be too long sometimes. ‘Slate’ recorded that only 60% of people will scroll through a whole article online, and ‘Trap.it’ suggest that people read a mere 62 words on a webpage before they move on.

    The average human’s attention span is now less than a goldfish’s – it lasts a whole 8 seconds. So everything needs to be easily digestible within an 8 second window, otherwise your time is up and your consumer’s mind has drifted off to outer space remembering the funny cat video they watched on YouTube yesterday.

    according to:.thewonderland

  63. Jieun said:

    With long copy, a brand can increase trust, break down the viewer’s objections, and provide her with a better understanding of the product or solution. It gives your brand a chance to tell a more complete story, and in the process, more thoroughly convince the person that your brand is the best brand.

    The main objective is to maximize the impact of every word and phrase. People do not read bad copy, irrelevant copy, and plain boring copy, but they are willing to read long ads with a lot of text if it is engrossing.

    according to:blog.hubspot

  64. Jenni said:

    If you persist with rambling copy you’ll get some response – chuck enough mud at a wall some of it will stick. But you’ll be limiting your market to the handful of people who can be bothered to get to the bottom of your long-winded offer. The same goes for direct marketing offline. You need to be succinct, quick off the mark and clear as a bell when creating direct mail too.

    Direct marketing is all about testing. If you want to see for yourself which works best test long copy against short copy, head-to-head, to a big, statistically relevant database and see what happens.

    according to:helpinthecity

  65. Lisa said:

    Long copy has never been out of sight to be back. I have been a long-standing proponent of the theory “the more you tell the more you sell”

    As long as your copy can tell hold me by the neck and make me read and read and finally create a desire to own the product, long copy sure works well.

    according to:copyblogger

  66. Lisoo said:

    So far we’ve focused on using long copy in relation to what you’re selling. But the more important element is to whom you’re selling.

    In other words, the secret to giving people all the information they need to buy from you without offending their sensibilities is the same as Megamind‘s distinction between a villain and a super

    according to:copyblogger

  67. Rose said:

    Long copy works, because people want as much benefit-oriented information as they personally need to make the purchase.

    Some won’t read much of it before buying. Others will read every word.

    The key is to make the presentation of this information — your copy and the visual elements of the page — context appropriate. It needs to look and feel like your audience expects content from you to look and feel.

    If you have an aversion to long copy, take another look at the Amazon and 37signals examples. The tone and design are completely appropriate for each respective audience. That’s why it works.

    If you try to throw garish colors, exclamation points, and yellow highlighter at your audience when that’s not what they expect to see, you lose. In more ways than one.

    according to:copyblogger

  68. devean said:

    I stand by what David Ogilvy’s quote, and I raise him to another point. Long copy can make you feel. If written well, long copy can take you to a faraway place, just like the Royal Park’s example shows… even if it is just to the life of a squirrel. Long copy can spin a web of glorious magical words around your mind that make you imagine what it would be like to live in a world where anything is possible.

    Visual ads on the other hand conjure up in your mind the image that the advertiser wants you to see. With a copy ad you conjure up the image in your own mind, and that can sometimes be much more powerful. Just like when you read a book, and become so stuck with the idea of the characters you have in your mind, that you refuse to see the film when it comes out. Imagination is the key.

    according to:thewonderland

  69. papislotinfo said:

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