The Perfect Set
Last night I saw a show at the World Cafe in Philadelphia. It was an intimate set with assigned seating, where you could order drinks, food and sit back, relax, and enjoy the music. It was a set up I was unfamiliar with but one that now I have experienced, hope to enjoy again. Unlike general admission or stadium seating, I had room and a great view of the stage with no over-exuberant fan bouncing around in front of me to block my view. The featured artist was two members out of the group Travis, a band I have been following for around ten years (god am I that old? ). Before each song, Fran, the lead singer, explained the story behind it, and to my surprise, he is not only an excellent showman, but a hilarious individual. At the night’s end, the band stayed for an extra two hours to personally meet any fan that wished to stay back and chat.
Overall, I’d have to say it was one of the best shows I have been to for the simple fact that it was relaxed and personal. You could tell great time went into the song selections. As the band has been around for quite some time, they have a catalog of over 150 songs from which to choose but they widdled the selection down to 20 and gave a detailed snap shot of where they were, and what the inspiration was behind, each song. When combined together, it was an excellent summary of their career.
Though it may be hard to draw a connection, here at our full-service advertising agency, we follow a similar process when developing a corporate or medical website, spokesperson video, eLearning program, and other projects. Like the concert, to keep audiences interested, you have to be selective about what you include in your set. It is essential that we locate and pinpoint the most important topics and points of interest that succeed in presenting a company’s story. As a professional copywriter, this is perhaps the biggest aspect of my job. Oftentimes, we are presented with a lump of information that we have to sort through to find the core message and beliefs that anchor a company’s or organization’s actions. We then build around that message to create copy that tells a client’s story without overwhelming or boring the reader. Whether we are writing a brochure, copy for a direct mail campaign, or several pages of content for a search engine optimized website, the task before us is always the same: discover the heart of the project, and set in place the plot points that best progress the overall message.
This same approach is applied not only to creative copywriting, but also design. Take for instance a website design one of our talented graphic designers is working on. It is an eCommerce website that will sell a selection of unique yoga products. The designer used imagery that evoked feelings of serenity and balance and calmness as its core and layered additional aspects that furthered along the intended message; from yoga imagery to color selection, each decision and each layer played an important role in the overall aesthetic. So I guess in our own way, we too are painstakingly creating a set of steps to yield the best reaction. No, we may not be performing for a live audience, but an audience just the same and we work hard to please.