6 truths and a lie: what copywriters should know about working in the ad industry


  1. there’s really only 1 rule in advertising, and it’s to resonate with your target audience. however you manage to do that is fine.
  2. just as every family differs, every agency has its own culture, so your experience as a copywriter will never be the same from agency to agency.
  3. some copywriters can’t spell simple words, but their ideas are brilliant.
  4. it’s rare that everyone in your target range will love an ad – it’s successful if most people like it.
  5. award-winning campaigns don’t always translate to increased sales for the client, rendering them unsuccessful from the client’s viewpoint.
  6. to be an effective copywriter, you should try to understand the nuances of the culture you live in across all age groups, education levels, ethnicities and lifestyles.


  1. it’s untrue that a copywriter’s age, education level, ethnicity or lifestyle will determine whether or not he she or he can achieve #5 above. appearances can be deceptive; sometimes the person with the most bravado has the worst creative ideas, and the retiring wallflower in the corner can stun with a wildly intricate, perfect concept. sometimes it’s the person in his twenties who shuns social media and the man in his sixties who loves it. sometimes everyone has to get into the head of a seven year old girl for a campaign, and it could be the guy in the Yankees hoodie who does it best. i’ve learned that you just never know.

kim taylor

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