Copyranter on the ‘shit copywriters really think’

Mark Duffy has written the Copyranter blog for 10 years and is a freelancing copywriter with 20-plus years of experience. His hockey wrist shot is better than yours.

Copywriters are still both the most insecure and the most important agency employees. That’s because, despite this new “ideas can come from anywhere” hooey parroted by various vice presidents of strategy and “content” and especially Digital Whatnots, all the good ideas still come from copywriters.

Because of this, copywriters say all kinds of abrasive, condescending and even hateful things to art directors, creative directors, account idiots, digital know-nothings, clients, their friends, their own CEO, etc.

Three years ago, some agency creatives did a “Shit Copywriters Say” video, but it is a terrible example of the “Shit _______ Say” meme, and they should have been fired for making it.

No matter. Because what copywriters think is far, far worse than what they say, trust me.

SCENARIO: Client briefing with marketing manager
Why am I here? This is the account exec’s job to listen to this useless pointless garbage. Oh look, the marketing manager’s got two BlackBerrys going at once. Aren’t you such a pretend-busy little psycho. I think I’ll try to sneak a short brunette double BlackBerry Jersey girl in 5” heels into the next TV campaign, see if you notice… 

You want me to “refresh” your website copy — dreadful meaningless run-on paragraphs written by your nimrod marketing VP? Texting the smiling pencil-neck AE sitting next to me: “U wanna write copy, son? Here ya go. You’re fluent in this marcom non-speak, u no-talent 2-faced suit.” I don’t hit send.

SCENARIO: Monday morning 10 a.m. agency status meeting
If this thing goes longer than 90 minutes (again), I’m going across the street (again) and pounding three shots of speed rack vodka (only $3 a pop) for lunch. There are zero reasons for copywriters to be at status meetings. What’s the point of them? They’re for account execs and vice presidents of strategy and social media managers to, yet again, try to justify their existence.

Free bagels to soak up the hooch, though.

SCENARIO: Pre-judging the ADDY Awards, print room
Dogshit. Dogshit. Dogshit. Kill yourselves. Dogshit…

SCENARIO: Meeting with the client’s digital agency’s “creative” team to “brainstorm”
Search all the parks in all your cities; you’ll find no statues of “committees” … or digital “content” managers in skinny jeans with Peaky Blinders haircuts. Christ, I’m so far out of touch, I feel like a time traveler.

Why are they all smiling? Quit looking at me like I’m dead, you noodled-armed Warby Parker-wearing algorithm-loving wuss-face … I could clean & jerk you and throw you out the window…

Hey, I got an idea: How about an actual idea? Apps aren’t ideas. Plug-ins aren’t ideas. Snapchat isn’t an idea. They’re TOOLS, you tools.

Free lunch at least… 

SCENARIO: Interview with a big media site’s 30-year-old “content” studio creative director
What do I have to prove to this child? Yet here I am, lying to his face about how good his sponsored posts are, when in fact they are the absolute worst advertising I’ve ever seen. EVER. A post titled simply: “CLICK HERE ASSHOLE (sponsored)” would be better and score better than everything he has ever done. 

And yet here I am begging him for a job. To do what? Write garbage “content?” Eating a bullet crosses my mind. Luckily, I’m not hired. 

SCENARIO: Scanning Digiday Headlines
Goddammit, I don’t know what half of these words mean.

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