Okay, I lied – there are a few words: a preamble, as such.
If I mention copywriting, clients of all types and sizes know exactly what I mean.
However, as soon as I stepped outside of agencies, I found that mentioning ‘conceptual copywriting’ often resulted in frowns on the faces of clients.
Well, simply put, conceptual copywriting is the simplest, smartest, form of copywriting out there … and it involves few (if any) words.
In essence, with conceptual copywriting, the only use of of words – to bolt ‘copywriting’ to – comes from having to think of the visual idea in your head to be able to articulate it (so you know what image to show), so that it can be created.
You have to be able to speak the idea for it to exist, it just doesn’t involve the literal writing of lots of words, like a press advert, direct mail piece, or some content.
Below are some fantastic examples of conceptual copywriting. They’re all completely visual, but they communicate a message for a product, and they couldn’t be shown if the idea – in words – hadn’t existed inside the copywriter’s head:
If conceptual copywriting is taken one step further – if a consistent message is communicated beyond a one-off poster – then you end up with a campaign, with lots of visual representations of the same, single, powerful message, such as the Stella Artois ‘Reassuringly expensive’ posters:
So, there you have it: some of the best copywriting doesn’t involve, erm… writing.