|Type DM, eDM
Being a copywriter, not much surprises me. I’ve written everything from eGaming tactics right through to students howling at the moon – but what was a pleasant surprise was learning about VisitBritain’s latest campaign: microgapping.
It was part of the tourist board’s challenge of targeting millennials, where instead of taking gap years abroad, VisitBritain hoped to persuade them to take a mini gap break in England instead.
With the hope of encouraging students to take up new skills, I used punchy and commanding sentences.
Descriptive verbs such as ‘explore’ and ‘discover’ were used to get people to act on their thoughts, while cultural references such as motivational quotes and a play on Netflix and chill (no flicks and chill) were also used to show VisitBritain’s youthful and humorous side.
It’s a nice change to go from writing lengthy copy to short, snappy straplines. And if anything, it makes you work harder – thinking up ways of fitting in creative ideas in just a few words.
But a good exercise for this is treating your copy like Twitter, compressing your best thoughts into a limited character tweet. If you see some stray prepositions, eliminate them. Avoid ‘very’ at all costs (the word, not the brand), chuck out any redundant words and write in a passive voice.
Because as any awesome copywriter will know, reducing word count is NOT the same as reducing your content.