COPYWRITING SHORTS #106
You won’t find many copywriters up the Orinoco. Then again, the locals’ need for printed brochures probably isn’t what it was. (That’s assuming of course that online marketing has permeated rain forests far and wide.)
You’ll certainly see many examples of online brochures here in the UK. Their offline cousins are still in play, but they’ve been relegated to a more supportive role in the marketing mix.
It wasn’t always thus. Right up to the 1990s, B2B companies used suites of brochures to flag-up their product ranges. Holiday companies churned out door-stopping editions to cater for every season, whilst estate agents could always be relied upon to excel in the brochure department.
Nowadays, you’re more likely to see brochures as PDF attachments. Many of the same offline copywriting skills are used – not to mention the stock photography and graphics which have always been the minimal mainstay of a half-way decent brochure.
What were once regarded as ‘sales aids’ in their printed format are now very much an adjunct to a company’s website. Having a capacity to go into great detail on any particular topic has always been a great strength of brochures.
For example, you can always get a feel for an attractive property for sale on the Rightmove website. For a full-cream version, however, there’s no substitute for a well-produced printed brochure.
Plenty of marketing people overlook the power of brochures, hence the latter-day put down of purely informative websites as being merely ‘brochure sites’. And yet, they’ve always been a tangible treasure you could whip out – anytime, anywhere (to paraphrase Martini!).
There’s something magical about those 200-gram six-pagers… the feel, the look – and even the smell of recently-dried inks! The marriage of words and pictures in such a timeless format should always have a place in the marketing firmament.
Brochures are the embodiment of the creative potential that copywriters and designers can achieve when they work closely together. The opportunity to produce visual thinking of the highest order is handed to every copywriter willing to embrace this unassuming medium.
In a world where online content is king, the role of conceptual copywriting has withered. This is a wasted opportunity to shine in so many areas. The obvious example that springs to mind is in the field of website design.
Given that every page is potentially a landing page, why isn’t infinite care taken by brochure copywriters and their marketing teams to create maximum impact at every opportunity with the equivalent of a truly stunning brochure page?
All too often, it’s the design template that dictates the weather. And all too often – unlike the Orinoco – that’s likely to be dull, dismal and depressing.
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