Shephali Bhatt
Jan 10, 2013

'Talk to us in your ad with a voice'

Jury members Agnello Dias, David Shanks and Mohit Hira offer pointers ahead of the long copy ad contest Longhand 2.0.

'Talk to us in your ad with a voice'

The jury has decided on the briefs for the second edition of Longhand, the long copy writing competition. With the date for sending entries set at 15 January, here are some words of advice from some members of the jury.



Agnello Dias, chairman, co-founder, Taproot India

Don't try and read too many long copy ads before you start writing. In a prolonged craft exercise, like thinking over an idea and its execution, several ideas creep up in your mind at once and ultimately you end up writing in a manner similar to your closest reference. 

Instead, watch a lot of movies or do some other stuff just before you sit down to write. 

And don't bother about the size of the copy in the beginning. Those elements can be dealt with later too.



David Shanks, owner, Clear Brand Essence

Don't get seduced by too much wordplay or self-indulgent waffle. Keep in mind that we are in the business of selling something. Don’t try to show off. As my first creative director would say, “Shanksy, we are an advertising agency, not an embroidery school.”

Don't stop at your first idea. The more interesting the thought, the more curious we will become. Inform us with facts, engage us with humour, fear or entertainment, inspire us into action and friendship.

Kill your darlings. Be brutal. Rewrite. Every word is precious. Read your copy out loud to your wife. Talk to us in your ad with a voice. 

Finally, ponder the thought that it’s not about words vs pictures. It’s about the use of words to create powerful imagery. I learnt this by copying out the body copy, by hand, of people like Tony Brignull and David Abbott. I can still recite some of this today. I’m still trying to repeat it.

Remember, you have two seconds to lose us and two minutes to keep us. Above all, be simple. Good luck!



Mohit Hira, senior vice president and regional business director - Airtel, JWT India

Write, don't type. Be convincing, not clever. Advertising is here to sell a service or product and has to be created to a brief for a designated target audience; and we've got some pretty interesting briefs that can become the stimuli for long-copy ads. 

Obviously, they have to be well written but every entry should be crafted as though it will really run in print… and then, who knows!

Click here to go through the briefs for Longhand 2.0. 

Here's the 'Call for Entries' ad created by Bodhisatwa Dasgupta, founder of Longhand and associate creative director at Grey, Delhi. 


Campaign India