Reason 731 to hire a copywriter or The demise of Steve Jobs

By February 4, 2010 Critical Copywriting, How To

First, watch this video (or at least the first 30 seconds)…

My dear friend and tech writer extraordinaire, Ron Miller, posted this video on his blog and sent me over to see it. And I have to tell you, I didn’t think it was funny at all. I was embarrassed for Steve Jobs and the whole Apple team. I cringed.

NOT because of the name of the new product (personally, I think this whole hooha about feminine hygiene products is really, really stupid) and NOT because Mr. Jobs looks silly in that turtleneck with those bright white sneakers. (You’re a bazillionaire, Stevie, try a little bit harder. Even I could dress you better than that.)

My reaction was because, as this video points out, his talk was horrible. He used the same adjectives dozens of times. Maybe it didn’t sound AS bad when the sound bites were evenly dispersed – but I’m not so sure. Regardless, I think we can agree that this is just bad writing and it’s just bad speeching.

So, Reason 731 to use a copywriter? We write speeches, video spots, announcements. We craft your message so that you don’t sound like an idiot. We wordsmith your ideas so that people don’t make YouTube videos that mock you. We write good, so that you talk good…or something pithy like that. I dare say, old chap, we’re critical to your successful marketing and promotional experience.

In fact, good copywriters are awesome, amazing, great, magical and incredible…times 20 (just like Jobs said).

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • I’ll write for Steve Jobs for almost free. Heck, my 9 year old could write as well as that speech
    .-= Justin Matthews´s last blog ..why I stay at home, part 1 =-.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Justin: rule #1 of copywriting – never do anything for free. Don’t forget that. I don’t care who the client is!

  • ALMOST free…Almost…
    .-= Justin Matthews´s last blog ..why I stay at home, part 1 =-.

  • Tim says:

    This might not be the best example. I can easily imagine the response, “He may not have a copywriter, but he’s a bazillionaire CEO of a company with more cash on hand than God and an entire product line people drool over who doesn’t have a copywriter.” Very, very few companies can pull it off, but Apple is a brand that transcended copy a while ago, though back in the day it certainly mattered to them. Jobs could demo a new product and do the entire pitch in Swahili and it wouldn’t matter. It’s the 99.999999% of the world that lacks perfect design, viral marketing, and a tribe full of raving zealots who need us. :-)

  • Laurie says:

    Ok ok I give! Hi Julie. I’m a new blogger (3 mos) and found the audacity to go to a blogger’s conference. I’ve been hanging out with Andi & Alisa and your name has come up several times …all very flattering. So I’m now officially a fan.

    I hear you can write …….

    I look forward to getting to know you Julie.

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie´s last blog ..I Love To Dance =-.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Hi Laurie! So great to meet you…so jealous you’re hanging with Andi and Alisa!!! Look forward to getting to know you too!

  • Anonymous says:

    Do you really think this is unintended? That’s absurd.

    Repetition is product launch 101.

    Read some of the real-time coverage of the event; a thousand journalists shouting in unison that the iPad is beautiful, incredible, great. Most of the first-impression reviews used the same vocabulary.

    If you didn’t know, well… Maybe it would be wiser to stick with correcting grammatical mistakes. This kind of a presentation is not about semantic agility, it’s about publicity.

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