Now THIS is copywriting


Having posted earlier in the week about that ridiculous beer ad, I thought I’d redress the balance by drawing your attention to some work that really blew me away recently. I’ve always loved the Tate ‘Collections’ campaign by Fallon ten years ago. I think the idea of marketing an art gallery without featuring art in the ads is inspired. This recent work from Grey London follows on in that copy-only vein but the tone of the writing is very different. The use of the second person grabs you right away and the direct, unadorned style keeps your eyes pinned to the page. The fact that this isn’t fluffy ad copy but biography..history…pure, unadulterated reality makes it utterly compelling. And that last sentence – ‘You don’t paint studies of flowers in a vase and you aren’t going to start now’ – is so angry and visceral, it feels like a punk slogan or Situationist graffiti from Paris 1968. It could’ve been the headline but it’s so much more powerful used like this, as the hardcore, almost malevolent, crescendo.

There could have been a thousand different ways of art directing this but I’m so glad they kept the look and typography stark and austere – it adds gravitas and contributes to the sense that the copy’s going to leap off the page, grab you around the throat and scream in your face, “LISTEN UP, I’M NOT MUCKING AROUND SELLING BOG ROLL HERE MOTHERFUCKER! I’M LAYING DOWN SOME HEAVY SHIT. THIS IS THE FUCKING TRUTH MAN!’

The whole thing made me immediately want to go and seek out the Triptych painting it’s talking about – so job done. Here it is – seriously powerful stuff, eh? But looking at art online is such a useless substitute for the real thing – I heartily recommend readers back in Old Blighty get yourselves along to the Tate Britain in Pimlico to see it in the flesh and bask in its strange and disturbing genius.

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