Check out some great work from Raj Kamble.
WS: And for writers, do you need to see copy? Do you want to see evidence that they can write?
RK: Yeah. I think people are writing less and less. And I think it’s sad because copy is important. But I don’t believe in long copy or short copy. I believe in the idea. If the idea requires writing short copy, write short copy. If the idea requires writing long copy, write long copy. So it depends on the idea. If a young guy comes and shows me he can write amazing copy and that product requires copy, I’d be really happy because that shows he can do an amazing job in the future. And, with a guy who can write long copy, there’s a very good chance that he can write short copy too. So if someone has a long-copy ad in his portfolio, I will read that copy to judge him. It is very tough to judge a writer based on one or two lines. So, if you’re a writer and you have long copy, I think it’s a great idea. But again, don’t write long copy for the sake of writing long copy. Write it if your idea requires long copy.
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WS: And do you have any other advice for someone just starting out in the industry?
RK: The most important thing in this business is you have to be nice. Doesn’t matter how good you are. You can improve. Many times people improve and they’re getting better and better, but you have to be nice to other people. If you get a chance to talk to somebody, or show your book to somebody, respect that person. I would definitely recommend that you go online and find out about that person you’re meeting. So you know who he is, what he did, all the information, so maybe you can impress him. “You know, I saw your campaign…,” and he thinks, “This guy really knows who I am and he wants to work for me.”
Number two is don’t do campaigns for a product that does not exist. But don’t do a big campaign. Don’t do a campaign for Nike again because it’s very tough to beat what they have. So choose a small brand that never made it big-time, and find a unique selling point they have, and create a personality for the brand. Choose a second-tier brand and make them a first-tier brand.
Number three: I think this is the best time in your life to find the right partner—a copy partner or art partner. So if you’re a copywriter, keep your eyes open when you’re looking for a job to find the right art director, because when you find the right partner, that’s half the battle. That’s very, very, very important. And always choose a partner who is better than you. And that’s it. That’s the secret of this business.