"We stole their land, their buffalo and their women. Then we went back for their shoes." This is the headline that got me into advertising. It’s an ad for Timberland written by the just exceptional Tim Delaney. And back when I didn’t even know copywriting was a thing, I knew writing stuff like this was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do.
Over 20 years and several industry roles, I think I’ve massed the experience to understand why I found that particular line so inspiring, and also what I find so appealing about my job.
And perhaps surprisingly, it doesn’t have all that much to do with a love of words or a desire to express myself. Instead, it’s down to simplification. Whether it’s through ideas, headlines or copy, a copywriter has to condense and distill often complex information into a single interesting thought that’s funny or emotional or engaging enough to compel a complete stranger to act. I love doing that.