Copywriting Blog


“Want Me to Bring Some Homemade Humans to Your Party?” … “Huh?” … “I mean HUMMUS.” (Damn You, Autocorrect!)

Anna GoldsmithKvetching2 Comments

“Your mom and I are going to divorce next month.” Her father had meant to type “Disney” and quickly corrected his mistake. But poor Hannah was shaken. Another victim of autocorrect. In a recent New York Times article, Ben Zimmer writes about the often humorous (embarrassing, socially devastating) results of autocorrect. Wondering how autocorrect works? Or, in many cases, doesn’t … Read More

Okay, Misguided Client, It’s Your Funeral

Dan O'SullivanKvetching, The Writing Life3 Comments

“First, do no harm,” is a phrase commonly associated with a physician’s commitment to the patient. Copywriters, too, should stick by this rule. So here’s an ethical dilemma for you: As a copywriter, what do you do when a client requests or, worse yet, insists that you do something not in her interest? Here’s a good example: A few years … Read More

Hey, Moms! Are You Looking for the Perfect Father’s Day Gift for Your Husband’s Gay Lover?

Anna GoldsmithKvetchingLeave a Comment

The week before Father’s Day, I was flipping through the New York Times “Sunday Styles” section and came across this ad. It was for a department store I hadn’t heard of, and the caption was something like, “Hey Moms — give Dad what he really wants this Father’s Day.” What? To spend time with his personal trainer, “Karl”? Seriously, look … Read More

How Not to Sound Like a Jerk on Your Company Website

Anna GoldsmithKvetching2 Comments

At The Hired Pens, a good chunk of our work comes from design, interactive and advertising agencies. They call on us when their internal team can’t handle a project due to scope or subject. Or they don’t actually have copywriters on staff, so we serve as their go-to copywriting agency. We’re happy to oblige. And since we now have an … Read More

Anatomically Considered Placement?

Anna GoldsmithBranding, KvetchingLeave a Comment

At The Hired Pens, we write a lot of catalog copy — for PUMA, Zappos, Hasbro, Stride Rite, Timberland … the list goes on.  So to stay up on things, I always read new catalogs that arrive in the mail. The one that landed today has a really cool name: Sweaty Betty. It’s filled with workout gear for women. I … Read More

The Hired Pens: We Write with Our Fingers

Anna GoldsmithBranding, Kvetching2 Comments

Dear Citgo, I walk by your billboard, “Citgo is Good Gas,” several times a week and keep meaning to ask you about it. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’ve never considered whether or not one brand of gasoline is of a higher quality than another brand. In advertising speak, “quality” isn’t a point of differentiation for you. It … Read More

Cool It with the Exclamation Points, Sovereign Bank

Dan O'SullivanKvetching3 Comments

I’ll admit that complaining about exclamation points isn’t exactly the freshest angle for a copywriter to pursue. But on my way to work today, I saw such an egregious use of this rampantly overused punctuation mark that I have to comment on it. Outside my local Sovereign Bank — where I’m a satisfied customer, by the way — I came … Read More