I often see student ads attempting what was achieved in this 2008 campaign for Ugly Mug Coffee. Why do they almost never succeed? Well, for starters, writers with Bryan Judkins’ obvious talent are very rare indeed. But talent alone can’t explain the sharp wit and insight contained in this work.
I would be willing to bet that another reason for the quality of these ads was the writer’s acceptance of the need for endless revision and refinement. If there are 700 words of copy in the ads above, there were probably another 3,000 words of copy that Bryan whittled away and discarded. (I don’t know Bryan, but I would still feel pretty secure making that bet.)
By contrast, the student and junior pieces I see seldom show this kind of dedication to craft. It generally seems as if the student sat down at his Mac with an InDesign file open, and then got up twenty minutes later when there was no more room for type.
Copy is rightly regarded as a visual element in and of itself. (And this is a good time to show major respect for art director Trevor Williams and the fantastic typographers at Yee-Haw Industries.) But art direction like this promises that the copy will be very much worth reading. And so, my young copywriting friends, you must prepare yourselves to keep that promise.
The credits are below. Special thanks to http://getbeta.tumblr.com/ for alerting me to this campaign, which I’m embarrassed to say I had never seen before.
CLIENT: Ugly Mug Coffee
AGENCY: Young & Laramore, Indianapolis
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Charlie Hopper
ACD / COPYWRITER: Bryan Judkins
ACD / ART DIRECTOR: Trevor Williams
LETTERPRESS TYPOGRAPHY: Yee-Haw Industries
STRATEGY: Tom Denari, Margit Fawbush, Christian Mehall
PHOTOGRAPHER: Harold Lee Miller, Gary Sparks