Yes, you’ve still got mail

Like radio, email isn’t dying, it’s just changing. Over the past decade or so it’s become much more like postal mail. It’s not the place you expect to find a greeting from a friend, or even a timely update from a professional colleague. Instead, it’s a mix of junk mail you hate and discard, plus bills and missives from businesses you also hate but can’t discard. And the junk mail is the bulk of it.

Too long; didn’t read | CR

When social media came along, it created a new realm of possibilities and potential pitfalls for copywriting. What happened next will amaze you…

Short version: the pitfalls won. Ten years on from the dawn of Twitter, we stand on a battlefield strewn with the corpses of dead slogans, with vacuous hashtags victorious. Clever headlines have been decapitated, replaced by formulaic ‘what happened next’ clickbait. Ideas lie choking on the floor, while brand storytellers patrol vague emotional territories, inviting the fleeing public to join a conversation.

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The irony is that, until social media came along, brands were good at being social. The best slogans got inside our heads, language and culture by being memorable and meaningful. Now brands are so keen to host a conversation that they have forgotten how to say something interesting.