So, You Want to be a Copywriter

Anthropologist and adman John McCreery was hired by Hakuhodo as an English-language copywriter in 1983. During the thirteen years he worked for Hakuhodo, his clients included Canon, NEC, Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi, Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Nippon Lever, Buena-Vista Japan, and Tiffany&Company. Major campaigns included the pan-European launch of the EOS autofocus SLR camera and the launch of Caffeine Free Diet Coke in Japan. Since 2008, he has been conducting research for a study of top Japanese creatives whose ads have made it into the Tokyo Copywriters Club Advertising Copy Annual. The research includes reading books and articles and conducting interviews with Japan's most successful copywriters.

In this presentation, he will share what he has learned in the three decades since a clueless academic found himself learning a job that he never expected to do.

Questions addressed in the presentation will include: What is it like to work as an English-language copywriter for a Japanese advertising agency? How do copywriters differ from other wordsmiths, translators and journalists, in particular? What special skills do copywriters need? And how is the market changing as print media decline, TV audiences are shrinking, and writing for the Web is in growing demand?

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