How do you inspire a copywriter? By putting them in a room with 15 others. - MARKETING Magazine Asia


How do you inspire a copywriter? By putting them in a room with 15 others.

Creative Group Head of Leo Burnett Jovian Lee is a humble man. So humble that his LinkedIn profile still says he’s a copywriter with the agency. His reasoning? – malu nak ngaku (shy to admit). 

However, Jovian was anything but shy as he conducted a Copywriting Workshop for Beginners yesterday at the Sime Darby Convention Center. The workshop, attended by both aspiring and experienced copywriters, was 8-hours of inspiration every writer needs once in a while, to get their head off the gutter. Being inspired was a guarantee with the workshop which is no surprise considering Jovian’s experience. 

His copy that sells shoes in Jalan TAR’s P.Lal Store is featured in New York’s One Show advertising award book. Jovian’s work also includes the likes of Nano-Nano (yes, that 1990s “sweet, sour & salty” animated TV ad); his initiatives for clients include Dutch Lady’s “Susu & Sahur” which won an Effies Silver. His work on Montfort Sabah “Spoon” won a Pinnacle (DDB global’s highest award); his copywriting for Wyeth milk won Adfest Gold, and was awarded a Pencil by the Leo Burnett global network. 

The workshop yesterday started off by getting participants to identify the approach they wish to take when conceptualizing an ad for the client. After introducing the participants to the different options copywriters and creative directors have when it comes to producing a compelling ad, they were put to work and given the task to create client pitch based on a mock brief. 

A copywriter himself, Jovian seamlessly blended in with the workshop participants, as he empathised with their struggles and provided insightful recommendations for the different challenges they faced

Every segment of the workshop was divided into three parts: sharing of cast studies and live examples followed by working group breakouts and group presentation. 

Each breakout group presented a list of their best pitches based on mock briefs prepared by Jovian

Each group presentation received in-depth feedback from Jovian and other participants before a democratic voting session which determined the best pitch for each segment. 

Needless to say the workshop saw some of the craziest, most daring pitches because what’s the point of mock pitches if you can’t push the boundaries? 

Denise Ang from Dolphin Malaysia received the highest number of votes for best pitch throughout the workshop and received a copy of the book “How You Know” which features quotes and stories about the late Yasmin Ahmad.

The workshop ended with a series of examples featuring some of the most memorable and inspiring ads created by Malaysians before Jovian spent one-on-one time with candidates who needed advice on some of their challenges as copy-writers. 

The workshop participants left feeling more inspired than they have in the last few months, with fresh ideas to put to work.

The walls of the meeting room the workshop was conducted in, was filled with examples of award winning ads created by Jovian Lee over the years.

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