Spin to win target market through creative copywriting

By M. Krishnamoorthy – A media coach, associate professor and an author

“I may wear many hats, but only one turban!”

Stating this, Professor Harmandar Singh laughs as he starts his Masterclass for writers.

Ham, was a junior copywriter-cum-errand boy when he hammered a headline in just over 20 seconds during an interview in a bar.

Over 35 years ago, an advertising CEO wanted a one-word headline for the best cigarette lighter, and Ham said, “Matchless” in a flick.

Today, a brand communications guru, writer and former exco member of MERCY Malaysia, he volunteers and helps the needy. As an active creative person, he is also a “corruption buster”, planning and executing campaigns with #RasuahBusters.

“A good copywriter should be able to come up with creative and original ideas for marketing campaigns and messaging. You’ll need to think outside the box and develop fresh and innovative advertising and marketing approaches. Spin to win the target audience may involve developing new campaign ideas or finding unique ways to present information.

“This is especially important in today’s competitive and crowded marketplace, where businesses and organisations constantly look for ways to stand out and differentiate themselves from their competitors. The Creative Journey also begins with thinking inside the Box.

“Deep thinking will spill the truths and fallacies of being creative. It will also help in pitching, meeting deadlines, client management, and meeting client’s expectations,” Ham told more than 40 advertising executives.

On 25th October, he coached in a hands-on class where copywriters learned to write creative copy for advertisements and got advice on improving their campaigns. Ham writes more than 10,000 words weekly for his Marketing magazine.

Working for over 35 years in the creative industry, he has created almost 400 commercials and won over 50 local and international creative awards.

Ham, who has a way with words, soon discovered that the advertising industry combined his affinity for prose with idea creation. “I like writing for advertising. Deep thinking involves making complex things seem simple when delivering a message. That naturally drew me to it. I do a lot of thinking; even when I am not writing, I am actually ‘writing’ in my head, so when I get to the computer, I already have my first few paragraphs [mentally written]. I have always been that kind of a thinker,” said the man who was a weekly columnist with The Star and New Sunday Times.

The one-day Masterclass workshop was an ideas generation and hands-on workshop. Participants brought the client’s brief with some pain points and needs. He dealt with the challenges posed by clients in executing their campaigns. Ham made it happen together with the participant.

Amy Ahmad, a copywriter from Ampersand Advisory, said: “Participating in this workshop by Ham was a transformative experience. His innovative, unconventional insights rekindled my passion and creativity. I’m grateful for the chance to learn from a seasoned marketer like him!”

“This workshop brought me into the wonderful world of creative Ham. He gave me a fantastic perspective and insight into the creative thinking and writing world,” said Previn Singhe, founder and Group CEO of Zerin Properties.

Ham is known for creating many outstanding campaigns, which recently included Wonda as the longest Kopi Tarik.

While Wonda is a leading coffee brand in the Malaysian market, it has been a competitive distractor and disruptor in this space by constantly innovating itself in the Ready-to-Drink (RTD) market.

This article was featured in NewsNav

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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