The Lowdown:

The Agency Blog

Tips and (occasionally unconventional) stories on communications, branding, and marketing.

A Handful of Words and a Story of a Reputation

Tap. Tap. Tap.

It was quiet, but relentless, like a grandfather clock stuck in quicksand. I followed the sound.


Finally. There. On the hot, black iron. Splat. Creosote, hitting the top of the stove. The house was just warming up after weeks of being empty while I was on a research trip, winter chasing me back on a highway as inky as the metal I was now staring at.

I looked up, past the loft, near the peak of the roof. Eighteen feet or thereabouts, where the stovepipe made a 90 degree connection to the brick chimney. Or a disconnection, because the sweep missed something.

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Why Your Copywriter Doesn’t Have to Agree with You

What do you want when you hire a copywriter or content writer? Someone to make you look good, yes? Sure. Easy answer.

Here’s a tougher question: do you expect the writer you hire to agree with everything you say? If that answer is also yes, you might want to reconsider.

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Two Kinds of Marketing Stories

“Marketing stories” doesn’t necessarily mean a captivating tale that fits into a Once Upon a Time framework. It’s often something else entirely: a combination of words—in the case of print ads, very few words—and images that create a memorable experience.

How you shape those elements depends on what you sell. Is it luxury? Safety? Fun? Prestige? Productivity?

You sell more than just a product or a service.

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Exposure: Show ‘Em Your Laundry

When attention is currency, everyone is chasing exposure. And yet, for many of us, hitting the publish button leaves us feeling downright vulnerable. There we are, out in the world, showing off our laundry. We imagine ourselves blinking in the hot lights, straining to...

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The Simple Power in a Life Story

What did you want to be when you grew up?

There’s a story in that.

Maybe you’re still wondering. (I want to be Judi Dench when I grow up. Well. Judi Dench as M in the James Bond movies.)

That’s how a story begins. Make a simple statement, about something that matters to you. Or something that delights you. Then elaborate.

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Wordplay: When to Use Force

A force to be reckoned with. The driving force. A tour de force. Stylish expressions or clichés?

It doesn’t matter. At least, not yet. What you need to consider first is why you’d use any of these.

What are you really trying to say?

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