Copy strategy: definition and examples

Today, marketing and communication are now determining factors in the success of any organization. That said, each company chooses how they want consumers to perceive their brand. To guarantee the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, the creation of a copy strategy has become an essential step. This is a document that stems from the marketing strategy to guide any communication action.

What is the copy strategy?

The copy strategy is a roadmap established between a communication agency and an advertiser. This is a one to two page reference document that summarizes the company’s entire marketing strategy. It determines, in fact, the outline of the advertising campaign that the advertiser entrusts to the agency.

This document defines all the communication elements and objectives that the creative team must convey to the target. It is then used in all brand communication actions. It is on this roadmap that the editors, media planners and cartoonists will also work.

The copy strategy must determine the targeted communication target and the consumer benefit or promise to establish. It must also highlight the evidence on which the company can rely and the tone of the message communicated.

In summary, the copy strategy is a set of specifications drawn up at the launch of any marketing campaign. It helps to direct communication in a marketing perspective aimed at customer satisfaction. This will make the company more efficient and competitive.

What are the key elements of a copy strategy?

A copy strategy contains 5 key elements to guide communication and frame the message to be transmitted to an audience. First, it must highlight the message to convey to consumers, called the promise. This constitutes the added value and the advantage provided by the service or product in relation to its competitors.

The proof is the second element on which the advertiser will rely to make the promise credible. This can be testimonials, test results or patents. The advertiser will thus be able to prove to consumers that he is truly trustworthy.

In order to stand out from the competition, he must also state the consumer benefit in the copy strategy. Here, it is a question of highlighting the advantage that the consumer will concretely derive from the promise. It must respond to consumer motivation and needs.

The tone of the message used is the fourth element to constitute. It’s about the mood and the atmosphere that the creation gives off. To define it, it is necessary to determine the communication channels and the audience. Thus, it will be easy to choose between a serious, academic, humorous, quirky or demonstrative tone.

Finally, the residual message is the last key element to remember. These are elements such as the atmosphere, the packaging, the brand, etc.

Some examples of copy strategy

Copy strategy of the prevention against Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

In this advertising campaign, the promise is to communicate to the public that there are ways to avoid this disease. Here, the evidence is in the medical field. These are the results of research and tests showing how to fight against AIDS in developed countries. The advantage for the consumer is the fact of being able to take care of his life and his health. This campaign also allows him to do everything to avoid getting sick by using condoms for example. The tone of the message used must be authoritative and paternalistic.

Copy strategy of the cosmetics company “Onagrine”

Onagrine is a drugstore anti-aging brand that resurfaced in 2012 after disappearing for a while. To highlight the elements that differentiate its products from its competitors, it has established a copy strategy. The promise is to expose organic products to women in search of efficiency who like to take care of their skin. The proof is to show that they are tested under dermatological control and do not contain parabens and phenoxyethanol. The advantage for the consumer is thus to enter a universe of naturalness and beauty. The tone used is elegant and academic and the residual message is “my sublime nature”.

Copy strategy of the “Nescafé” brand

In 1944, consumers thought that the product “Nescafé” was not a real coffee. And this because of its slightly sweet taste. However, during the 1960s, the company emphasized the consumer benefit and the practicality of the product. She exhibited a 100% pure coffee without sugar. For this, she highlighted that in a cup of Nescafé, there are 43 coffee beans. The promise of this advertising campaign could have been the quality of real coffee. The proof is the number of coffees per cup (43 beans) included in the slogan. The advantage for the consumer is to benefit from the flavor of a traditional coffee. The tone used is that of an atmosphere at the end of an excellent meal.

The copy strategy then makes it possible to succeed in an advertising campaign regardless of the marketing media used.

Advice and methodology

To create a copy strategy, it is necessary to highlight the advantages of the product and its positioning in relation to the competition. Thus, it is important to summarize the essence of the message to convey. To do this, it is necessary to explain what the mark means exactly and what it does not claim. It is also essential to be very specific to better frame the work of the communication agency.

The message to be communicated must be as clear as possible. The establishment of the copy strategy must also be done carefully. For greater efficiency, it is advisable to work in synergy with the agency. The latter may indeed refer to other competing advertising campaigns. In this way, it suffices to rely on their creative executions in order to easily establish a copy strategy. This makes the impact of the document more important.

All that remains is to define the atmosphere, the tone used and the justification to be put forward. However, it is essential not to confuse this roadmap with the agency brief. The copy strategy is actually integrated into the latter.

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