Obama discovers that one of his new writers was taken from the clutches of Poke, a creative agency in London. He decides to write an apology email in a dry, witty tone, to say: ‘No hard feelings’.
Write the email (up to 150 words)
To the management of Poke London,
I am deeply grateful for the way in which you’ve accepted Laura’s decision to leave the agency. In all honesty, talent such as hers deserves to be elevated to a higher purpose.
To be ordained as a servant of the American people is one of the greatest compliments an individual can be paid. The magnitude of Laura’s new responsibilities should not be underestimated. Her talent, acumen, and expertise will not be wasted at The White House.
It’s regrettable that serving the US Government is a more attractive proposition than working for your organisation. Employed as one of my staff here in Washington, rest assured she is now a vital component in changing the world for the better.
I wish you every success in finding her replacement.
Seriously, good luck with that.
Barack H. Obama
President of The United States of America
The President returns to The White House, racked with guilt and regretting the jovial tone he used in his email to Poke. He peruses Amazon, looking for a Kindle publication that will help him find peace. A self-help book aimed at ‘powerful people with anxiety problems’ catches his eye.
Write the book title and slogan that would get his attention. Tone: Earnest, punchy, empowering but not overly sensational. (Under 30 words)
Shine On, Superstar: How high achievers work the popularity stakes by turning their ‘brightness’ into ‘warmth’.
After a sleepness night, Obama flies to London intent on apologising to POKE in person. Uncharacteristically, he books the flight himself – on a commercial airline. He is tired, but pleased at the clarity and friendliness of the instructions. They must have been written by an excellent copywriter, he muses. (Back off, mate!)
Write the copy he sees on the airline’s website. It should remind flyers to arrive two hours early, to bring their passport, and to let them know what food and meal they will get on board. Tone should be refreshing and friendly but not humorous; straight and professional but not boring. (up to 200 words)
Thank you for choosing TransAtlantic Air, MR B. OBAMA.
Your payment is being processed, so your receipt and e-ticket will soon be emailed to you. We don’t anticipate any problems, but if there are, you’ll receive a phone call from our sales team within 24 hours.
If your flight is sooner than that, please call the TransAtlantic Helpdesk on 555-555-1234 if you have any concerns. No automated options – we promise.
We hope you enjoy your flight with us to LONDON HEATHROW.
To ensure you experience ‘the TransAtlantic difference’ before you arrive at WASHINGTON DULLES, here are a few things to remember:
Please ensure you arrive and check-in at least two hours before your flight departs.
If you’re traveling internationally, you will need your passport. Without it, you will not be able to leave the United States.
Make sure you pack your luggage personally and that no-one else tampers with it.
Other Things To Be Aware Of
As you’re travelling First Class, you’ll be treated to our exclusive À La Carte menu and unlimited beverages throughout the flight. If there’s a particular dish you’d like to enjoy, please advise our catering team at least three hours prior to departure.
Obama arrives at Poke’s offices on Redchurch Street. We have hoisted a banner up outside with a message for him. It is a three-word slogan designed to reassure him that we aren’t really angry. It’s written in a very ‘Poke’ tone. Write the slogan. Keep it light playful and smart. (3 words only)
ain’t no thang!
What does it take to be a good copywriter at a digital agency?
Just so the President knows how hard it is to find new ones.
(as many or as few words as you like)
To be a good copywriter you must also be a prolific reader, online gamer, trend hunter, cultural sponge, sympathetic ear, father, mother, sister, cousin, chef, or anything other than a copywriter. Only then can you learn to communicate with the kind of audiences you aim to reach. Keep learning and listening and eventually you’ll become a great copywriter.