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Copywriting for brands: balancing style and substance

Award-winning copywriter Kate van der Borgh on writing clearly, thinking clearly.

Kate van der Borgh is an award-winning copywriter that leads D&AD's copywriting Masterclass. Here, she talks about the importance of writing clearly and thinking clearly, tone of voice, and balancing style and substance when writing for brands.

When people think about copywriting for brands, they often automatically jump to tone of voice. Clients want to know: how do I find the four magical adjectives that will define my organisation’s tone and transform the way we speak? Are we Curious? Authoritative? Belligerent or Mellifluous? (Or are we, in fact, like so many others, in the obvious-and-not-at-all-differentiating space of Open, Honest, Professional and Human?)

But, for me, that’s jumping ahead. Way ahead. Because long before a brand thinks about how to say something, it needs to think about what to say.

The ideas come first

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