Copywriting & Communication: Cutting through the Chaos

In an oversaturated digital landscape, can you communicate with class and get the desired results?

Today, advertising and copywriting equate to an immersive experience of social media, television, video streaming, Google searches, blogging, branded content, print, radio, guerrilla strategies, window displays, billboards—streaming 24/7 on phones, widescreens, doctors’ offices, airports, car stereos, shopping streets and highways across the planet.

And that’s the short list.

It takes uncanny brilliance to stand out in the maelstrom of digital cacophony. But believe it or not, certain BASICS still apply.

L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his article of 26 September 1979, “COPYWRITING”:

“It is possible to do promotion and write copy that is alive and interesting, that attracts and is in good taste.”

“The primary mission of any piece of promo is to create want and sell the item.”

“Everything streams out from the positioning.”

“The vocabulary one uses is all inside a frame of reference. Positioning gives you a frame of reference.”

“Impact depends mainly upon consistency and staying on the same subject without departure from the frame of reference.”

Today, positioning and frame of reference go far beyond a few lines. Comprehensive campaigns are multi-tiered, expansive endeavors. But when coordinated and integrated, the results can be nothing short of revelatory.

One firm that has been getting it right is Los York.

Located in Los Angeles and New York (hence the name), Los York is an advertising and marketing firm that takes a comprehensive approach to content.

In 2012, co-founders Dex Deboree and Seth Epstein built Los York on the remains of the heavily in-debt Stardust production studio, and within six months they had paid off the $1 million owed by Stardust.

With a background in film and a storytelling aesthetic, Los York does a lot of the production work themselves. In doing so, they’ve managed to maintain quality and consistency with their campaigns. Global brands took notice, fueled by word of mouth: Nike, Motorola, Audi, Sonos, Samsung and others.

The company expanded 144 times in the last three years and built up $15.6 million in revenue in 2015.1

“That’s a huge number for a company that was basically starting from scratch, that had five employees and no runway,” Deboree says. “We didn’t come with an infusion of cash. We weren’t backed in any way. And we had no real game plan for how we were going to get out of it.”

“We are a new kind of creative agency,” says the tagline expressing their approach. Los York targets stellar results for clients with the bigger purpose of influencing the culture itself.2

An ad for ZICO Coconut Water features actress Jessica Alba, on a soundstage with emotional music, reciting what naysayers told her about her acting career and her lifestyle brand, with the tagline WHAT’S INSIDE IS EVERYTHING. It has nothing to do with the beverage, but the positioning works brilliantly.3

A series for Nike’s Air Jordan, featuring the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, was strategically placed on his own social media channels. The campaign, with the slogan BUILT FOR MORE, was direct to consumers, used no paid television media, and was the most successful in the Jordan brand’s history, reaching 30 million people.3

To celebrate 30 years of the Air Jordan, Los York created an immersive basketball court, “The Last Shot,” at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. Using more than 10 million LED pixels on nearly 900 panels laid across three walls and a floor, the project allowed users to reenact Michael Jordan’s career highlights. Wired called it “The World’s Coolest Basketball Court,” and the campaign led to 19 creative awards for Los York.2, 3

“At the end of the day, it’s still the two same fundamental things. [The first is] understanding your audience. The second element is understanding your brand. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. Don’t try to speak to a consumer base that is not going to resonate with your core message or your core offering. Stick to that resonance point of what your brand is and what it stands for,” says Deboree.

Companies like Los York illustrate certain BASICS applied to the limitless field of digital and multimedia. No matter the budget, the core values are the same, and they can be summed up in one word: COMMUNICATE.

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By Prosperity Editor

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Issue: 17031403INT

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  1. Albert-Deitch, Cameron. “How These 2 Filmmakers Became Nike’s Advertising ‘SWAT Team.’” Inc.com. Inc., 17 Aug. 2016. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
  2. Brooke, Zach. “10 Minutes with Los York Cofounders Dexton Deboree and Seth Epstein.” AMA.org. AMA, 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
  3. Los York: A New Kind of Agency. LosYork.tv/studios/. Rep. Los York, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.