“It’s spring and I’m blind”

I recently finished reading “The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era” by Teressa Iezzi. Overall I enjoyed the book, which thoroughly discusses successful marketing campaigns– mostly digital– from the last decade or so. I would say the part that stands out the most is toward the beginning.

Iezzi brings up a true story about a blind beggar on a street corner. The man’s sign reads “I’m blind. Please help.” Sadly, no one is giving him money. An observant copywriter walks up to the man and changes his message to “It’s spring and I’m blind.”

This simple rephrasing changes everything. Instead of receiving nothing, he starts getting loads of money. Something about the new phrase appeals to people’s emotions, which really speaks to the power of good writing.

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One Comment on ““It’s spring and I’m blind””

  1. RWordplay Says:

    I didn’t enjoy the book much, or find it as helpful as it should have been, considering the access Iezzi enjoyed. The stories and examples seem lifted from Iezzi’s articles and read like them, too. Her emphasis on a small group of “award-winning” ads and their creators’ thoughts, left little room for any critical take on the work—who can argue with success? Iezzi is a fine reporter but doesn’t bring any critical thinking to her “expositions,” and as such she takes the creative directors, writers and art directors she interviewed at their word, which to be kind, makes the stories less than useful. The book would proved more helpful if Iezzi really knew something about how ads are made and saw her job as more than currying favor with today’s “best known” creatives by taking dictation and repeating today’s most conventional wisdom.

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