Gold foil hanging from the ceiling

Copywriting tip 10: Shiny new thing syndrome

Shiny gold foil on ceiling trimmed - about the medium

I remember when direct mail was the ‘shiny new thing’ of marketing.


The pundits said: ‘No-one will ever do branding work ever again!’.

I remember when email was the shiny new thing of marketing.

The pundits said: ‘No-one will ever print anything ever again!’.

I remember when social media was the shiny new thing of marketing.

Oh: wait. It still is.

The point is, there’s always a shiny new thing. New mediums and channels.

Last year, it was TikTok.

This year, it’s Likee.

Next year? Who knows.

As a copywriter (or even a marketer in general) it’s important to keep up to date.

You hear about a new something, go and try it. Sign up. Have a play. Be ready when someone says: ‘Hey, you heard of this thing called Likee?’.

‘Of course.’

But the issue to avoid (or be aware of) is when we get bullied into shiny new things just because they’re shiny and new.

I’ve worked on direct mail pieces that should have been branding work.

Branding work that should have been a brochure.

Website budgets that should have been put into product development.

You know what? Most people will just go along with it.

Not you. You’re the copywriter. The one who has to argue the case to the audience.

You know it’s not going to wash.

So, the next time someone says: ‘Hey, you heard of this [insert shiny new thing]? I reckon we should be on that.’

Push back.

Is it the right way, the right medium to reach your audience? Or just the newest?

Argue on the audience’s behalf.

Lose that battle, and even the best copy in the world is not going to work.


This tip is based on my 30 Tips in 40 Minutes webinar.

Feel free to download a version of the slides and watch a video of the one-hour webinar.

Image source: Pixabay


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Jon Maxim

Jon is a multi-award winning copywriter. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients – large and small – develop engaging concepts, content and copy. For 25 of those years, he’s been teaching people how to do it themselves. His courses on copywriting, ideation and presentation skills are highly sought-after and highly effective. Jon lives in Sydney, Australia: but is often found on a plane, heading to where he’s most needed.