What we do isn’t about following the rules. It’s not about playing it safe. It’s about who we are – and you don’t need auto-tune when you’ve got genuine, rock star talent (but without the attitude, infighting and bad fashion sense). Every person at The James Agency brings his or her own unique genius and personality to every project we do. When you put us all together, you have pure awesomeness.
Get to know TJA’s junior copywriter, Amy Klingler!
What college did you graduate from? Major?
I received my BA in English Literature from Arizona State University and my MFA in Advertising from Academy of Art University.
Where did you grow up?
Sunny Phoenix, AZ.
What got you interested in the marketing/advertising agency?
I always loved writing and creative problem solving, but I didn’t want to be doing the same thing every day. Writing can be very solitary, and although I like my alone time, I definitely enjoy being part of a team. Growing up, I was constantly analyzing ads – trying to figure out the demographic they were talking to and why brands used certain images or phrases over others. But, probably like a lot of people, I never really thought about the actual agencies companies hire to do their advertising. In college I became more aware of the industry and everything I could do in one job: write, concept, create and collaborate for so many different types of brands. I realized copywriting perfectly aligned with everything I wanted out of a career.
What are some challenges you face in your role at TJA?
Advertising needs to keep up with consumers, and consumers are constantly adopting new technology and changing their tastes. This evolution means we always have to be on the lookout for what’s next and how we can get our clients involved in the conversation. But, it also means a lot of potential great ideas are untested, and clients are understandably nervous about pursuing them. Advertising is not a science, and without hard data to back up every project, it can be difficult to pitch those truly innovative concepts. Fortunately our clients trust us and respect our suggestions, but since technology moves so fast sometimes we don’t even have time to explain it and have to revert back to more traditional methods to meet our deadlines.
What success have you had in your role at TJA?
I haven’t been here all that long, but I feel like I’ve done so much. I’ve written websites, billboards, print ads, digital banners, brochures, radio spots, social media content, blogs – you name it. TJA is really pushing our digital capabilities, and I’m proud to be a part of that. I’m learning a lot about how to connect with right audiences right when they want to see an ad instead of just writing ads and hoping the right people see it. It’s exciting to see what works and what doesn’t right away.
What is your favorite part about your job?
It’s challenging and different every day. I’m always learning about new products, different industries and the latest technology, which are things I wouldn’t keep up with if I had a boring office job that just focused on one task all day, every day. I also love being surrounded by unique and creative people. Everyone here has an interesting story and a different outlook on life. I’m always fascinated by different perspectives and experiences, and we have a wonderfully weird bunch of people who always approach things in ways I wouldn’t think of. We laugh a lot.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career?
There are so many elements to a campaign. In school we always focused on the big mediums like TV commercials, websites, ambient events. But you can’t write one commercial and expect consumers to buy your product just based on that. You need to think about what the consumer will do next – research on social media, touch the product in store, ask friends about it. That’s where the sale comes from, so every piece needs to be just as clever or dramatic or silly as your big showstopper piece. One of your first jobs might be creating a point-of-purchase flyer or thank you email or something simple that you think doesn’t matter. But it does.
What are some tools you use everyday that are specific to your role at TJA?
Thesaurus.com and various word finder websites. The internet is valuable in general because a lot of writing is actually research and making sure you understand the product and the audience so you can craft the perfect message. And of course pen and paper to jot ideas down whenever. My coworkers think it’s weird I have so many pens, but if I can’t find one I feel completely helpless and die a little inside.
What’s trending now in your department? What do you see happening in the future?
Digital and social. I think advertisers are figuring out it’s better to be part of the conversation than intrude upon it, so in the future I see a lot more focus on branded content that’s interesting and/or beneficial to consumers. Brands are realizing they can’t just scream, “buy my product” and expect people to do it. It’s now more about creating a relationship with the audience and creating goodwill with the brand.
What kind of work were you doing prior to TJA?
I’ve worked in house and at other agencies.
What would you tell someone who wants to start a career as a copywriter?
Write. A lot. Write in a variety of formats and voices. You should have your own style, but you need the ability to follow a brand’s tone. It’s really important to get your message across as quickly as possible, so work on short-form copy. It’s easy to get carried away in the beauty of words, but the point of advertising is to get consumers interested as quickly as possible. Don’t stop at good; always shoot for amazing.