10th February 2020 •
As this series proves, everyone’s experience of working at Torpedo is different. If you share a passion for well-crafted sentences and (spoiler alert) walking, then be sure to read on for our Senior Copywriter, Richard’s account of life in ‘Copy Corner’. Apparently they have Bacon Sarni Fridays and everything.
I am the Senior Copywriter. I joined Torpedo in 2016, following three decades of working in London advertising agencies.
Words. Sometimes I use around 3,000 of them in a whitepaper, sometimes just three of them in a headline. My role also includes managing the rest of the Copy Team here at Torpedo. (Or do they manage me?) The Copy Team works across all Torpedo clients, creating concepts or writing headlines and copy for print ads, banners ads, social media posts, brochures, direct mail pieces, radio scripts, online film scripts, web pages, infographics – the list goes on. And on.
Tools of the trade are a keyboard and a brief. And every now and then, a search engine.
I rely on everyone at Torpedo to get my job done. Including the cleaners. (Especially the cleaners.)
I get to work with some very clever, talented, funny, enthusiastic and wonderful people. Plus, our client list is very varied and often mind-blowingly interesting. Monday, I may be writing about some incredible creative software. Tuesday, a CCTV camera that recognises individual faces (even when wearing sunglasses). Wednesday, the properties of gas turbine lubricant. Thursday, how to help disabled drivers find a car. Friday, how a laser trap kills a fly.
I generally get the weekend off. Much to the relief of the nation’s flies.
“ Tools of the trade are a keyboard and a brief. And every now and then, a search engine. ”
As a writer, whenever I see written words I want to fiddle with them. Edit them. Re-write them. The most challenging thing for me is letting my team get on with their job and not trying to change what they’ve written – you have to trust in their talent.
I take pride in all my work (that sounds a bit cringeworthy, I know).
Oh, I did once bring a robot to life.
I wanted to be a children’s book illustrator. Yeah, I know, “So, what happened?” See below.
I loved art, so I did a foundation course – and gradually veered from illustration to graphic design. I got an interview at Manchester Poly, which was then running one of the best Graphic Design courses in the country. They asked if I’d like to try their new BA (Hons) Advertising Course. I agreed and three years later, teamed up with another student to get work placements in ad agencies. It was at this time that we were asked to decide who was art director, who was copywriter. We flipped a coin. I never looked back.
An antique dealer, I think. Okay, ‘antique’ is a bit high-brow for the kind of old tat I love. Maybe that should be a junk-shop owner. Alright, let’s just say ‘classy junk’.
“ It was at this time that we were asked to decide who was art director, who was copywriter. We flipped a coin. I never looked back.” ”
Forming a Torpedo band and playing at the summer party. I was the singer and I was very (very) nervous.
But my ego had a rare old time.
Raising your voice is counter-productive.