Learn the key ideas of the book by Annamaria Testa

La parola immaginata

The key components of copywriting and the work done by advertising agencies

La parola immaginata is an important reference for anyone who wants to work as a copywriter. Structured along the lines of an information manual, it is presented as a guidebook for aspiring advertisers. Annamaria Testa expertly illustrates the key features of an advertisement, starting from the very basics, such as the main people involved, and the intensely close teamwork necessary to carry out effective advertising campaigns. She then focuses on the advertisement itself, and the various steps required in its creation. Working as a copywriter means being able to come up with images and suggestions, so as to stimulate a response in the person reading it. Words become part of our thoughts, as they represent concepts and stir emotions, but they also spur action, as they have the power to move people into action.  This book is an invaluable resource on how to communicate through advertising.

La parola immaginata
Read in 14 min.
Listen in 18 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Learn how an advertising agency works and the types of people involved. 
  • Become involved in the copywriting profession.
  • Understand the principle components of advertising and how they differ depending on the type of media channel used. 
  • Learn how to make a commercial.

The author of the book:

Annamaria Testa is one of the brightest creative minds to hail from Italy. She began working as a copywriter in 1974, and is now considered to be a key player in advertising and communications in Italy. In 1983, she founded her own advertising agency, which has created advertising campaigns for some very important brands, such as Illy Caffè, Ferrarelle, and Fiat. In 2005, she founded a smaller consulting company, called Progetti Nuovi, which produces advertising campaigns and manages communication projects. She has taught at universities in Rome, Turin, and Milan. Her books on creativity and communication, such as Farsi Capire (2000), La Pubblicità (2003), Le vie del senso (2004), and Minuti scritti (2013), have become absolute must-haves for anybody interested in developing their writing skills. In 2012, she became the first woman involved in advertising to be included in the Italian Art Directors Club’s Hall of Fame.


The advertiser’s job is to tell the product’s story

Each and every product has particular traits that make it unique, and which attract a certain number of people. This in itself is reason enough to tell its story. In addition to the name of the product and the packaging, the product must have a story that works, that defines it, and makes it stand out and resonate in the minds of potential customers. 

Advertising is entrusted with the task of telling this story, with brands placing their faith in advertising agencies to find the words, images, and strategies needed to reach the product’s target audience. 

To ensure that the message is properly received, the story told must be consistent, easily understood, and attractive. The creative effort involved in developing an advertising campaign therefore serves to explain the product’s specific traits, and to show the consumer why and how it is different from other similar products on the market, in such a way that it is perceived to be the best product of its kind available, portrayed as both useful and desirable.

According to Annamaria Testa, developing an advertising campaign is not a straightforward process. To properly shape the way a product is perceived, advertisers must always keep in mind just how powerful words can be when it comes to influencing people’s thoughts and actions. 

The first step is to understand "what" you want to be seen, and "how" you want to show it. 

The same product can be presented in a variety of ways, depending on how you choose to frame the story. There are in fact rules, mechanisms, and strategies for inventing an advertising campaign, all of which can be studied and learned. Furthermore, any advertising message can be targeted to a well-defined audience by means of purpose-built techniques. 


The key ideas of "La parola immaginata"

The advertiser’s job is to tell the product’s story
An advertisement begins in an agency, starting with a client agreement
A good advertising campaign is composed of the perfect combination of visual and written elements
The factors that need to be considered to write a good ad
The construction of a commercial
Build an advertising campaign to convey a message
Take-home message

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