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The Art of Face-To-Face Dialogue Copywriting

For me the ultimate manifestation of a wordsmith’s creative craft is the ability to pen concise, pithy dialogue scripts, of engaging face-to-face conversations for advertising scenarios featuring compelling verbal exchanges, that range between 30 to 120 seconds of viewing time.

Maybe I’ve missed something, but there sadly seems to be not much in evidence these days of that copywriting skill of creating intimate dialogue scenarios that amuse and capture one’s attention.

Here are some examples of memorable conversations from past commercials that I find have been skilfully scripted and rewardingly verbalised.

1. POBAGM, I Have Something To Tell You

Advertising Agency: Muhtayzik Hoffer, San Francisco, USA

Directed by John Muhtayzik, this humorously insightful scenario is superbly enacted by a great cast.
The ‘Dad’s’ performance is particularly amusing as he casts his eyes around a room filled with Objet d’art, that all seem very, very, strange to him.

2. Maille Dijon Mustard, Memorable Guest

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

This online commercial for Maille’s Dijon Mustard, about a conversation at a Christmas dinner party, humorously crafted by Copywriter Alex Lucas, and brilliantly directed by filmmaker James Rouse, is a great favourite of mine.

The added bonus of Joanna Lumley providing the ‘voice-over’ in this Advertising Producers Association (APA) Show Winner, is an absolute treat.

3. Kia Sorento, Space Babies

Advertising Agency: David&Goliath, Los Angeles U.S.A.

Kia Sorento’s ‘Space Babies’ commercial, sparkles with copywriter Ben Purcell’s engagingly written dialogue between a Dad and his young son, in an amusing story that starts with a question that parents usually dread having to answer.

Directed by impressively talented filmmaker Jake Scott, the depiction of the Dad’s imaginative response, with an answer that doesn’t completely convince his sceptic young son, is spectacularly cinematic and a joy to view.

4. Renault Scenic, To The Wedding

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Milan, Italy

The dialogue-focused ‘Wedding’ commercial, penned by copywriter Francesco Martini, is part of Renault Scenic’s advertising campaign series about intimate car conversations, that are so surprising, that drivers become dangerously distracted with potentially disastrous consequences, were it not for the intervention of the Scenic SUV’s collision preventing safety features.

Masterfully directed by filmmaker Joachim Back, who elicits sterling performances from his actors, the ‘Wedding’ scenario makes for entertaining viewing.

5. VW Passat TDI, The Golden Sisters

Advertising Agency: Deutsch, Los Angeles, USA

Agency Chief Creative Officer, Pete Favat and his team, conceived a series of commercials called ‘Old Wives’ Tales’, for Deutsch’s advertising campaign promoting Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel product line.

Directed by filmmaker Jake Scott, the campaign stars the ‘Golden Sisters’ Mary, Josie, and Teresa, on a series of road trips, having conversations about diesel engines, with highly amusing verbal exchanges, that have brilliantly been captured by Jake Scott.