In feature 002 of Creator Behind The Campaign, we speak to Chloe Adams, Gymshark’s Senior Copywriter. We hear about her journey to becoming a Copywriter, what a typical day in the life of a Copywriter looks like, tips on planning a successful campaign and so much more…
1. Tell us about yourself, what is your current role(s) and what role(s) have you previously done in copywriting?
I’ve never been one to listen to others much.
The people who said, ‘you can’t do that’, or, ‘you can’t achieve that’. No. I’ve never paid them much attention to be honest.
I left school with just enough GCSEs. I sucked at maths. But aced my English and Media exams. I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, I just went through the motions and external pressure of choosing something to study at college which remotely interested me.
My Dad always said that I lived in a dream world. Which is okay, because I never really fitted into reality. I was always dreaming, creating, storytelling. What kind of job would I be good at, if these were the only things I could offer an employer?
See, problem is, I get bored super easily. I used to think something was wrong with me, because those same people that I no longer listen to told me there was. It’s taken me a long time to understand that there’s nothing wrong with me. It’s just how my brain works. And it’s okay that it works a little differently to everyone else’s. Because that’s what makes me brilliant.
I guess I’ve always ‘had a way with words’ as my Mum would say. I was fascinated by adverts that I saw on billboards and bus stops. The use of colour and words together to capture a passer-by’s attention in less than 2 seconds. I became obsessed with retro adverts from the 70s and 80s that used the most simple, most relatable but utterly brilliant long and short copy I’ve ever seen. These guys, the writers of these ads, were my new heroes. Finally, I now know what I’m supposed to be.
When my friends were reading the latest Twilight, I had my head in D&AD’s The Copy Book. I was studying books about branding, packaging, consumer psychology. I wanted to learn everything I could to turn my art form into a career. I wanted to write.
An advertising agency offered me my first gig as a Junior Copywriter in Bournemouth. They took a shot on a kid who had zero agency experience and no degree. They invited me in for a chat and gave me 15 minutes to take a stab at JWT’s copy test. I presented my responses, and the CD said, ‘well, you can write.’ And that was probably the proudest moment of my life.
They gave me a shot because they saw something in me, which for so long, I thought I’d been the only one to see in myself.
10 years, various agencies, incredible clients and award-wins later, I’m a Senior Creative Copywriter at Gymshark. The fire I had in me when I first started out, burns brighter than ever. I am still hungry to learn, to grow and to adapt.
Because, now I know exactly who I am. I’m a left-handed individual with a right-sided brain. I am colour, and dreams, and creativity. I am a free-spirit and laughter and poetry. I am limitless imagination, and the urge to dance to music. I feel. I sense. I empathise. And now I know that I am everything that I am meant to be.
2. What does a typical day look like in the life of Gymshark’s Senior Copywriter?
I’m lucky enough in my role that I’m able to WFH most of the week because I live quite far from HQ. But, I drive up every chance I get because the Gymshark campus is unreal. It never feels like coming to work. We have the option to work between three incredible buildings, HQ, The Lifting Club and the newest building, where my team is currently based, GSIQ.
A typical day at GSIQ always starts with a coffee, without fail. We’ve got a pretty active Slack, so once I’ve read through all my notifications and checked out the dog spam in the #dogs-chat, I put my head down and get started with work.
I’m either concepting for a new product launch, cultural campaign or brand campaign and we have lots of meetings at various stages of the campaign journey to get everyone’s buy in and take on the idea. I work closely with the Creatives to come up with a solid campaign which has relatability and longevity for our brand.
I’m currently working on our Black Friday campaign (yes, we start work on it this early!).
3. In Gymshark’s latest campaign: “Some weights are harder to spot than others” can you please give us an insight into the strategic brief behind the powerful message?
Our creative brief for MHAW was simple, ‘normalise mental health conversations’. We know that exercise and conditioning has a positive impact on people’s mental health, so we wanted to leverage that and use it to start a conversation with our community.
Instead of putting the focus on the people struggling, we wanted to put the responsibility on everyone, by giving people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling, and how they can potentially help.
We’re not mental health professionals or experts, so that’s why we reached out to Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to provide us some useful insight on the top phrases people commonly reach out to them with if they’re struggling. Our campaign doesn’t end when Mental Health Awareness Week does, we have a calendar of events all year to keep the conversation going and remind people that it’s okay to not be okay.
4. Are there any challenges you face as a copywriter and how do you overcome them?
I think the biggest challenge is people still not understanding the true value of a copywriter. Or everyone thinking ‘they can write’. Sure, everyone can write, but not everyone can write copy. A copywriter is more than someone who ‘writes’. A copywriter needs to understand the mind of the consumer, they need to analyse the need for the product/service, they are relentlessly curious. A copywriter is a strategist, a psychologist, an art director, an internet detective, a creative, a customer and an expert. And then they communicate your message in a way that gets you noticed, in the least amount of words possible.
5. What tips would you give on planning a successful campaign from a copywriter’s perspective?
Give yourself enough time to research. Ask questions. And then ask some more. Go and virtually hang out where your target market are hanging out. Read their conversations. Most of my best ideas have come from listening to people talk and writing down a few key words from something they’ve said which has formed the basis of an entire concept. No-one knows what your audience wants better than your audience themselves.
6. What is one piece of advice you would give someone looking to start a career in copywriting?
It’s an oldie, but goldie, write how you speak. Forget (some of) the stuff you were taught in school, grammar is a guide, not a rule. Once you’ve written anything, read it back out loud. If it sounds unnatural to say it out loud, change it. And, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That’s how you get better as a writer.
7. Where can our community follow and engage with Gymshark and yourself on social media?
We have a pretty engaged community page on FB, called Gymshark Community.
If Insta is more your thing, you can give us a follow @Gymshark.
If you want to follow me, you can do so on Insta @copy.chloe
Thank you for reading our second feature of Creator Behind The Campaign. Make sure you’re following Because of Marketing on LinkedIn and Instagram for all the latest marketing campaigns.