Advertising copywriting, Freelance life, Maslen on Marketing

Are You So Old-School You’re Cool?

Cat in sunglasses

Think you’re a copywriting cool cat? Take our lighthearted, but deadly-serious 10-question quiz to find out your Copywriter Cool-Rating

1 Which of the following do you own:

a)    A fountain pen

b)   A Filofax

c)    A fax machine

d)   A typewriter

e)    A Moleskine notebook

f)     A desk-top computer (PC or iMac)

g)    A pin-striped jacket/skirt

h)   An old ad in a frame

i)     A can of Spraymount

j)     A scalpel

2 Do you remember…

a)    Black and white TV

b)   Spangles

c)    TisWas

d)   The Thatcher years

e)    Bikeable artwork

f)     Radio Caroline

g)    Floppy disks

h)   When Charles Saatchi was an adman

i)     Secretaries

j)     Galleys

3 Which of these people is not a famous copywriter?

a) Raymond Rubicam

b) John Caples

c) Helen Gurley Brown

d) Helmut Krone

e) Peggy Olsen

f) John Kennedy

4 Which of these is not a kind of proof?

a) Ozalid

b) Dequadin

c) Chromalin

d) Wet proof

e) Cyanotype

5 Match the headline to the campaign

a)    They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started to play—

b)   We try harder

c)    Any time, any place, anywhere

d)   Plink, plink, fizz, fizz

e)    Lemon

f)     Give Dad an expensive belt

g)    Do you make these mistakes in English?

h)   The kid in upper 4


1 Alka Seltzer

2 VW

3 The New Haven Railroad

4 Sherwin Cody

5 Chivas Regal

6 US School of Music

7 Avis

8 Martini


6 Long copy…

a)    Means anything over 5 words

b)   Is over-rated

c)    Is cheesy

d)   Usually works better than short copy

e)    Doesn’t work online

7 You are a…

a)    Baby-boomer

b)   Gen X

c)    Gen Y

d)   Millennial

e)    Gen Z

f)     Infant schoolchild

g)    Toddler

h)   Babe-in-arms

i)     Foetus

j)     Twinkle in someone’s eye

8 Rosser Reeves…

a)    Coined the phrase Unique Selling Proposition

b)   Played Centre-half for Manchester United in the mid-sixties

c)    Was the boss of the Hathaway Shirt Company, one of David Ogilvy’s first clients

d)   Was the first-ever winner of the World Copywriting Olympiad in Chicago, 1972

e)    Invented “Reason-why” copywriting

9 Identify the principal fault in this headline, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

a)    “Ain’t” is common

b)   It contains a double negative

c)    The tone of voice is hokey

d)   It doesn’t appeal to the reader’s self-interest

e)    The exclamation mark looks desperate

10 Old-school should be spelled

a)    Old-skool

b)   Old-school

c)    Ol’-school



1 A point for each.

2 A point for each.

3 Helmut Krone is the odd one out – he was an art director. 5 pts. (If you said Peggy Olsen, because she is a fictional character and therefore not capable of “being “anything”, award yourself 3 pts and a sticker, reading Professor of Clever-Dickery).

4 Dequadin – 3 pts. It’s a sore throat lozenge

5 One pt for each correct answer:


a) 6

b) 7

c) 8

d) 1

e) 2

f) 5

g) 4

h) 3



a)        0 pts

b)        1 pt

c)         2 pts

d)        5 pts

e)        1 pt



a) 9

b) 8

c) 7

d) 6

e) 5

f) 4

g) 3

h) 2

i) 1

j) 0


8 a) 5 pts



a) 0 pt

b) 2 pts

c) 2 pts

d) 5 pts

e) 4 pts



a) 3

b) 2

c) 1


How did you do?

56+ Iceberg. You’re a cool cat. You’re where it’s at.

46-55 Snow drift. Slip me some skin, that’s the mood I’m in.

36-45 Ice-cream soda. You’re a chilled-out scribe that’s fit to imbibe.

26-35 Cold flannel. Yeah. You’re, like, takin’ my fever away. That’s cool. Just, not y’know, cooool.

11-25 Ambient dessert. OK, look, you need some cool chops. Some ice pops. You’re warming me up, you naughty pup.

0-10 Warm beer. The old folks like you, but me, I’m takin’ the A-train to Coolsville. Without you, baby.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Sarah Turner

    52. Turns out I’m cool. But I could be cooler. 🙂

    16th March 2015 at 5:43 pm | Reply

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