Musings from the New Writer on the Block

In this blog series, Pepper Group copywriter Brian Sonderegger explores messaging conveyed in unexpected places and how interconnected messaging can be found everywhere in our everyday lives. It’s a big world out there, and Brian is trying to make sense of it.

Astronomy and Copywriting

From witnessing a meteor shower as a kid to watching the moon turn blood red in below-freezing temperatures, I have always been fascinated with space. In 2018, while on a mission trip to Peru, I witnessed the breathtaking spectacle of a dark sky for the first time. With no light pollution on a night with no moon, I was amazed at how the millions of stars I could see illuminated the sky just as brightly as a full moon. I stood on the roof of our hostel and stared up at the sky for hours. In college, from the vantage point of Butler University’s astronomy building, I gazed through the telescope at Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and Saturn’s moons, which reminded me how I’m just a tiny speck on a ball hurling through the sky.

At the heart of both my lifelong passion for space and my work as a copywriter, there is a common bond—the ongoing pursuit and the insatiable curiosity of the unknown. Both fields embrace uncharted territories, which for a 20-something like me, brings me both a sense of comfort and maybe a little anxiety. However, amidst the vastness of the cosmos, I’ve discovered intriguing parallels that resonate with my job as a copywriter.

Both Have Forces and Attractions

Gravitational force is a universal phenomenon that shapes everything in the cosmos. But it also can be used to describe the effects that copywriting can have. As copywriters, we metaphorically embody this force, serving as a gravitational pull to keep brands firmly anchored and connected to their audiences. Through our words and narratives, we attract and engage consumers, whether with case studies or whitepapers. However, our focus is not simply accumulating random content. It’s about utilizing the right language to create a robust persona for our brands. When asteroids gain mass, the new materials amalgamize and unify over time. Our mission as copywriters is to build upon the brand gradually and steadily. Much like the vast expanse of space hosting myriad celestial bodies, the realm of copywriters offers boundless opportunities for creativity and its potential impact. It’s that attractive force of persuasion that propels customers to brands and brands towards greatness.

Both Involve Acute Observation

In space, astronomers meticulously study the arrangement of stars, planets, galaxies and so on to decipher patterns and understand cosmic phenomena. Their keen eye for detail allows them to uncover the mysteries of the universe and predict certain celestial events. Whether searching for distant planets or mapping the trajectory of an asteroid, astronomers rely on thorough measurements and analyses to detect the slightest changes and project future positions.

Similarly, in copywriting, writers analyze consumer behavior, both big and small, to identify influential patterns. For instance, copywriters may observe that a particular target audience for a brand also exhibits a strong interest in sustainability. Armed with this awareness of the consumer’s preferences, we’d skillfully craft materials to hit both points. If done right, we witness our predictions materialize as consumers respond in line with our crafted messages. The name of the game is ultimately about making the stars align for the client.

Both Unravel the Mysteries of the Unknown

Copywriting, at its essence, is akin to unraveling the mysteries of the unknown for the consumer. Just as astronomers gaze at the night sky with their available tools, we use an arsenal of words to help them on the journey of discovery. Sometimes we find the “star” that convinces a consumer of a need we can fill, or a black hole, like identifying a problem that would suck readers in and make them search for a way out. Ultimately, we delve into the realm of our target audiences, seeking to understand their needs and aspirations. Like astronomers exploring the universe, we craft narratives to captivate audiences and become a guiding star that illuminate brands and ideas. With every piece we write, we unveil a part of the unknown for the reader, which helps them understand and connect to the product. Big stuff for a little copywriter like me to tackle.

Worlds Collide in Copywriting and Astronomy

In the boundless expanse of space and the ever-evolving world of copywriting, opportunities for exploration know no bounds. Like stars scattered across the night sky, there are countless avenues to traverse in copywriting. Just as celestial bodies align in awe-inspiring eclipses, we too, can find moments of brilliance in our marketing. With every word, we influence the gravitational pull of brands on their consumers. The mysteries of space and the art of storytelling still leave many stones unturned, presenting us with endless possibilities to create ideas and inspire action. While it's still cliché, shooting for the stars holds true for my journey of creativity. After all, we’re but a small celestial pebble hurtling through the cosmic expanse. So, while the universe will still carry on with or without me, I’m going to at least try to make some impact from our speck of rock in the universe.