Ant Q&A: Matt O’Meilia


Matt O’Meilia
Senior Copywriter

How would you describe your job?
My job is fast-paced, demanding and challenging. On any given day, I change gears frequently to adjust to the unique brand personality of each client. So, there’s a lot of variety, both in the types of clients and the things each client needs: ads, brochures, web copy, direct mail, TV and radio copy, short copy, long copy, clever copy, serious copy. Whatever it is, about 99 percent of the time it is HOT copy.

What projects/activities do you pursue outside of agency work?
I play drums in a couple of bands, play guitar when I have time and try to keep in shape by walking, running, biking, and playing golf and tennis.

What kind of music do you like best?
I grew up playing rock and roll, mostly, but I’ve grown to love playing any music that is good, whether it’s rock, jazz, blues, country, folk—any music played with actual musical instruments. I prefer to listen to and play a wide variety of stuff, and the people I tend to play with have similarly varied tastes.

Why did you get into advertising?
With two degrees and seven years of college under my belt, I was ready to become the greatest English teacher in the world, moonlighting as a bestselling author. Eventually I lowered my sights to any job that would enable me to move out of my parents’ house. A friend told me about an ad agency looking for someone with an English degree to be a copywriter. I didn’t know what a copywriter was, but I had an English degree. I applied and got the job. This was in September 1988, when we were still using typewriters and Wite-Out. Now I know what a copywriter is.

How is copywriting different than other types of writing, and what do you like about it?
As I see it, copywriting has three objectives, in this order: get the reader to feel something, learn something and then do something, e.g., make a call, visit a website, order now. Any other writing I do outside of work—letters, songs, books—typically has only the first two objectives. What I like about copywriting is that it challenges me to quickly process a lot of information and boil it down to a simple message containing the fewest words possible. It’s great exercise for any writer. I can make a living as a copywriter, too, which is another thing I like about it.

What do you wish every client knew about copywriting?
The time it takes to compose thoughts and the time it takes to physically type those thoughts on the page/screen are two radically different things.

Anything you want to add about your job or yourself?
I’ve already revealed far more than the world needs to know.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120

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