Full Time Diploma in Copywriting Application Form

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2016: Full Time Diploma in Copywriting Application Form

Please fill the form out by hand, print clearly and answer all questions.

Please tick the applicable programme

2 year Diploma in Copywriting

Diploma in Copywriting (Graduates)

A non-refundable fee of R 250.00 should accompany each completed application form. Please make cheques payable to the AAA School of Advertising.
Note Johannesburg applications must be submitted to Trudie Diffenthal by 30 November 2015.

Cape Town applications must be submitted to Dru Triegaardt by 30 October 2015.

Personal Details of Applicant
Surname _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
First Name/s _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Date of Birth ________________________________ Identity Number ______________________________________________________________________________________________
Postal Address ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________ Code _____________________________________________________
Telephone No. _______________________________________________Cell No.______________________________________________________________________________________
E-mail Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Home Language: ________________________________________ Other languages __________________________________________________________________________
Do you have any history of illness, allergies or disability? Yes No
If yes, please list the details ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How did you hear about the AAA School of Advertising?

Newspaper Radio A friend

School Other (Please specify) _____________________________________________

Guardian/Parents/Sponsor details
Surname ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
First Name/s ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Postal Address _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________ Code ________________________________________________________________
Telephone No. ____________________________________________________________Cell No.__________________________________________________________________________
E-mail Address: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Academic Qualifications of Applicant
High School attended _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Year Matriculated ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pre 2008: Matric exemption Yes No

Pre 2008: Matric Exemption with Maths Yes No

Pre 2008: Did you achieve matric exemption? Yes No

Please attach a certified copy of your Matric Certificate or most recent results.

Matric Results Prelim Final

Matric Results Prelim Final

List of subjects

APS Score

% Achieved








Total APS

** Life Orientation must be divided by 2 in the calculation of the final APS rating
Tertiary Education
Further Studies to Date

(Specify institution attended, degree, diploma, computer courses, etc; length of course and subjects passed. Please attach academic record. If course was not completed, specify reason.)

  1. Institution/s attended _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Qualification/s obtained _____________________________________________________________________________________________________


  1. Duration of study ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. Subjects passed ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________



  1. Other courses completed ___________________________________________________________________________________________________



  1. List the academic subjects you have enjoyed the most in your education so far and give a brief explanation why.



  1. List your non-academic high school or university achievements, such as leadership roles, team captain,

administrative roles, social services etc.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the application form, as well as the Copy Challenge (section C) and submit to the AAA School. Please note that the application/copy challenge will not be returned to the students.

  2. All theoretical work submissions must be typed.

  3. All the questions and relevant forms must be completed in full. Any omissions may result in your disqualification.

  4. The application form must be completed unassisted and must deliver your own insights. Any plagiarised work will cause the immediate disqualification of a candidate.

  1. Work neatly presented and properly bound will enjoy preference. Due to space constraints, only work presented on A4 size paper will be considered.

  2. The applications received will be assessed by a panel of lecturers. In some cases, candidates must be prepared to attend an entrance exam/workshop. Successful applicants will be contacted with details for the workshop. The School may also ask candidates to attend an interview. No place can be guaranteed.

  3. If requested to attend a workshop, applicants (whether successful or unsuccessful) will be notified approximately one week afterwards.

The remainder of this application form will need to be typed on separate paper.

Section B

Interests and Achievements

  1. What special hobbies or interests do you have? Describe how these activities stimulate or reward you.

  1. What do you perceive as being your greatest achievement in life? Describe in approximately 100-200 words.

  1. Describe an event that touched you in some way. Use approximately 200 words.

  1. Who is your favourite author? Which book of theirs do you like the most and why?

  1. Why are you applying to the AAA School of Advertising?

  1. What area and aspects of advertising stimulate and interest you the most at this stage?

  1. What characteristics do you think are needed to become a great copywriter?

  1. Tell us in approximately 300 words why you want to be a copywriter, why you think you are cut out for a career in advertising and why you think you should be accepted for this course?

Work Experience

Please list part-time and full-time work experience*:

Use this as a guideline
Present employer _______________________________________________________________________________
Company name ______________________________ Contact person ___________________________________
Tel. No _____________________________________ Period employed __________________________________
Position held and main duties _____________________________________________________________________

(*Please include & attach all details of any other previous employers you may have had.)

Section C
Welcome to the AAA Copy Challenge.
This is not a test. In fact, there are no right or wrong answers. No tricks. No traps. On the contrary, you’ll find we even go out of our way to offer you helpful tips and advice. The Copy Challenge is designed to check out your latent creative thinking and writing ability, in a form that will help us gauge and evaluate your copywriting potential.
How long should it take you to complete?
Well, the depth of thinking you put into it will pay off a lot more than just the number of hours. And always remember that you’re not doing this for us, you’re doing it for yourself – to discover your own level of ability. You will be the only person who has to defend and ‘sell’ a piece of work in your portfolio one day. One of the most critical skills you will need to acquire as an experienced copywriter is the ability to judge your own work. It’s also one of the hardest skills to develop, but you have to start somewhere!
Before letting you loose, here are a few helpful tips and advice, just to get you pointed in the right direction.
Firstly, considering you are planning on working in the communications industry, it’s important to create a good first impression. You are not being judged by your drawing or design skills, but the presentation of your application form already says a lot about your levels of professionalism and attention to detail. Spelling mistakes are unforgivable.
Now, to end this brief orientation, just a few words on what copywriting is and isn’t.
Firstly, copywriting naturally involves writing and words, but these are simply the tools of the job. It’s actually all about ideas.

Ideas that communicate a relevant sales message. These may be entirely visual, but as a part of the creative team, you are still directly involved in the conceptual process. Big ideas are not just slick executions. They resonate with consumers on an emotional level, resulting in advertising communication which doesn’t simply convey information or provide brief entertainment. Instead it builds a memorable, positive association with the brand in the mind of the consumer for many years.

Now with that in mind, remember this:

  • Copywriting isn’t trite rhyming verse.

  • Copywriting isn’t witty puns and famous quotations

  • Copywriting isn’t trying to be so clever that people have to try and work out what it is you’re promising.

Now it’s time for some mental gymnastics and word wrestling.

Each section is carefully named and explained. Read and understand what is being asked of you, think before you leap and then, just do it. Most importantly, have fun! It could be the start of an exciting new chapter in your life.

Like any industry, advertising has its own jargon and terminology. To help you feel more at home here is a summary.

Visual Headline Body Copy Payoff Line Logo
Body Copy Give us life at ground level, rolling along the endless highway on a Harley Davidson 100% depressurized. Just sunlight on chrome. The voice of a v-Twin ripping the open air. And elbow room, stretching all the way to the horizon. Maybe you too think this is the way life ought to be lived. Time to spread some wings. 1-800-443-2153 or www.harleydavidson.com
Payo Line The Legend Rolls on.
When you’re asked to do a copywriter’s ‘scamp layout’, don’t panic. We’re not expecting you to draw well – that’s the art director’s job. An example of a layout for the above ad would look something like this:

Question 1: General Writing Challenge
Write a haiku with a relevant title on a topic relating to copywriting and the advertising business.
Question 2: Outdoor Challenge
This next challenge may sound simple, but don’t be deceived. Developing a great outdoor billboard is one of the most difficult things to do in this business. The reason is that, despite its large size, (or perhaps because of it) there’s no place to hide if you don’t have a really strong creative idea. And with no idea there’s no impact. Choose one of the following briefs, decide upon a suitable consumer promise and develop a billboard idea, based on the given benefit. Present it in a scamp layout with headline and visual to express your promise in a highly memorable way. Remember, billboard copy should be limited to approximately 6 to 10 words. So you have to be razor sharp.

You can also use the medium in an innovative, three-dimensional way and play with the shape and structure if it helps to make the communication of the idea more memorable and entertaining.

  1. Product: Fiat 500 Convertible

Key benefit: The most affordable open-roof car

Target market: Young, urban stylish people


  1. Product: Samsung Mobile

Key benefit: A public service message telling people: Don’t text and drive

Target market: All motorists who own cell phones

Question 3: Print Challenge – Headline and Visual
Create a print ad with a headline and visual based on the strongest promise you can devise from the given key benefit. Remember the headline and visual should work in synergy with each other rather than just ‘showing and telling’. Think what your visual is ‘saying’ and write a line to complement that message. You can present this in a scamp layout or simply describe the visual you have in mind.
Product: Scrabble

Key benefit: Enjoy using your word skills to win

Target market: Anyone in the family who enjoys playing games and appreciates wordy, conceptual challenges.
Product: Tippex Pocket Mouse

Key benefit: Covers up mistakes without any visible trace

Target market: Students or anyone working in an office
Question 4: Print Challenge 2 – Headline and Copy
Now create a print ad with no visual, just a headline and some body copy – approximately 150 words. Because your ad doesn’t have a visual, the headline should offer enough intrigue or promise to entice your reader into the body copy.
Product: The Famous Butcher’s Grill

Key benefit: The best meat in town – clearly not for vegetarians!

Target market: Anyone who loves a good quality steak

Product: Clorets

Key benefit: Get fresh breath confidence when you are out and about.

Target market: Anyone who cares about their personal hygiene and might come into close contact with other people.
Question 5: Radio Challenge
Writing radio is one of the most rewarding (and challenging) aspects of copywriting. To begin with it’s all your work, right from concept to the final production. This means you cannot hide behind stylish art direction or cinematography. But it also means you can claim all the glory! Working with sound is very exciting. On radio you’re building pictures in the mind and, as you know, there are no limitations there! Here you can create fantasies which you can’t achieve anywhere else - not even on film. And it can all be achieved at comparatively low cost. Remember to keep your timings in mind when writing your script; count on two words per second of time – and that excludes whatever time you may need for sound effects. So avoid cramming in too much copy.

When writing for radio, it’ll help to know and understand some of these general “shorthand” descriptions used in scriptwriting:

SFX: Sound effects. Used to indicate the type of sound/s you envisage in your commercial.

For example:

SFX: Pacy music under throughout

SFX: Harbour and seagull sounds in background

SFX: Loud crash by breaking glass

MV: Male voice delivering the message

FV: Yes, you guessed it, Female voice

Jingle: A sung message

Now it’s time to give it a go.
Write a 45 second radio commercial on one of the following briefs, focusing your promise on the given key benefit.
1. Product: Crimeline

Key benefit: Report any crimes or suspicious behavior anonymously.

The script would have to leave time for this mandatory Call to Action:

SMS your anonymous tip-offs to 32211. SMS charged at R1.

Target market: People living in urban environments who have a socially responsible attitude and care about maintaining

law and order in their community and society.

2. Product: Wordsworth Book Store

Key benefit: The knowledgeable book store where the people who sell the books actually read them.

Target market: Book lovers who like to build a relationship with their book shop.
Question 6: Alternative Media Challenge
In the current communication age, consumers are so bombarded with advertising and marketing messages, they are becoming cynical, and selective about what they watch, read and absorb.

The advertising industry is having to adapt the way in which advertising messages are communicated. There is a strong shift away from ‘traditional’ media towards more unconventional communication channels, involving ambient, experiential and outdoor media. It could involve anything from a message on a golf tee to a spaceship ‘landing’ on the pavement, as long as it interacts with the lifestyle of the consumer in a relevant and meaningful way.

Now, give it some thought for yourself.

Product: Ster-Kinekor

Objective: Ster-Kinekor is suffering from a decrease in movie-goers as more people download and stream movies.

They would like to create a sense of excitement and hype around the ‘cinema experience’.

Task: Describe briefly in a few lines three ways to drive more people to the movies. These ideas should not involve traditional advertising, but any other alternative, interesting, unexpected, crazy ways of communicating to the appropriate target market and demonstrating an understanding of their lifestyle.
Question 7 : Social Media Challenge
The role of the copywriter has expanded into the world of social media, where communication takes place in a unique, quick-thinking way, with bursts of smart and succinct writing that has to be relevant and current. In fact, the less it feels and sounds like advertising, the more effective it is likely to be in connecting with consumers. The copy on a brand’s Facebook or Twitter account needs to be written in the voice of the brand, conversing as an individual rather than a faceless corporation.
See if you can create appropriate voices and tones for these three different brands.
Products: Nando’s, Durex, Twinsavers

Objective: Create a Valentine’s Day promotion for each of these brands to increase engagement during this time.

Task: Write two Facebook posts and three tweets for each of these brands.

I hereby declare that I, (full name & surname) ___________________________________________(The Applicant) have completed this application unaided

______________________________ _______________________________

Signature of Applicant Date

*Note Having completed and returned this application, the final acceptance may be subject to an entrance exam and a successful face–to–face interview with the School’s Registrar:


Cape Town

Trudie Diffenthal

Tel 011 781 2772

Fax 011 781 2796


Dru Triegaardt

Tel 021 422 1800

Fax 021 422 1827



Bank Details

Standard Bank

Sandton City Branch

Account Name: AAA School of Advertising

Branch code: 01 81 05

Account Number: 220 387 915

Contact Person(s) with regard to accounts queries (phone to arrange specific terms of payment):

  • Yvonne Gordon (Accounts)

  • Russell Cory (Financial Director)

Tel 011 781 2772

Fax 011 781 2797

Email yvonne@aaaschool.ac.za


AAA School of Advertising (Pty) Ltd (Reg no. 1990/00371/07). Registered with the Department of Education as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2000/HE07/015

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