Coleman Larkin

Copy Editor, Copywriter, Editor, Writer

I'm a copywriter of the extra crispy sort. I get to the truth of things. Want a reaction? Put me in action.

Everything is an ad. Products are ads. Articles are ads. Ads are ads. It’s annoying.

If you want to get through to the ad-weary masses, what you need is a story. A legend. Something that people hold in higher regard because it was passed along to them from a trusted friend. To do that, you need a voice.

You want to be cool but polished. Approachable but exacting. A little irreverent without alienating potential customers. It’s called sprezzatura. Hidden effort. You want all of the cold business tedium and behind-the-scenes drudgery to stay subterranean like a sturdy foundation from which the welcoming edifice of your brand can rise. Good copy can help you do that.

I write good copy.

My words have helped propel a filthy lump of Kentucky coal into a top-selling Christmas gift. I’ve conjured the ghost of a cocaine-binging black bear and breathed it into a beloved mascot with his own product line. I’ve spun an embarrassing typo into one of AdWeek’s “Best Print Ads of 2017”.

"Coleman Larkin is the best writer I know. Seriously, he’s a badass. Whether it’s concise copy or a 5,000 word article, his creative writing skills keep me tuned in, entertained, and wanting more. He’s incredibly original, unexpected, and funny as hell. He definitely doesn’t go for the obvious and has a knack for finding diamonds in the rough. The feature stories and copy he’s written for Kentucky for Kentucky have been our best performing by far - our most viewed, our most talked about, our most written about, and our most shared."

-Whit Hiler
Creative Director, Cornett Advertising / Partner, Kentucky for Kentucky
Business Insider’s “24 Most Creative People in Advertising”

So that's that. In short, I can walk the line that you want to walk. The one between a casual disregard for convention and off-putting crassness where sales-driving virality lives.

Or maybe you just want someone that can spell so you don’t come off looking like a dumbass. I can do that, too.

Let’s work together on something killer.
Content Types
Article, Blog Post, Social Copy, Website Copy, Interview, Product Description, Ad/Promotional Copy, General Photo, General Video, Landing Page
More Information
University of Kentucky, BA, English
Lexington, KY, USA|English

Published Content

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Ad/Promotional Copy
KY for KY - Oxford American Print Ad

KY for KY typically doesn't do any print advertising, but friends at the venerable Oxford American magazine invited us to sneak a little something into their annual music issue. The challenge was to get our quirky, mischievous brand to shine through in a relatively buttoned-down publication. We also wanted to see if we could get a little more bang for our buck by creating something that garnered some attention beyond the page. Creative directors handed me a killer concept and I finessed it with some copy that had maximum appeal. It was funny. It was literary. It took a lighthearted jab at the grammar sadists in the immediate audience. I penned blog posts for our own site and press releases for the big dawgs to make sure our antics didn't go unnoticed. We killed it. We got tons of free publicity, loads of new customers, were named one of Adweek's best print ads of the year, and Entrepreneur magazine featured us in an article called "10 Genius Marketing Campaigns That Went Viral". It was the ultimate "gotcha"! Check it out...

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Website Copy
KY for KY - Website Copy

In the Squarespace age, websites are pretty predictable. That's dumb. Because with a little effort (and the right copywriter) you can make your site a proper extension of your business and a fitting reflection of its culture. That was the task with this project. Help KY for KY bring the positive vibes of their physical "Fun Mall" retail space to the web. I accomplished this by interjecting the company's voice in every nook and cranny of the beautifully designed site I could think of. The result was an ultra-sticky, Kentucky-fried masterpiece that has steadily boosted sales since its launch. Check it out and buy some stuff.

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Product Description
KY for KY - Christmas Coal Product Copy

This one, I think, really showcases what some out-of-the-box copy (and excellent design) can do for a product. It's a chunk of coal, buddy. They don't exactly sell themselves. I did some tight copy for the packaging, a bit of signature yarn spinning for a standalone website, and blog/social media posts packed with some highly quotable turns of phrase that got picked up far and wide. Now these filthy damn things are a perennial bestseller and everybody loves me and when I walk down the street people (mostly sexy ladies) scream, "Wow!" Here's a taste of the hubbub my work helped to generate on this project...

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KY for KY - Feature Writing

Maybe you're not in the market for "copy" copy. Maybe you need that sweet sweet content that keeps the kiddies coming back for more. Well well. What a coincidence. I happen to be a samurai in the art of creative nonfiction, as well. Haha! I'm good at everything! I have loads of experience with hard and soft news, features, whatever. The weirder the better. My stories have been shared thousands of times, and they're a much cooler way to drive traffic to your site than the kind of clickbait garbage that can poison your brand for all eternity. Seriously. Don't post that crap. It sucks.

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KY for KY - Cocaine Bear Content Marketing

Here's another bizarro project for you to fawn over and another prime example of how some real, honest-to-God writing (not vapid sloganeering) can help the wildest of ideas catch fire in ways you hadn't even anticipated. The task was pretty vague. KY for KY had gotten their hands on a stuffed black bear that they wanted to turn into a mascot of sorts for their "Fun Mall" retail space. My job was to elevate him from A black bear to THE black bear. So, whether you consider him an ad or not (he is) and whether you consider my contribution to the endeavor copywriting or not (it was), I crafted a rollicking origin story for the guy that contained enough facts to make it believable and enough fiction to make it magical. It blew up. Now Cocaine Bear (aka Pablo Escobear) is an internet sensation with his own product line and a gen-u-wine roadside attraction that pulls in busloads of curious customers. Hell yeah!

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McSweeney's - Humor Writing

No client. No real goal. These are just some stupid things I've managed to get published in the internet's most highly regarded humor outlet. Basically, if you're not picking up on it yet, I'm bragging. Impressed? But seriously. Being funny in person is hard. Being funny online or on the printed page is even harder. I can do it. If you give me money, I can do it for the benefit of your business.

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