I Don't Know How And So Can You
Just had a shocking realization...
I have no idea how to write advertising.
Yes, that seems odd for a guy who’s been doing it for over 20 years. But it’s the truth. I don’t know how.
I’ve sold stuff. Lots of it. Won huge awards. Have my own business.
And you can do it, too.
But where does it all begin and end?
There is no system.
Everybody wants a system.
But if you’re starting from the boundaries and structure of a system, how can the outside creative idea penetrate your work?
Yes, purpose and intent are critical and compulsory.
But so is chaos.
Creating from chaos?
How does this happen?
This morning, I’ve been sitting in front of the computer, pounding out taglines wild and reckless.
None of them are good.
One is. Not great. But OK. What does that idea look like?
I go to Google, type in a related search term, and hit “images.”
Chaos with captions!
But there amid the chaos, a new creative thought emerges. Could work.
What about our big-brand competitors? What are they doing?
I search a big brand by name. There’s some good stuff with good feeling.
What can we do that’s different, that feels as good or better? And how will it be informed by our own brand veracity?
Quick, Google search on reviews from our customers.
Lots and lots of same same in there.
But looking for the things that aren’t the same, that’s where to find the diamonds that feel right and good and true and tasty.
No, they can’t be quoted in the ad copy.
But they can inform the ad copy.
And maybe that’s the challenge right there: what feeling informs the copy?
How are you being informed?
Ideas are everywhere except inside your head.
Gotta beat the bushes so they fly out like a covey of lovey doveys.
Does that even make sense? It doesn’t matter. Write it down.
We have more tools at our disposal than ever.
Try to create in a vacuum, and it sucks the life out of you.
Use Google as your guide and other tools to find the chaos that brings ideas and informs the feelings and the order you’re trying to bring to bear on customer-winning copy.
Ask questions. See what happens. Think up craziness. See what comes. Collect the gems.
Slogging through a lot of stuff seems chaotic--but it can bring brilliance.
I don’t know how I create ads.
But I do know that what I don’t do is sit and stare at a blank and empty.
It doesn’t help. (Unless it does.)
It’s a systemless system and a methodless method for hoovering ideas into your vacuum.
See? I really don’t know. You can, too.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in
Leave a Reply.
Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.