WARNING: This seems like it's about radio--but it's about writing anything you want.
The radio scripts came from a radio station group that wants writer coaching.
From reading these scripts, it's clear that they were written by very nice people. And the writers are all Canadian. Sorry, my fellow Americans.
From reading these scripts, the potential is obvious. Which is good. So many scripts that cross my desk reek of a fear of the blank page. (There's a whole other screed on that.)
One of the scripts is for a tow truck service that will move just about anything you want to move, whether it has wheels or not.
This is a great conceit. From the script, the tow truck company doesn't obviously have a brand. But they like to do good work and be useful. There's a brand campaign buried in there.
Let's brand backwards by starting with ideas for more advertisements.
But how am I going to create those ideas? Where are they?
In this case, I go to Google, click the "images" tab, and search phrases related to tow truck drivers. Two examples: "happy tow truck driver" and "tow truck driver humor."
Scanning the images, I make spontaneous notes about any ideas that pop into my head. Here, in the order they popped up, are 10 ideas born in 10 minutes:
The happy tow truck driver who moves anything you want moved
OK, cheating. This is based in part on the existing script. But it was fueled by an image of a tow truck moving a tow truck. It can be a series of ads about a guy who keeps calling the towing service to move all kinds of weird things. Garden shed. Garden gnome. A surplus space shuttle. Another tow truck. This could go on for years. What do you want towed today?
Tow truck with a bud vase
This just popped into my head. No idea why. But tow trucks are so grubby and greasy. The delicacy of a bud vase is a lovely contrast. (When something like this happens, pay attention. Write it down. Great brands have happened this way.)
The woman with a crush on the tow truck driver
She keeps calling so the nice, patient man will come to handle her problem du jour. A flat tire. A dead battery. A lockout. Each advertisement features a different service. (Again, not inspired by any particular image, but it popped into my head and I wrote it down.)
The reliable tow truck driver who lives to assist
Everyday situations feature an always-helpful guy. He helps an old lady cross the street. Rescues a cat from a tree. Puts his cloak down over a mud puddle for a stranger. And by the way, he's also a tow truck driver.
The tow truck driver who wears a cape
This superhero tow truck driver is very casual about wearing a cape. The conversations with stranded motorists are always entertaining. What conflicts does a cape bring with it? Can you get it past airport security?
The tow truck driver who always stands arms akimbo
This is a little like the superhero cape idea. Maybe too silly. But worth trying.
The tow truck company with a red phone
Conversations in the tow truck company offices about why there's a red phone. Much is made about the hotline mystique. It's only for fellow Canadians in need of roadside assistance. Maybe each commercial features a call, one-sided. We hear only the comedy of the guy answering it. (Think classic Bob Newhart standup.)
The endlessly patient tow truck driver
It doesn't matter what happens to him in the field, he is helpful and unflappable. Vicious dog? A locked car full of magpies? A car that squirts jelly every time you try to jump start it? Doesn't matter. He's always smiling.
The "I can do that" tow truck driver.
This is beyond a can-do attitude. This is crazy optimism run rampant.
So, are all these ideas great? Nope. But they have something important.
They're on the page. Each has a specific direction. Each offers the potential for development into an ongoing campaign.
And they each offer the potential for developing a brand image. Each one can be buttoned with a tagline that feels good and right and true and catchy.
But what is a brand? A brand is the ONE way the core CUSTOMER should FEEL about your business.
Any one of these ideas can be developed into a consistent campaign of consistent advertisements with a consistent message that creates a consistent feeling with consistency.
That's my rant. Hope it's useful.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in
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.