Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chatting with UT Grad and "Old Spice Guy" Craig Allen

I've been meaning to write this post for a week. But it's that time of year... 26 days until our final critique and seven campaigns to finish (including one we haven't started) plus two other class projects.

Anyway, meeting Craig Allen (of Wieden+Kennedy) was awesome, guys! We were all kind of nervous to meet him but he was really unassuming and laid back and (obviously) funny. Plus, he broke the ice by playing his enviably hilarious reel, which included the Old Spice stuff and gems like:



And...



This was a more casual setting than when Rich Silverstein spoke at UT, so I didn't take a ton of notes. But, a few bits of advice for students that stuck out:
  • Ad folks work a ton of hours, even more so if you're in NYC. (Well known fact, but good to remember.)
  • Don't put TV in your book. No one wants to read storyboards, and whatever you actually shoot will generally look crappy when compared to actual commercials with giant budgets and professional producers. You'll learn TV on the job, so don't sweat it now.
  • Work with people who make you better. 
  • Seek out not only the agencies you want to work for but also the creatives you'd like to work with. Sometimes there's someone doing great work at an agency you might not otherwise be into. 
  • Always ask for as much work as you can handle. Kick ass on whatever you're assigned, even if it's a crappy account. Pitch great ideas for the accounts you wish you were working on. 

If you haven't seen it, here's a cool video about Craig and his partner's creative process. (Craig is on the right.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Creativity: The Awkward Years

This is an oldie but a goodie — Ira Glass on working through the sucky early years of any creative endeavor when your taste level surpasses your skill level and you're working like mad on a bunch of stuff that you know kind of sucks.

When I first stumbled on this video during my first semester in grad school, it made me so relieved not to be alone. My grad school mantra said essentially the same thing —  When you're green, you grow. (The tatted-up hairstylist I stole the line from always added: When you're ripe, you rot.)  But I needed to hear it from someone who'd made it to the other side.

A friend reminded me of this video today, and I had to share it. (Thanks, Tyler!) It's good to re-watch on the tough days.



My favorite part transcribed in case you can't play it where you are:
And all of us who do creative work like, you know, we get into it and we get into it because we have good taste… So you've got really good taste and you get into this thing that I don't even know how to describe but it's like there's a gap. That for the first couple years that you're making stuff, what you're making isn't so good, okay? It's not that great. It's really not that great. It's trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it's not quite that good. 
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you're making is kind of a disappointment to you, you know what I mean? Like you can tell that it's still sort of crappy. A lot of people never get past that phase and a lot of people at that point quit.
And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn't as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short, you know, and some of us can admit that to ourselves, and some of us are a little less able to admit that to ourselves.
But we knew that it didn't have the special thing that we wanted it to have and the thing what to do is... Everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you're going through it right now, if you're just getting out of that phase or if you're just starting off and you're entering into that phase, you've got to know it's totally normal and the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you're going to finish one story. You know what I mean? Whatever it's going to be. You create the deadline. It's best if you have somebody who's waiting for work from you, somebody who's expecting work from you, even if it's not somebody who pays you but that you're in a situation where you have to try not to work. Because it's only be actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you're making will be as good as your ambitions.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Please Feed the Creatives.


You know those people who lose weight when they’re stressed because they forget to eat?

That’s not me. When my stomach starts growling, my brain goes on strike and my pleasant disposition usually follows. I never forget lunch.

But, I do forget to feed my creativity. Things get busy and I get caught in the grind of making ads until suddenly they’re a lot harder to create.

And I, foolish worker bee that I am, feel like I must not be trying hard enough. So, I skip the gym. I tune out the radio and think while I drive. I feel guilty reading for fun. I withdraw from social media. I stop leisurely browsing ad sites. And I spend a lot of time thinking and not coming up with a damn thing.

Because, duh, I just need to eat.

But by then I’m so deep into my dried up rut that I’m afraid to eat. Surely, there’s no time for a meal. Maybe I can grab a snack to tide me over, but I certainly can’t sit down and linger over food.

Except that I have to. There’s no moving on until I do. I need to take an hour for yoga or browse through a bookstore or sit in the sun and people watch or take in a movie or maybe, probably, most likely all of the above.

So that, my Internet friends, is on the agenda.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Inspiration Sunday: Happy Halloween, Mrs. Jensen

I've watched this approximately 47 times in the last month, and I still love this commercial.



Thank you, BBDO.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cool Campaign: Enjoy the Wait

As a writer/reader, I love the thinking behind this campaign for a Thai publishing house — if you have something to read, waiting isn't so bad. I wish I could read the stories, but sadly, they are all in Thai.

(Click for a closer look.)


Advertising Agency: BBDO Bangkok, Thailand
Executive Creative Director: Suthisak Sucharittanonta, Subun Khow
Creative Directors: Chanattapon Tiensri
Art Directors: Korakot Konkaew, Naphol Chantapakorn
Copywriters: Chanattapon Tiensri, Prin U-manetr

Thanks to Ads of the World, where I spotted this one. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wrong turn down The Artist’s Way

A few weeks ago, some article mentioned Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and piqued my curiosity. It’s a classic with 200+ gushing reviews on Amazon. And, really, what creative person doesn’t want to “unblock.” Granted, I wasn’t feeling particularly blocked when I picked it up at the library, but there’s always room to be more creative, right?

For those of you not familiar with this book, it’s a “comprehensive twelve-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks.” The main tools are morning pages (writing three stream-of-consciousness pages about whatever every morning) and artist's dates (taking weekly alone-time to get inspired). As general concepts, both have been recommended to me by professors and other creative folks.

Sounds perfectly helpful, right?

Well, I found myself in a creative slump as soon as I started reading it. Maybe it was getting up half an hour early to write gibberish about how irritated I was getting up early. Maybe it was all the exercises in which I searched my childhood for the moment some villain told me I wasn’t good enough and destroyed my creative mojo. Maybe it was reading her florid prose or all the talk about how it’s God’s plan for you to be creative. Maybe it was the vaguely condescending attitude about careers (like journalism and advertising) that she considers “shadow careers” (i.e. practical substitutions for real art).

Whatever it was, it was not good. But I didn’t want to let it go. After all, so many people say this book changed their lives. Maybe I was just going through the purging phase. (Anyone who’s tried Retin-A knows your face gets worse before it gets better.) So, I trudged on another week, writing in my notebook and reading my affirmations each morning.

But it didn’t get better. I felt run down and idealess. And there was creative work to be done and no time to let this slump work itself out. So, I finally listened to my gut and took Ms. Cameron back to the library.

It took another week or two to shake off the residue, but I’m finally energized and back in the game. Ad icon Rich Silverstein’s talk yesterday helped tremendously.

The moral of this story: You can’t turn all your energy inward and expect it to reflect back at you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Advice from Rich Silverstein of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

Rich Silverstein — I took a camera pic today but it was fuzzy.
Wow, guys. I’d been planning to jump back into the blogging thing next week. But, when I heard that Rich Silverstein of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners was going to speak on campus, I knew I had to post.

His talk totally invigorated me — just what I needed mid-semester. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners does amazing work, and we even got to see a few yet-to-be-aired commercials. (Let’s just say there’s some awesome stuff in the pipeline.)

He was speaking to the Technology Marketing and Advertising class (which the professor graciously allowed other students to crash), but the conversation wasn’t super tech heavy. Rich said a few times that he didn’t think about technology except as a tool to further storytelling.

Connecting people and telling stories are the two things that tie together all the careers I’ve wanted or had (acting, journalism, advertising), so it was really cool to hear him mention those ideas over and over. Other frequently repeated themes included honesty and simplicity.

“Find a way to make something brutally simple that’s brilliant,” he said.

The quotes

He was highly quotable, and I’m sure you’d rather read his words than mine, so here are a few snippets:
  • “Do not talk down to consumers… Everyone is smarter than you think they are.”
  •  “No one’s going to give you a free ticket in advertising. You’ve just got to work your brains out.” 
  • “Sometimes a cool product is killed by advertising. You have to be honest and truthful.”
  • “Put a dog in your commercial, put a baby in your commercial, and you win.” ;) 
  • “It’s not easy to sell any of this to clients.”
  • “Passion is very important… You’re lucky — you’ll be in an industry that has a lot of energy.”
  • “Everything is a mistake waiting to happen. Nothing is perfect. You just have to go with it.”
  • “Middle management destroys creativity.”

More advice

For creative directors and other managers: 
“Be fair, honest and direct… A good creative director is the boy who sees that the emperor is naked."

For creative job applicants:
  • “If you’re not a student of pop culture, you shouldn’t be in advertising.”
  • Your book is what matters, and it should show thinking plus craft.
  • He and Jeff Goodby look for books with one great thing that makes them jealous.
  • You have to have a point of view.
  • And for copywriters “Writing is a lost art… Try to string some words together.”
  • When asked about it, he cautioned against filling your book with gorilla work: “Clients love it and never buy it.”

And, finally, the work

Got Milk? — Aaron Burr
(He rightfully called the milk mustaches campaign a bastardization of this idea.)



NBA Finals — There Can Only Be One



Comcast High Speed Data with Powerboost — Rabbit


Doritos Hotel 626



Sprint Now Network


Dickies
Can't embed the video, but you can check out these ads at: http://874.dickies.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Writer Wednesday — Elspeth Taylor — "it’s not enough to think that you have a way with words"

Each Wednesday I feature a fellow writer, and not just ad folks. I’m interested in anyone who makes a living stringing together words. Their answers are unfiltered, so I may not always agree with every last bit of advice. After all, what works for one writer may not work for another. But we all need fresh ideas and perspectives to keep growing. Interested? Please email leigh@leighwritescopy.com.

Writer Wednesday has featured a lot of freelancers, but most of them have been at it for a while. London copywriter Elspeth Taylor offers a different perspective as she's just made the transition to being her own boss.

Website: http://weedle.com/elspeth.taylor
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/elspethctaylor

What’s your writing focus or specialty?

Well, I’m really just starting out at the whole freelance writing thing so I’m keen to not pigeonhole myself just yet. Not to mention the fact that a good copywriter needs to have plenty of strings to their bow to be a success. My background is in fashion and retail, so I guess these would be my specialist areas. I can make the ugliest of outfits sound like your wardrobe will shrivel up and die without it! I also have SEO experience, so writing for the web is another key area for me. But I’m trying to keep my hand in at all sorts of writing—to keep my brain active and to give myself the best possible chance of making enough money to be able to eat! I report for a local niche-interest paper, write articles for their website, help people with their blogs and submit speculative features to magazines and weekend papers. Plus, I do article rewriting and proof-reading for various private and corporate clients.

Writers often take winding career paths. What led you here?

All my jobs have been in publishing/media type companies and all my roles have been to do with writing and editing. My last job was as a copywriter for a big UK department store and after about 18 months of working there I realised I wanted more variety in my working day. I enjoyed getting into the mind of the customer, really working out what makes them tick, what specific words and language will really engage them and so on... but I wanted more! I decided to branch out on my own to see if I could gain a more varied client base that would allow me to get involved in other areas of copywriting and to take on more challenging projects. And of course, I like the freedom of deciding the times of my working day! What other job allows you to work around walking the dog, popping to the shops or meeting friends for brunch?!

Tell us a little about your creative process.

I wouldn’t say that I have a set ‘creative process’, not as such. It’s more about doing solid ground work — I do plenty of research into the brief I’ve been given, who I need to target and how best to reach out and speak to that type of person, how to make them sit up and take notice. I also make sure I talk to the client about what they are trying to achieve, what main points they are trying to put across and then use all of that info to bat around a few ideas. I try to get a few sentences and key words down on screen (or paper!), even if they are incomplete; just so I don’t have a big, blank expanse of white in front of me, and then I see what I can put together from there.

What do you do when you’re stuck? Any tricks for getting unstuck?

I find that the best thing to do if you’re stuck is to (deadline allowing!) go away and try not to think about the piece of work for a while, possibly even leave it over night. Then come back to it fresh and read through what you have. You will often have a fresh perspective. Sometimes I come back to pieces of work and delete whole sections in a frenzy of “what on earth was I thinking”. On the other hand, sometimes I find that bits that I have agonised over just fall into place.

Any side projects? If so, how do you make time for them?

As I mentioned, I do some editing, feature writing and reporting on the side. I also have a little dog that’s a bit of a handful! Training her is almost a whole project in itself! Making time for everything isn’t really an issue at the moment, because I‘m so new to freelancing. I have plenty of time for my small client base as well as the bits and bobs I do alongside. Hopefully, once I’m more established, setting myself timelines and prioritising workloads will become more imperative!

I’m also studying a course with the London School of Journalism, which is great for days when I don’t have any paid work on. It helps keep my writing flowing and stops me watching too much Diagnosis Murder!

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

That it’s not enough to think that you have ‘a way with words’, a good copywriter needs plenty of commercial awareness and a good listening ear to really be a success.

What’s one thing you know now that you’d wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

A small, boisterous dog is not the best companion to have around in a quiet home office!

Seriously though, I would say it’s that setting up on your own, taking on clients and building up relationships etc... it all takes far, FAR longer than you think it will. Even though I felt I’d prepared myself for how long it might take to make this work, it still seems painfully slow! I guess I’m a bit of a workaholic, I like having something to do every hour of every day and when this doesn’t happen it can be tough to feel like I’m getting somewhere. Still, I’ve learnt to cut myself some slack. I’ve achieved some good things so far and I have plenty of time to achieve plenty more! (So long as the food rations don’t run out!)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Inspiration Sunday — FCUK Man/Woman

It's Sunday, and we could all use some inspiration before we go back to work or school or whatever it is we do on the days when having a Bloody Mary with brunch is frowned upon.


I think it's the strong voice and the vague strangeness, but there's something I find really charming about this campaign for French Connection UK. I could probably ruin it by over-thinking the gender politics of it all, but I won't. I will just appreciate the French absurdism of it all. 

They also did these odd/cool tv spots for the campaign, which you can view on Ads of the World (where I spotted these).


Advertising Agency: Fallon, London, UK
Art Directors / Copywriters: Selena Mckenzie, Toby Moore
Photographer: Leila Naaman
Typographers: Philip Bosher, Monica Pirovana

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NY Times Roundup: Baby Carrots and Girl Power

Over-focusing on school has sidetracked my blogging lately, so I'm trying to get back to it. In case you missed this week's New York Times Magazine, there were a couple of cool ad-related articles.

Baby Carrots

The first, "Carrot Talk" by Rob Walker, looks at Crispin Porter & Bogusky's baby carrots campaign, in which they packaged the veggies to look like junk food, put them into vending machines at a couple of schools, and created some ironically cliched ads. It's a cool campaign, and the article points to two reasons it works.

First, a human quirk: Marketing makes food taste better. Kids in a 2007 study preferred the taste of food (including milk and carrots) in McDonald's packaging than the same food in plain packaging. (This phenomenon was one of my marketing professor's more amusing examples for how marketing/advertising benefits people.)

Second, the satirical baby carrot ads appeal to teens' sense of irony in what Salon called "the dark art of reverse-reverse psychology." That's a tricky thing to get right, but if any agency could, it's Crispin.

Empowerment as a Selling Tool

The second column, Peggy Orenstein's "The Empowerment Mystique", talks about companies latching on to "girl power" in their ads without actually doing anything concrete to further the cause. She mentions Nike as a rare exception that supported girls' athletics with actual donations in addition to its awesome “if you let me play sports” campaign.

On one hand, ads that portray girls and women as powerful and smart and in control of their lives are a step in the right direction. Still, I'm glad someone is asking what these companies are doing to actually better the lives of girls and women.

Looking at it from an advertising perspective, I wonder how much consumers trust empowerment ads from companies whose actions do nothing to support their messaging. Can advertising without substance make us believe in a company? Luke Sullivan says no (and far more eloquently than I can) in his essay about authenticity in advertising, "Writing To The 2010 Customer". My favorite bit of his advice:
No matter how authentic your message, you cannot become X by saying you are X. You must actually be X. So, after you figure out what your brand needs to say, figure out what it needs to do.

This also made me think of a recent post by Simon Mainwaring, "What to do when good brands make bad things? Or bad brands do good?" in which he writes about the inherent contradictions that occur when big companies engage in cause marketing. At the end, he asks:
Do you agree that we should focus on positive brand behavior to enable others to do the same? Or should we take all brands to task for any behavior that has a negative impact right now?
But I'm not sure if it's a one or the other proposition. Like Mainwaring, I'm more inclined to focus on encouraging the good than criticizing the bad. But I think we have to look a the whole picture and do both.

Well, guys, that's it for now. Thanks for hanging in there.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Writer Wednesday — Mnawar Shourakaa — Working to make Arabic the “primary language of creativity” in the Middle East and North Africa

Each Wednesday I feature a fellow writer, and not just ad folks. I’m interested in anyone who makes a living stringing together words. Their answers are unfiltered, so I may not always agree with every last bit of advice. After all, what works for one writer may not work for another. But we all need fresh ideas and perspectives to keep growing. Interested? Please email leigh@leighwritescopy.com.

One of the fun things about opening up Writer Wednesday has been hearing from copywriters around the globe. Today, we’ve got Mnawar Shourakaa, a creative consultant/copywriter in Lebanon who writes in Arabic in hopes of helping boost the language’s standing in the creative world. (No worries though — this interview is in English.)

Website: http://lb.linkedin.com/in/arabiccopywriter

What’s your writing focus or specialty?

Well Leigh, I've been working as an Arabic copywriter for more than 7 years, through which I had the chance to work on many international and local accounts of different industries, such as: F&B, automotives, finance and banking and many others.

Writers often take winding career paths. What led you here?

It's an interesting question to ask, Leigh. Personally, I always knew that I would be working as a copywriter someday. When I was 13 years old, my English teacher asked us to create an advertisement. Believe me; through working on this advertisement, I discovered a huge passion towards advertising in general and copywriting in particular. I didn't have any single doubt about what should I major in college, I chose advertising and I got my BA after 4 years of study. Now, you would ask me: "Why did you choose to become an Arabic copywriter, why not an English CW, why not a bilingual one?" The answer is very easy: I didn't choose it, it chose me!

You have no clue, Leigh, about the huge shortage in Arabic copywriters in the MENA region [Middle East and North Africa]. In addition to that, it is no secret that Arabic advertising copy has nowadays fallen second to the compliancy and creativeness of its English counterpart, that's why I made a pledge to myself to create fluid Arabic copy and make Arabic once again the primary language of creativity.

Tell us a little about your creative process.

Listening, listening and listening! It's very important to understand the needs of your client before writing your copy. In my experience, I found out that copywriters don't give much attention to this step! Every piece of copy I produce is reviewed, analyzed and polished to perfection. The end result is a flawless, glistening masterpiece that also ticks all strategic boxes.

What do you do when you’re stuck? Any tricks for getting unstuck?

Well, Leigh, it's always helpful to check the material of your client's competitors. This has two advantages: First, it gives you an insight of what had been written before in order not to clone or repeat. Second, it gives you an inspiration to do something even better and more creative. It never fails!

Any side projects? If so, how do you make time for them?

Call me a workaholic, but I don't have time to side projects. Any free time I have I like to spend with my family and friends. You may consider it as a time out to energize myself, before moving on to the next writing challenge.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

Oh, there are so many advices that enriched my career. I consider the most important one is the golden rule that we all came to know: NEVER ASSUME!!! It's very important, Leigh, to check your facts thoroughly before writing a single word. Believe me, if you didn't do so, there will be severe outcomes.

What’s one thing you know now that you’d wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

That's an easy one, Leigh. In the beginning, I thought the key to success was to work hard. After a while in the business, I came to think that the key to success was to work smart. Now, after all these years, I truly believe that the key to success is to work SMART and HARD! If I embraced that from the beginning, I truly believe that I would've accomplished more.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Writer Wednesday — Amber Cleave — "Writing is a process based on progress, not perfection."

Each Wednesday I feature a fellow writer, and not just ad folks. I’m interested in anyone who makes a living stringing together words. Their answers are unfiltered, so I may not always agree with every last bit of advice. After all, what works for one writer may not work for another. But we all need fresh ideas and perspectives to keep growing. Interested? Please email leigh@leighwritescopy.com.

Amber Cleave does email marketing and customer retention for VerticalResponse in San Francisco (man, do I miss that city). Like me and more and more of the advertising and marketing folks I meet, she got her start in journalism before crossing over.


Copywriting Blog www.ambercleave.blogspot.com
Twitter:  @Gldnamby

What’s your writing focus or specialty?

My writing specialties are marketing, email, and web copywriting (mostly for games and software).

Writers often take winding career paths. What led you here?

In college I majored in English—mostly because I didn’t know what else to major in! Writing was always something that came naturally to me and that I thoroughly enjoyed. So English seemed to be the best solution. People always asked, “What are you going to be, a teacher?” And although I didn’t have any intentions of being a teacher, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my degree.

After college I moved back home to Half Moon Bay, CA, and literally walked into The Half Moon Bay Review Magazine and Newspaper office to see if they had any openings. I was in luck; they did! I contracted with them on and off for a few years, and then got a journalism internship at The Mountain View Voice.

From there I made a shift into email marketing at Electronic Arts, and loved it so much that I then went to an Email Marketing company in San Francisco called VerticalResponse. Although my direct title is Retention Marketing Specialist, I consider myself a sort of resident copywriter. I write everything from blog posts, to education guides, to web and landing page copy, to weekly newsletters and emails.

Tell us a little about your creative process.

My process varies a lot based on what type of piece I’m writing. Writing an article vs. a marketing email is very different, but I always begin the same way - brainstorming. I love a good brainstorm session. I write down everything that comes to mind, and essentially come up with a whole stream of consciousness. From there I cross off ideas that are way too out there, and narrow down my direction and scope. It helps me to view writing as a puzzle. It’s placing the right words together in the right order to most effectively communicate with your audience. In the case of marketing, it’s trying to compel the customer to act.

What do you do when you’re stuck? Any tricks for getting unstuck?

When I’m stuck I usually walk away for a while, and come back with a clear head later on. Writing can be very tiresome and mentally draining, so I can really only write well for a few hours at a time. Then I need a break.

Any side projects? If so, how do you make time for them?

Earlier this year I wrote for Suite101, and I also freelanced an article for
EatBetterAmerica.com
. These are things I do after work or on the weekend.


It’s also important to me to continue my education and keep growing my skill set, so I’m excited to be attending the DMA’s Creative & Copywriting for Print & Web Certification in NY in November. Maybe I’ll see some of you fellow writers there!

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

The best writing advice I’ve ever been given is that you don’t have to be a perfectionist to be a good writer. Sometimes a piece can be quick and dirty and still come out really well. Writing is a process based on progress, not perfection. It gets better with age!

What’s one thing you know now that you’d wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

No idea is a bad idea, but sometimes things need to be refocused or rewritten. I used to take edits very personally, but now I view them as constructive criticism that can turn something good into something great.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's Sunday, and we could all use some inspiration before we go back to work or school or whatever it is we do on the days when having a Bloody Mary with brunch is frowned upon.

Apologies for being a slacker in the posting department — I'm still adjusting to back-to-school. Anyway, my favorite ad this week is... this Levi's billboard from Sagmeister Inc. (Their site is a little seizure inducing, but their design work is amazing.)



Also, if you haven't, definitely check out Stefan Sagmeister's Ted talks. This one about taking a year long sabbatical every seven years is fantastic.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The long and short of taglines

I'm not sure I'll ever be as definitive about anything as Al Ries is about most things. But I really enjoyed his recent take on slogans in Ad Age — Long Slogans Are Absolutely, Positively More Effective Than Short Ones.

I'm sure you get the gist just from the title. Ries argues that by fixating on the idea that shorter is better, copywriters are editing the emotion right out of our work. He compares "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken" to the fictionally truncated "Perdue, the tender chicken."

It's hard to disagree when you compare his list of modern shorties like:
  • Ally Bank: Straightforward.
  • Acura: Advance.
  • FedEx: We understand.
  • Ford: Drive one.
  • Hertz: Journey on.
  • Infiniti: Inspired performance.
To his list of longer classics like: 
  • Las Vegas: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." (7 words)
  • M&M's: "Melts in your mouth, not in your hands." (8 words)
  • The New York Times: "All the news that's fit to print." (7 words)
  • Saturn: "A different kind of company. A different kind of car." (10 words)
  • Secret deodorant: "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman." (10 words)
  • Smuckers: "With a name like Smuckers, it's got to be good." (10 words)
But I like some of the one he dismisses (American Express: Take charge is rather nice). And some that he likes sound like a mouthful to me (for example, Roto-Rooter: "That's the name and away go troubles down the drain")

Certainly, there are no rules, and Ries gives the only guideline that sticks at the end of his column. He writes that the tagline should be "long enough to reach an emotional connection in the consumer's mind." But I might shorten that to "long enough to connect." (After all, I'm an On Writing Well girl to the core.) 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Inspiration Sunday — Go ride a bike.

It's Sunday, and we could all use some inspiration before we go back to work or school or whatever it is we do on the days when having a Bloody Mary with brunch is frowned upon.

I don't ride a bike, but I dig the message and the clever phrasing. 


Stencil by Peter Drew of Adelaide, Australia
Photo by Carlton Reid
Originally posted on The Audiophiles (Enough said) and spotted on Daniel Pink's blog.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Writer Wednesday — Therese Pope — “...walk outside in nature and take a few deep breaths.”

Each Wednesday I feature a fellow writer, and not just ad folks. I’m interested in anyone who makes a living stringing together words. Their answers are unfiltered, so I may not always agree with every last bit of advice. After all, what works for one writer may not work for another. But we all need fresh ideas and perspectives to keep growing. Interested? Please email leigh@leighwritescopy.com.

Therese Pope is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant in Northern California, a perfect location given her focus on wellness and holistic practitioners. Her company, Zenful Communications, takes what she calls a “wholistic” approach to marketing that looks at the whole of a company to find the heart of it’s message and branding.


Website: http://zenfulcommunications.blogspot.com
Twitter: @TheresePope

What’s your writing focus or specialty?

I've worked with a lot of different niches — some of them include: the hospitality industry, business, online marketing, and holistic/wellness and health

Writers often take winding career paths. What led you here?

I have a VERY different background than most copywriters who have traditional agency experience. I am a freelance copywriter and online marketing consultant with a BA degree in Journalism (option: Public Relations) from California State University, Chico. I've been a freelancer for three years. I worked as a special events director/fundraiser for public health non-profits (American Cancer Society and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation). I worked in publicity/PR for Barnes & Noble after college and also worked for a real estate trade association and small publishing company in the Sacramento, CA, area.

However, I've always been a one-woman marketing/PR "show" and wrote my own newsletters, marketing and event collateral. When I worked in non-profit, my co-workers joked that I was the in-house ghostwriter since I always edited co-workers and directors' writing. I have always loved to write (why I pursued a journalism degree) and was an English geek in high school. I did a bit of freelance writing on the side during my non-profit career but always pushed it to the side since I was so busy. I was drawn to starting my own business because I wanted to be a freelancer and have always had a strong entrepreneurial drive. It felt natural to move in the direction of copywriting and marketing consulting because of my strong writing skills and my flair for writing marketing-focused copy. 


Tell us a little about your creative process.

As for my creative process, I partner and work with a lot of amazing project managers and web and graphic designers. They are always involved in the creative process because we work together as a team (especially on web copywriting projects). We usually sit down and have a creative meeting and hammer out all the marketing goals and objectives related to the campaign/project - which also involves my role as the copywriter. 



They usually write a creative brief and I write a copywriting strategy that clearly outlines my copy goals and objectives of their project. Each project is different so it really depends on the scope of the project and what the client needs. Bottom line — I want the client to have a clear understanding of their copy goals and objectives so everyone is on the same page (and I also ask them to sign off on the directives so there aren't any surprise). 


What do you do when you’re stuck? Any tricks for getting unstuck?

I take a breather and do yoga (have been a student of yoga for 10 plus years). Yoga is a huge stress reliever for me and helps clear my mind and find my writing focus again. I think anyone who works in a creative field would highly benefit from yoga. Exercise is the best medicine for me and love to walk and hike. I highly encourage all copywriters to get away from their computers and walk outside in nature and take a few deep breaths. It does wonder to clear the tired brain — especially when you have writer's block! A glass of vino also does the trick (but after hours, of course!)

Any side projects? If so, how do you make time for them?

I'm always working on side projects since I'm a freelancer and always drumming up ways to earn income and promote my business. I'd love to teach more teleclasses about social media, and write more articles geared towards helping female entrepreneurs. I'd like to get my name out there and help more female small business owners - especially with their online marketing projects. I don't want to just be seen as a copywriter. Since my other specialty is online marketing, I want my clients to feel like they can trust me and come to me for advice about any online marketing problems or issues that arise. I sometimes feel like small female business owners are lost when it comes to marketing in general, and they really need help and support - so that's one of my biggest goals.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I could give is DO NOT listen to the negative naysayers out there who tell you'll never make it as a writer (whether you're a copywriter or journalist). Forge ahead and learn everything you can about writing (even if you have to go back to school and take more writing classes). Stay positive and focused, and don't give into the negative self-talk that creeps into your brain (especially if you are a freelancer). Always believe in your talents and skills and stick up for yourself - you are a valuable asset! 


What’s one thing you know now that you’d wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

I wish I had taken the plunge to be a freelance copywriter/consultant years ago, but I don't regret my non-profit career path in the least. I learned a lot about networking and how to build strong relationship with my clients as a result of my fundraising/event planning background and working with my incredible volunteers over the years.

There's more to just copywriting than the actual writing part. You need to understand people and how they think and act. You need to be able to dig into their brains and psyche and get to the heart of their message and branding. Anyone can write copy but if you don't understand people, you'll be floundering. You have to be part psychoanalyst, part researcher and part salesperson. You also have to be VERY flexible, open-minded and roll with the punches. A sense of humor doesn't hurt either. You deal with all kinds of client personalities and backgrounds and you never know what to expect — just take each day as it comes (my motto!) 


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to school — representing myself in a pop-up shop

First assignment of the semester: Represent yourself in some way via a non-traditional media form. 

I picked pop-up stores, and designed Word Play, a place where people could find words, make up their own, and string together stories out of them. 

I'm no artist and rather messy (seriously, I should have been more careful with the Gorilla Glue). So it's more about the idea than the presentation. But it was a fun start to the semester.

The overview shot... (It's a little wobbly as I used some warped foam board leftover from mounting ads for critique last year.)


Card catalog of all words...

Staff picks...

Make your own words out of loose letters, plus a trash can for jargon...

And, finally, a comfy place to string it all together (plus a crossword puzzle for breaks)...

Hope your September is off to as goofy a start as mine! 
 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Writer Wednesday — Vikki Ross of Virgin Media — Never present copy you don’t like.

Each Wednesday I feature a fellow writer, and not just ad folks. I’m interested in anyone who makes a living stringing together words. Their answers are unfiltered, so I may not always agree with every last bit of advice. After all, what works for one writer may not work for another. But we all need fresh ideas and perspectives to keep growing. Interested? Please email leigh@leighwritescopy.com.

Vikki Ross is a London-based copywriter who’s worked for two of the U.K.’s most well-known companies. She’s in-house at Virgin Media and spent the eight years before that at The Body Shop.

Website: crazywindowuk.blogspot.com
Twitter: @VikkiRoss7

What’s your writing focus or specialty?

The majority of my experience is in retail, mostly for the cosmetics and beauty industry.

Writers often take winding career paths. What led you here?

At 16 I thought I’d like to be a journalist so chose not to go to university after college. I wanted to get straight into it. My first job was as a receptionist in a serviced office block, which I hated, and one day I just walked out. I called my friend at work to tell her but she was off sick so I ended up speaking directly to her boss, a PR. I told her what had happened and she got me in for a short-term contract.

Her husband ran a marketing and entertainment company next door so I made my talents and desires known. Pretty soon I was writing reader offers for the national press. My first offer appeared in Camping & Caravanning magazine! Then I went on to write regular offers for the Daily Mail, TV Times, Sky, Ministry of Sound and Woman’s Own. I also wrote science fiction mail order catalogues.

After two years, I left work to travel the world for a year and a half. On my return to London it was very hard to get back into copywriting. Companies will always think they can do it themselves if they need to cut costs.

I got a job as PA to the Product Director at The Body Shop. She knew instantly that I wasn’t really a PA and after just three months I was writing internal communications. I then moved into the Design Studio where I wrote catalogues, in-store promotional materials, web copy and advertorials in Elle, Glamour and Marie Claire. I also went on photo shoots and enjoyed many a free haircut whilst learning the tricks of the trade, and interviewing make-up artists of course!

Eight years later, and I’ve moved back into the world of entertainment. I’m creating new Tone of Voice guidelines for Virgin Media now, but you can still see my copy in The Body Shop windows.

Working for companies set up by two of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs is inspiration enough but I’ve also got Space NK, The Post Office, Fat Face and Pizza Express to thank for freelance work that’s allowed me to expand my creative skills.

Tell us a little about your creative process.

I love reading magazines and books and watching television. Words inspire me so whenever I see or hear one I like, I make a note of it and try to incorporate it when I can. I have a bank of words and phrases to refer to whenever I’m in need of some inspiration.

What do you do when you’re stuck? Any tricks for getting unstuck?

I hate getting stuck! I’ll usually leave something difficult to just before the deadline. I’ve always worked like that. I could spend a couple of days trying to craft copy and just not getting it, so I’ll move on to something else until it absolutely has to be done. Working under pressure works for me as I’ll go back to it and just get it there and then, and then I wonder why it was so hard in the first place!

Another trick is to just take a quick break and have a flick through a magazine. Usually a word in a headline will just trigger something!

Any side projects? If so, how do you make time for them?

I started writing a blog a couple of months ago about store merchandising and general things that catch the eye when I’m out and about. I don’t have to make much extra time for it because I’m always out seeing things that inspire me. London’s a great city and I travel a lot too so there’s no shortage of content possibilities! Writing up my notes is no chore—I love writing.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

Never present copy you don’t like. It’ll always get chosen! Then you’ll end up with a catalogue headline that makes you cringe every time you see it!

What’s one thing you know now that you’d wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

Everyone thinks they’re a copywriter! It’s amazing how many people think they can do something that you have years of skilled experience in. And, more often than not, their grammar or spelling will be wrong, and they think you’re being picky when you tell them!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Inspiration Sunday — Cheeky lines for Van Gogh Blue vodka

It's Sunday, and we could all use some inspiration before we go back to work or school or whatever it is we do on the days when having a Bloody Mary with brunch is frowned upon.

I love a great headline—and even more so if it makes me smirk—so I had to share this new campaign for Van Gogh Blue vodka by Engauge in Columbus, Ohio. It's playful, cheeky, and speaks to women without patronizing us. Love it. Wish I wrote it.

I first noticed this ad while flipping through a friend's copy of Chicago magazine. (I live in Austin, but Chicago is on my short list of post-grad-school destinations).


I really like how it's saucy without being vulgar.

When I searched online to find out who did the campaign, I found a New York Times article about it and an ad I like even more than the first.

Seriously, I may have to buy this vodka just to support the ads. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Writer Wednesday — On Pause

Writer Wednesday is on pause this week because I worked a 12-hour day and am too drained to write more than this. It'll be back next week. In the meantime, if you're interested in being featured, I'd love to hear from you. Here's the info: 

Each Wednesday I feature a fellow writer, and not just ad folks. I’m interested in anyone who makes a living stringing together words. Their answers are unfiltered, so I may not always agree with every last bit of advice. After all, what works for one writer may not work for another. But we all need fresh ideas and perspectives to keep growing. Interested? Please email leigh@leighwritescopy.com.



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Creative cross-pollination, or what I’ve learned about writing from unlikely sources

Grace Coddington
In The September Issue (which I highly recommend to any creative person, even if you aren’t into fashion), Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington looks out the window of her taxi in Paris rather than hunching over a smart phone, as so many business travelers do.

She makes a point to do this everywhere because early in her career a mentor advised her to always look up and around for inspiration because you never knew when it would strike.

I agree wholeheartedly (even though I struggle to keep my iPhone tucked away). Not only does inspiration come from unlikely places, so do lessons about writing and creativity.

For example...

Cooking (or, hell, good eating)
Sweet is made interesting by adding spice, sour, or salt. Think Mexican hot chocolate or a salted caramel or Key Lime pie or, my recent favorite, the Mango Habanero Margarita at Takoba in Austin.

Photography

A photojournalist I worked with told me that the biggest difference between professional photographers and regular folks was that the professionals “take a hell of lot more pictures.”

Now, I don’t entirely believe that, but his point resonated with me. Want to get better at your craft? Do it more. Want to make sure you get the perfect shot? Take more shots. Want to make sure you get the perfect headline? Write more headlines.

Hair cuts

It’s much easier to trim than add more.

Fashion

Simple can be elegant, but there’s a fine line between that and boring. There is an equally fine line between elaborate and overwrought. In all cases, execution matters.

User Interface Design

It takes a lot more work on the back end to make things simple of the front end.

What have you learned about writing from unlikely sources?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inspiration Sunday — Hand-Carved Billboard in San Francisco

It's Sunday, and we could all use some inspiration before we go back to work or school or whatever it is we do on the days when having a Bloody Mary with brunch is frowned upon.

Back from more summer travels — this time a week San Francisco for work. I didn't see this billboard while I was there, but I wish I had. Spending ten days hand carving a billboard is a cool way to both get some attention and make a point.

Once carved, I don't think you can really tell it's done by hand, which is too bad. But I think the point is that folks walking and driving through this busy intersection saw it being worked on for ten days, and I'm sure there was some local news coverage and general buzz around it. It's not as cool as the Green Works Reverse Graffiti Project (also done in San Francisco), but it's still nice.


Advertising Agency: Juniper Park, USA
Partners, Executive Creative Directors: Terry Drummond, Alan Madill, Barry Quinn
Creative Director / Art Director: Hylton Mann
Creative Director / Copywriter: Andy Linardatos
Print Producer: Mark Prole
Props: Prop Art
Time lapse: Chad Richard
Illustrator: Gary Bullock

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Writer Wednesday — Andy White of whitewriting — “If you believe in an idea, fight for it.”

Each Wednesday I feature a fellow writer, and not just ad folks. I’m interested in anyone who makes a living stringing together words. Their answers are unfiltered, so I may not always agree with every last bit of advice. After all, what works for one writer may not work for another. But we all need fresh ideas and perspectives to keep growing. Interested? Please email leigh@leighwritescopy.com.

Andy White is a freelance copywriter with a very amusing blog. (You can also find him on Facebook.) He’s based in Stockport, Manchester, England, and did his time at advertising behemoths like McCann Erickson and Publicis before going out on his own. And, now he’s doing his time here, giving advice to me and my readers. Thanks, Andy!

Website: whitewriting.com
Twitter: @thatandywhite


What’s your writing focus or specialty?
I don't really have a specialty these days, Leigh. I've been a copywriter for over 20 years now and I've covered just about every discipline in that time. If I focus on anything, it's having fun with the job. It keeps me happy and my clients seem to like having someone to work with who can have a few laughs while getting the work done. If there's one thing I'm known for it's probably writing in a conversational style and finding the right “tone of voice” for a piece.

Writers often take winding career paths. What led you here?

After leaving school I did a degree course in Graphic Design and Visual Communication. As I reached the end of that, I realised that what I really enjoyed was coming up with ideas, headlines and concepts, rather than perfect design. At the same time a Creative team from a London Ad agency visited the University to see our work and one of them suggested I started taking copywriting seriously. From that point on I basically knocked on doors and phoned every creative director I could get the number for. After a couple of months I was lucky enough to get to see a copywriter called Lynn Crooks at McCann Erickson, she didn't have a job for me but sent me away with a “copy test”, a set of fictitious briefs for non-existent clients. Stuff like “create a press campaign to sell tap water to compete with Perrier”, “Write a radio ad publicising the mime artist Marcel Marceau live at The Talk of The Town”, that kind of thing.

I spent another few months just creating my own campaigns and trying to get them seen at agencies. Eventually I got a couple of paid jobs from a small local agency and the third time they asked me to write something for them, I said I'd only do it if they gave me a full-time job. Fortunately they said yes. I'd been there about a year when Lynn from McCann's called me (I'd continued to harass her, naturally), and told me that they were now interviewing for writers. Went for the interview, got the job. After two years at McCann Erickson I felt that I was getting a little trapped so moved on and continued moving for a few years. About 15 years ago, tired of ad agency politics and wanting a bit more freedom, I decided to go freelance.

Tell us a little about your creative process.

The creative process for me is just looking at a brief and trying to get into the mindset of whomever the work will be talking to. Once I've got that, I'm happy.

What do you do when you’re stuck? Any tricks for getting unstuck?

I put some music on, wander around the house, smoke a cigarette (sorry) and try to get back into it. Sometimes I'll write “joke copy”. Basically throwing every ad cliche I can think of at the job and having fun with it. Once I've cleared my head, I try again.

Any side projects? If so, how do you make time for them?

For the past couple of years I've been playing with an idea for a series of children's books, (I know, I know, everyone's got a kids' book in them). There's always time to write, it's motivation that's the tricky bit. When you've been sitting at the pc writing about bollard renovation or producing a welcome letter for a mail order catalogue, it can be a bit hard to start writing again in your “own time”. With the books, I find myself coming up with pieces of dialogue or little scenarios when I'm watching TV or listening to music. I'll write them down, come back to them later and try to give them some kind of structure. The important thing to remember is that I'm doing it for me, (and my daughter), and that I do actually enjoy writing.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

The best lesson in writing I've ever had came from Lynn Crooks of McCann's. I'd been a “professional copywriter” for about a year by this point and felt that I was pretty hot stuff. I'd written a piece that utilised all my best tricks and cleverest thoughts and showed it to Lynn. This was of course in the days before we all had PCs so it was a neatly typed A4 page. Lynn took it, read it then crossed out almost every alternate line.

All the tricky bits had gone and what remained was brief, punchy and effective. Half the words, twice as good.

Thanks Lynn.

What’s one thing you know now that you’d wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

That self belief is hugely important. Not to the exclusion of learning from others of course but not to let every piece of criticism sting or affect your confidence or your style. I spent some of my early years in advertising believing that everyone who'd been in the business longer than me would always be somehow more “right” than me.

No matter how long you've been writing, if you believe in an idea, fight for it. Keep your ears open to criticism as there's every chance you're wrong. Equally though, there's every chance that you're right.

Oh, and never throw an idea away. Keep them all “on file”, what doesn't work on a particular day for a particular job may be perfect in another time and place.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inspiration Sunday: Elegant storytelling via Google search

It's Sunday, and we could all use some inspiration before we go back to work or school or whatever it is we do on the days when having a Bloody Mary with brunch is frowned upon.

One of my favorite Super Bowl ads last year was Google's elegant, simple "Parisian Love". The most recent installment, "New Baby," is just as lovely. I love how this ad tells a clear and touching story with no voice over, no actors, and no fancy camera work. Enjoy!





Agency: Johannes Leonardo
Executive Creative Director: Jan Jacobs, Leo Premutico
Art Director: John Ortved, Emmie Nostitz, Ferdinando Verderi
Copywriter: John Ortved, Emmie Nostitz, Ferdinando Verderi
Agency Producer: Matthew Mattingly
Editorial Company: Lost Planet
Editor: Bruce Herrman
Music: Fall on Your Sword

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sharpie Liquid Pencil Review

When a nice Office Max cashier pointed out the new Sharpie Liquid Pencils last night, it felt like Christmas. I mean, how cool is a temporarily erasable Sharpie, especially for those of us who are messy and/or indecisive? To answer that question, here's my review, written in Sharpie Liquid Pencil

(Click to look closer.)


Close up of that spot I erased:

But, this may just be an issue for me. I write hard.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sorry, Barbara, Nike 'Fix' Works

Ad Week critic Barbara Lippert hates this Nike ad from Wieden + Kennedy. She calls it "smug, defensive," "holier-than-thou," and "off-putting at best."

I kinda love it. I think the tone is perfect for the brand. "This shoe works if you do." is a natural extension of "Just do it." It's direct and determined.  

And, really, those "toning" shoes she's so sensitive about? Maybe she wears them because they "feel good," but a lot of folks wear them hoping to get a workout running errands. If Nike can't poke fun at that, what can it poke fun of?  

The body copy reads: 
The Nike Trainer One is not a magical toning shoe. It's a training shoe. Its DiamondFLX technology activates your muscles to work how they're supposed to, giving you faster results from all those squats, lunges and classes that you do. So you get fit faster.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writer Wednesday — Anthony Hewson of AH Copy

Each Wednesday I feature a fellow writer, and not just ad folks. I’m interested in anyone who makes a living stringing together words. Their answers are unfiltered, so I may not always agree with every last bit of advice. After all, what works for one writer may not work for another. But we all need fresh ideas and perspectives to keep growing. Interested? Please email leigh@leighwritescopy.com.

Anthony Hewson is a freelance copywriter based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire (about an hour north of London), and trading under the moniker AH Copy. When the call went out for interviewees, Anthony responded to my questions quickly—and offered a bit of editing advice for which I am very thankful.

Website: www.ahcopy.co.uk
Twitter: @ahcopywriter

What’s your writing focus or specialty?

I’m really a generalist writer. I do a fair amount of writing for architectural and construction firms simply because I spent a number of years working in PR and communications for one of the UK’s leading construction groups; but my freelance copywriting clients range from personal development specialists to helicopter charter companies, from management consultants to software houses.

Writers often take winding career paths. What led you here?

Aaah. Well, I went to university to study drama (acting and writing being my two main loves at school), but had to leave because of financial difficulties. I spent a few years working in IT recruitment for my parents’ company, doing a spot of freelance writing on the side, before landing a role at Kier Group, the UK construction and services company, working in the PR and communications department. That was always a stepping stone in my mind, while I continued to build up a decent freelance client base. I struck out on my own full-time a little over two years ago.

Tell us a little about your creative process.

The first step is of course to get under the skin of the client. Get to grips with their service offering or products; what distinguishes them from their competitors; what their ethos is and who they really are as people.

Then move on to who they want to talk to, attract and engage with. At this point, unless the client has already been hugely organised, I’m in a much better position to establish a detailed brief for the job.

After that there’ll be a spot of research, including their rivals, their industry as a whole, and SEO keyword analysis if appropriate.

Then it’s pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and see which words fall out of my head! A single round of revisions is usually enough to achieve a finished piece.

What do you do when you’re stuck? Any tricks for getting unstuck?

Depends on the nature of the ”stuck”. If it’s finding the right word, digging out Roget’s Thesaurus might loosen the blockage. If it’s more than that, perhaps some more research or just getting away from the job. It’s surprising how many ideas come to you when you’re doing something mundane like the washing-up.

Any side projects? If so, how do you make time for them?

Several. And the answer for the most part is that I don’t. I came up with a charity concept a couple of years ago: www.small-change.org.uk, which gets my attention any time I’m nowhere near the computer, and very little when I am. There are a couple of novels I started a long time back, feeling unloved and untouched, and I’ve done a couple of voiceover jobs too.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?

“Make your sentences shorter.” I love rhythmic language, setting a scene, emotion, passion and telling a story. There’s not actually room in copywriting for a lot of that; most of the best copywriting is actually very plain, simple and direct. Note that I say best copywriting, not best writing — so feature articles and longer pieces demand a very different, and for me at any rate, more natural style of writing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Inspiration Sunday: Canada Edition

It's Sunday, and we could all use some inspiration before we go back to work or school or whatever it is we do on the days when having a Bloody Mary with brunch is frowned upon.

I just got back from a fun but exhausting jaunt to Niagara Falls for a wedding. I'm pretty zonked, so this will be short. But, in honor of my visit to Canada, here are some fun ads for the very strange sounding Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival.


Advertising Agency: TAXI Vancouver, Canada
Creative Director: Jordan Doucette
Art Director: Dan Bache
Copywriter: Will Seccombe
Photographer: Hans Sipma
Photoshop: Steve Pinter

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Visual ads for word geeks

Like every writer I know, I heart Scrabble. And, I generally love ads for Scrabble as there have been quite of few great ones in recent years. These from Ogilvy in Mumbai made me grin this morning. 

The tag is: The Surprising Power of Words




Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, India
National Creative Directors: Abhijit Avasthi, Rajiv Rao
Executive Creative Director: Sumanto Chattopadhyay
Creative Directors: Sukesh Kumar Nayak, Heeral Desai Akhaury
Copywriters: Sukesh Kumar Nayak, Ragini Singh
Art Directors: Heeral Desai Akhaury, Pushkar Shintre

Check out everything from Scrabble at Adsoftheworld.com.